Travis Scott's Fortnite concert saw 12 million players 'put down their weapons'

The US rapper's mind-bending Astronomical concert may change the way musicians 'tour'

SOUTH PASADENA, CA - APRIL 23: 11-year-old Ansel, the photographers son, plays Fortnite featuring Travis Scott Presents: Astronomical on April 23, 2020 in South Pasadena, California. Travis Scott + Cactus Jack have partnered with Fortnite to produce Astronomical, a one of a kind in-game experiential performance and the world premiere of a new song.   Neilson Barnard/Getty Images/AFP
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Much of the world may be in a lockdown to thwart the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, with live music cancelled for the foreseeable future, but Travis Scott still delivered a performance of planetary proportions over the weekend.

It wasn’t broadcast from a makeshift home-stage or from an empty venue either. No, the concert on Thursday, April 23, took place in the video game Fortnite, and to a record-setting audience of more than 12 million people.

Well, 12.3 million to be exact; and that’s only tallying up the Fortnite players who attended, not those who watched Scott’s concert on Twitch or on other streaming platforms.

The concert lasted for less than 15 minutes, but encompassed the entire island map of the game, with players – who had been disarmed to prevent them from killing each other in true Fortnite fashion – rushing to follow the rapper through mind-bending landscapes as the setlist progressed.

There isn't a better way to describe Scott’s concert – which had a number of encores running until Sunday, April 26 – than its official name: Astronomical.

The US rapper – or rather his towering avatar – took Fortnite by cosmic storm, flying into the game’s cartoony world on a planet of his own.

The animations became increasingly more complex as the set-list progressed. Magma fell from the sky and Fornite’s world of conflict and construction was engulfed in streaks of purple energy.

At one point, Scott reached towards space to slap two stars together. Yup, astronomical.

Scott was even joined by fellow rapper Kid Cudi to reveal a new song The Scotts.

This isn’t the first time Epic Games – the developer behind Fortnite – has put on a show in the video game. Last year, electronic musician Marshmello performed in the game for an audience of more than 10 million.

There has also been a footage reveal for the latest Star Wars installment as well as a fight between a sea monster and giant robot that was reminiscent of the Kaiju films.

However, Scott’s performance couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time.

With the entertainment industry scuffling to find footing during social distancing restrictions, we will no doubt see more artists turn to video games to promote their music.

Watch this space.