Web3 IRL: How Digital Art in Physical Gatherings Builds Community


If you’ve finally gotten the idea of ​​works of art as NFTs – blockchain-based tokens that prove ownership of a digital asset – now consider how this concept might find its way back into the world. physical. As quarantine restrictions lift, Web3 and NFT companies are increasingly leveraging physical activations to grow their communities.

A great example would be last month’s Coachella Music Festival, where Vault721, a full-service Web3 agency, took over the Villa Royale resort in Palm Springs, California to host a weekend filled with NFTs, drones performing physical airdrops and an “Ether Egg Hunt” (get it?) on Easter Sunday. Large flat screens displaying NFTs lined the perimeter of the complex, with waiters serving THC-infused, NFT-themed dishes prepared by famous chefs.

Sponsors for the event were largely NFT collections seeking to bridge the gap between digital and physical with creative activations. This is Cryptoland’s newest and smartest form of marketing.

THC-infused dishes were served throughout the weekend at Coachella. Photo: Omar Flores

Like Web3, POAP were flowing, one of which was based on an art installation at the event itself. The NFT artists involved created a mural, and throughout the weekend attendees were encouraged to grab a brush and add to it. At the end of the event, the mural was transformed into a POAP and sent to all participants.

A collaborative mural has been transformed into a POAP. Photo: Omar Flores

city ​​without love, an NFT collection, took advantage of the event to present works of art. The transportation sponsor provided regular shuttles to and from Coachella. To ride the art-wrapped party buses from the collection, you had to show your Loveless City Metropass, which was given out free to all attendees and shared its name and design with the collection’s first NFT. .

The loveless city shuttle. Photo: Omar Flores

Another NFT company, Gem Set, took the opportunity to show their community that they were serious about the IRL utilities promised to holders. Gem Set is an upcoming collection – no release date has been set – featuring 10,000 NFTs each tied to a physical diamond. Many collections place physical activations or assets on their roadmaps, but most tend to over-promise and under-deliver.

In an effort to show its commitment to every NFT representing ownership of a real diamond, Gem Set has given away $10,000 worth of Diamonds in Easter Eggs for the Ether Egg Hunt. Event attendees roamed the grounds of the resort in hopes of finding QR codes leading them to wallets filled with Ethereum, diamonds, private jet credits, NFTs, and more.

“The reason we do IRL activations is to raise awareness, to show that it’s actually real,” said Johnathan Schultz, artist and founder of Gem Set. “A lot of collections offer IRL activations or items from their collection, but don’t really follow through. Showing upfront that we take our physical assets seriously sets us apart.

But it wasn’t all gems and free transport – some collections took the opportunity to get creative with their communities.

Denton, the artist behind Dented Feels, created a custom Dented Feels NFT live at the event, punched it, and raffled it off – around 70 attendees bought raffle tickets at $7,500 apiece. pop. baby angel Hit Squad had a real-life “Angel Baby” dressed in angel wings wandering the field. A collection called Clay Friends brought heaps of clay and invited people to create and mint their own personalized Clay Friends. VEZA, a startup that advises on mental health and wellness for Web3 obsessives, had a tent that provided scents, sounds, and even poetry.

“For us, it’s about making people creative IRL. We’ve all built these communities online, but it’s important to get away from the computer and find the time to create,” said Bo Brannen of Clay Friends.

NFTs have become part of the mainstream culture and as a result we are seeing more and more events like these to bridge the gap between digital and physical Web3 experiences. With so much noise on the internet, it can be difficult to get attention as a small or upcoming collection. Creative and authentic IRL events are a great opportunity for these collections to stand out and make real, tangible connections with their communities, both online and offline.

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