The BBC’s Second Life

This weekend, the BBC is broadcasting One Big Weekend, a live rock concert from Dundee, Scotland. Giant screens in various UK locations enable anyone there to enjoy the happenings from Dundee.

Not only in the real world, though:

The BBC has staked a claim to a virtual tropical island where it can stage online music festivals and throw exclusive celebrity parties. The rented island exists in online game Second Life and will hold its first event this weekend with bands including Muse, Razorlight and Gnarls Barkley.

When I stopped by the Radio 1 island in Second Life late last night, there weren’t many party-goers there yet as this snapshot indicates. Plenty of dancing by the folks who were there. Even a couple of Daleks had dropped in.

You could listen to the music (Primal Scream were on at that time) and watch the video that you’d see in the real-world locations.

The BBC isn’t the only one experimenting with Second Life – a replica virtual-reality version of the Beyond Broadcast 2006 conference is taking place this weekend on Second Life. And last month, Adam Curry created the Curry Castle on Second Life.

Pretty amazing. For the BBC, it’s just a taste of things to come as Radio 1 plans to use the virtual venue to debut new bands over the next year:

[…] “What we’d like to do is use it as a place for people to put on public music events,” said Daniel Heaf, interactive editor at Radio 1. “We’d really like to use it for unsigned musicians. [But] we’re open to invitations as to who wants to use it and how they want to use it.”

[…] All visitors to the island will be issued with a virtual digital radio that will allow them to listen to Radio 1 long after the event. The free sets will continue to be available after One Big Weekend to all Second Life residents who visit the venue. “It means people can take a radio away to their own spaces and continue to listen to Radio 1,” said Mr Heaf. “It’s a long-term thing.”

As well as encouraging listeners to the network, the Radio 1 team also hope to use the island to bring the audience closer to existing artists in the future. “There maybe opportunities to have people like Justin Timberlake on spaces like this,” Mr Heaf said. “[That will] allow a level of interaction with the audience that we have never tried before.”

Anyone can set up literally anything in Second Life. Imagine the possibilities.

[Technorati: Second Life]

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. filloz

    I was at the Second Life island.It was amazing,to be sitting at my PC here in OZ watching the concert live….and having a dance around.kudos to all involved,great use of technology and imagination.I hope to see more.

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