The coronavirus pandemic has forced many of us indoors, pushing people to get creative when it comes to their work, social life, and entertainment. Thanks to the internet, we at least get to experience some semblance of normalcy through Zoom hangouts with friends and free online workouts from studios around the world. Now, even artists like John Legend, Lizzo, and Chris Martin are going live on social media to perform for fans from their homes.
Lockdown measures have forced bars and clubs to turn off their lights, at least temporarily, so some are now taking their parties online. Club Matryoshka was way ahead of this trend.
As if foreseeing the universal house arrest we are all under, musicians from the Philippines birthed Club Matryoshka, a virtual club on the sandbox video game Minecraft, in 2019. It’s a meticulously created virtual space with sound stages, DJ booths, decor, and even landscaping. There, they host live concerts and events on a private server. People attend as characters they’ve created, listen to music through Discord channels, and interact with each other as if they were clubbing together IRL.
This weekend, Club Matryoshka is hosting another one of its mega parties and this time, it’s for a good cause. "Infinite Summer" is a 24-hour virtual music festival that’s a collaboration between Club Matryoshka, Likido, Spoonin Boys, and Para://Site Projects. It starts at 6 AM on April 26 (GMT+8) and will run until 6 AM on April 27.
There will be three stages: the Likido Stage, Matryoshka Prime Stage, and Spoonstage. Each will feature performances from a wide range of musicians from mostly experimental genres and art installations from various artists.
At-home party goers can sign up by answering a series of questions here. Admission is free, with a suggested donation of $10. Proceeds will go towards the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
“We had already planned to do a smaller-scale version of the festival even prior to the news of COVID-19, but the festival just evolved and snowballed into this massive three-stage festival soon after the rise of the pandemic,” Jorge Juan B. Wieneke V (aka similarobjects), music producer and one of the creators of Club Matryoshka, said. “It just made sense to do our part and bring people together and utilise the platform for the benefit of everyone.”
He and the other founders are all part of the Minecraft community and have backgrounds in music, podcasting, video games, streaming, and art.
Thanks to the creativity and expertise of the team, no two Club Matryoshka events are ever alike. Each party promises a wholly different concept, innovating activities that could range from escaping zombies to catching frogs.
“We really just like going crazy with the concepts and stretching the limits of our own imagination — we can basically code any mechanic into the game so we utilise this to do things we wouldn't normally be able to do in a real club setting,” said Jorge.
While its previous event, 777 Club Online, imagined an ominous algae dystopia, its Amazon rainforest fundraiser titled Druidism presented a lavish ballroom-esque space. The parties are, quite literally, worlds apart.
“We focus on the in-game immersion experience rather than the stream experience,” said Jorge. “We wanted to see what else we could do to really create an experience unique for every one of our shows, hence the heavy use of themes.”
“We like setting up interactive mini-games and structures to explore so the experience isn’t just limited to social interaction but rather a really expansive immersion into each world.”
With this much thought put into crafting each event, Club Matryoshka also curates a lineup of musicians from around the world that defies classification and attempts to broaden the musical horizons of its audience. Artists set to perform on "Infinite Summer" include, Omnei from the United States, My Sword x STAGIAIRISM from France, HAUTE COUTURE from the Philippines, Shelhiel from Malaysia, CORIN from Australia, and Tomggg from Japan, among others. Find the full lineup on their Instagram page.
“We like to blur the lines between musical stereotypes,” explained Jorge.
“Certain clubs are only welcoming to certain types of people and musical styles. It’s kind of fun to imagine a world where you can hear various styles of music next to each other being celebrated equally by a crowd that’s just generally there to enjoy the music.”
Register for "Infinite Summer" here.