Zombies, beware: Naperville's Birthdayy Partyy invades giant Minecraft music festival

  • Naperville twins Bryan, left, and Jon Gorecki aren't just into Minecraft. They'll really be part of the game when Birthdayy Partyy plays the Rave Family Block Fest virtual music festival next week.

    Naperville twins Bryan, left, and Jon Gorecki aren't just into Minecraft. They'll really be part of the game when Birthdayy Partyy plays the Rave Family Block Fest virtual music festival next week. Courtesy of Brandon Gassel

  • Naperville twins Jon, left, and Bryan Gorecki go digital for Birthdayy Partyy's set at the Rave Family Block Fest in Minecraft next week.

    Naperville twins Jon, left, and Bryan Gorecki go digital for Birthdayy Partyy's set at the Rave Family Block Fest in Minecraft next week. Courtesy of Birthdayy Partyy

 
 
Updated 7/9/2020 9:42 AM

In our current world of livestreaming musical performances, to really stand out you have to think outside of the box.

Or outside of the blocks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The organizers behind the Rave Family Block Fest (formerly Electric Blockaloo), a four-day virtual music festival set in the popular block-building video game Minecraft, did just that.

Bringing together a massive lineup of more than 950 musical artists -- including Steve Aoki, Louis the Child, Sander Kleinenberg, Gene Farris, Manic Focus, Galantis, Paris Hilton (yes, THAT Paris Hilton) and many, many more -- organizers are giving fest-goers free rein to visit upward of 65 virtual stages.

The fest, originally set for late June, was rescheduled to Thursday through Sunday, July 9-12, due to a major update in the Minecraft game that would have caused complications for early attendees.

Naperville twins Bryan and Jon Gorecki join that roster with their bass-house duo Birthdayy Partyy for a 3:15 p.m. virtual set Friday, July 10. Avatars of the two will perform on the Bite This! Stage, which is curated by fellow performer and collaborator Jauz.

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Birthdayy Partyy has taken major stages before; last summer the band played in a sweet spot at North Coast and opened for Jauz at the Aragon Ballroom later in the year.

Due to its virtual nature and top-tier headliners, Block Fest has arguably a much larger reach, always a perk for musicians trying to make a name for themselves.

It doesn't hurt that the brothers are fans of Minecraft, too.

"I'm excited I'm going to be in the game because I play it and want to be involved, but I also want to attend," Bryan said.

"And to see what this new frontier for festivals is going to be like," Jon added.

Part of the appeal of sandbox games such as Minecraft is that players can roam free through the world, completing tasks at their own pace. That same charm applies to Block Fest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"It's very much 'Choose Your Own Adventure.' Just like going to a music festival, you can have whatever experience you want to have," Jon said. "And that's just as true here as at a real festival. I can wander around between stages and have a great time with a bunch of music, or I can spend all my time looking at other stuff and still have a good time, like looking at all the different stages and miss half the music. Obviously we're not gonna do that because we want to see it all."

Minecrafters are known for their creativity, and Block Fest aims to live up to those high standards. Each stage has been carefully crafted to artist or label specs to conjure a live concert-going experience or cheekily replicate a real-life venue.

The festival will also include a VIP area with minigames, secret DJ sets and a Block Fest game skin, allowing festgoers to dress their best for the concerts. An early-arrival group camping add-on and contest adds to the fest vibes.

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