The Metarama Gaming + Music Festival seems like an even more bewildering experience after dropping its lineup – surely one of the most interesting festival gambles of the year. A fair balance of expected/totally fitting musical artists and some left-field surprises populate the bill, as well as icons from across the competitive gaming and streaming worlds. This melding of gaming convention and music festival straddles a line between corporate production and groundbreaking territory for the festival industry, both compelling and a bit concerning.
Following Marshmello’s “Fortnite” virtual concert for 10 million players in February, it was pretty much guaranteed he’d be a headliner here. His passion for gaming includes a YouTube series and he’ll be joined by his friend Ninja, a “Fortnite” pro and massively popular Twitch streamer. Ninja has even forayed into EDM with the compilation album “Ninjawerks (Vol. 1),” intended as a gaming soundtrack and featuring original tracks from heavy-hitting DJs including Tiësto, Kaskade, Dillon Francis and more. CRAY and Ducky, who produced tracks for the album, will also perform at Metarama.
Thoughtful rapper Logic, G-funk gangsta rap legend Snoop Dogg and mumble trap SoundCloud star Lil Yachty will bring hip-hop to the (gaming) table. Alan Walker will serve emotional, lyric-driven melodic EDM, and Lindsey Stirling shall play her distinct, electronic violin anthems. The dopest draw for me is the trap destruction of Shaq’s DJ glow-up DIESEL. Alternative rock band Grouplove promises fun grooves, while Japanese electronic singer Kyary Pamyu Pamyu will deliver Harajaku oddity.
Gaming streamers and YouTube content creators include Jacksepticeye, Sodapoppin, Nick Eh 30, DrLupo, Pokimane, NICKMERCS, Valkyrae, and some esports champion teams like Guangzhou Charge. The inclusion of the band Imagine Dragons for gaming only is probably the most bizarre draw on the lineup, while clever YouTube stars Rhett & Link for the comedy entertainment is actually pretty cool.
Over October 19 and 20 across two stages at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds, Metarama will host live music sets, celebrity gaming face-offs, pro esports tournaments, intense “Overwatch” matches, amateur competitions, freeplay arenas, drones races, racing simulators, classic arcade zones, VR experiences, cosplay contests and more. At only $150, 2-day passes are quite affordable, and if you’re a gamer, this should definitely be under deep consideration. Even if it’s a weird mess, it will be a festival adventure unlike any other.