24th May, 2022

What are you doing for New Year's Eve? How about a party in the metaverse?

Claire Bullivant 30th Dec, 2020 Updated: 30th Dec, 2020

Iceland has announced it will be hosting the world’s first live, fully virtual New Year’s Eve party to ring in 2021… and you and your avatar are invited.

If you’re not sure what the metaverse is – think Ready Player One – a shared virtual space where people are represented by digital avatars. The word is a portmanteau of the prefix “meta” (meaning beyond) and “universe” – basically meaning it’s an alternate digital reality where you can work, play, and socialise.

Tech innovator OZ will be powering the New Year’s Eve party with some pretty clever interactive technology which fuses immersive virtual scenes with the fun and accessible 3D Bitmoji from Snapchat.

You’ll need to create your own Bitmoji on Snapchat and find your outfit before you can join. But once you’re in you’ll be able to join fellow partygoers from across the world walk the red carpet, follow a mysterious and magical path to the centre stage to watch the bands perform and bust out your best dance moves.

The free virtual event, which starts at 23:35 GMT will count down to the new year and see popular music artists Sigur Ros and Kaleo, among other celebrities transformed into avatars for the night as well.

“Our goal with this New Year’s festival is to premiere the ultimate stage for the world by uniting everyone in a shared experience – full of energy and life – where they are free to interact and express themselves,” says Gudjon Gudjonsson, CEO of OZ.

“With OZ technology, we remove physical barriers for audiences, taking them inside live events, creating a new future for music, sports, gaming, and fashion.”

Not only is this the perfect way to safely party in these times of social distancing, but this one-of-a-kind event is also the opportunity to visit beautiful Iceland. The destination has long been popular with New Year’s travellers wanting to experience the legendary firework celebrations, nature and culture.

During the virtual festival, the audience will experience the Northern Lights and the best of Icelandic music for free. Attendees should stay beyond midnight, when the pollution-free digital fireworks will be lit to mark the start of a hopefully great 2021.

The New Year’s Eve celebration begins at 23:35 GMT on 31 December. Head to www.newyear.is and register your avatar now for Thursday’s festivities.

See you in the metaverse!

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