Dance-music star Marshmello played a concert in Fortnite… to 10m people

In 1993, Rod Stewart played a free concert in Rio de Janeiro, attracting 3.5 million fans – a record equalled four years later by a Jean Michel Jarre gig in Moscow. Even those two concerts put together can’t equal the reported audience for a concert by dance-music star Marshmello this weekend… although in this case, it was a virtual gig held within the game Fortnite.

That (above) is a tweet from games-industry journalist Geoff Keighley, who has good sources. What’s more, a senior executive at Fortnite’s publisher Epic Games retweeted his claim, which suggests it’s likely to be accurate:

It was an interesting event: hosted at a special location within Fortnite, there was a light-show and even a temporary feature blocking any players from using their weapons: so they couldn’t kill one another at the gig. Epic Games also released a special Marshmello ‘skin’ for players to buy with their V-Bucks currency, as well as themed emotes and a glider. The skin wasn’t cheap either: it cost 1,500 V-Bucks, which bearing in mind 1,000 of them cost $9.99 (£7.99 here in the UK), means it cost more than you’d have paid back in the day for, say, a CD album.

Here’s a video of the Marshmello concert, shot by one of the many YouTubers who attended:

There have been links between Fortnite and music for a while now: rapper Drake broke online-viewing records last year when he played online with Marshmello and gaming star Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins (who streamed it live). But this weekend’s concert shows how Fortnite could be an increasingly important way children discover new music and musicians too. At least, those with enough clout to persuade Epic Games to host them within the game.