J Balvin Set to Headline ‘Fortnite’ Virtual Halloween Concert

Todd Spangler
·3-min read

Top Latin recording artist J Balvin will headline this year’s Halloween-night party in Epic Games’ “Fortnite,” which will be simulcast on the Epic-owned Houseparty social app.

Balvin will be the featured performer in the “Fortnitemares” event at the Afterlife Party in “Fortnite’s” Party Royale island on Halloween night (Saturday, Oct. 31) starting at 9 p.m. ET. The four-time Latin Grammy winner and reggaeton star will perform biggest hits — and he also is inviting singer Sech to perform their new single, “La Luz,” during the live event.

Epic Games will produce Balvin’s concert with XR (cross reality) technologies, using LED walls and camera tracking to let him perform in a completely virtual world created exclusively for this event. The concert will take place in Fortnite’s Party Royale mode, the game’s no-combat social space.

“I am always looking for innovative ways to connect with fans that have been so incredibly supportive of my career and music, as well as gain exposure to future fans,” Balvin said in a statement. “Partnering with ‘Fortnite’ is an out-of-this-world way to perform a concert in 2020.”

It’s the latest bid by Epic to turn “Fortnite” into an entertainment destination. The battle-royale game has featured exclusive engagements from artists including BTS, Dominic Fike and Travis Scott (who broke live attendance records in the game). “Fortnite’s” Party Royale also hosted worldwide screenings of several Christopher Nolan films, including “Inception” in the U.S., this summer.

But Epic’s entertainment push comes as “Fortnite” remains locked out of Apple’s App Store. Apple kicked Epic games off the App Store after the games company refused to change its 20% discount for “Fortnite” players who purchased in-app game currency directly, bypassing Apple’s payment system (which takes 30%). The companies are currently engaged in litigation over the issue, amid a broader backlash against Apple’s App Store policies. “Fortnite” is available as a free download on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Android via fortnite.com (as Google Play also removed the title because of Epic’s attempt to circumvent in-app purchase rules).

The Balvin concert will be the capper for this year’s “Fortnitemares” event, an annual game-wide event that starts in “Fortnite” today. “Fortnitemares 2020: Midas’ Revenge” features new gameplay, challenges, in-game rewards and more.

For Balvin’s upcoming show, Epic games is launching a new nightlife take on the “Fortnite” favorite Party Trooper Outfit, which is available in the game’s online shop through Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. ET. All Party Trooper owners who attend the Afterlife Party in “Fortnite” will unlock the exclusive J Balvin style for the outfit.

Balvin is part a second wave of Musica Urbana stars who have propelled Latin music to a global fanbase. His singles “Blanco,” “Morado” and “Rojo” were among the Colombian artist’s latest songs to hit No. 1 on Latin charts. Most recently, his collaboration with Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny and Tainy, “Un Dia (One Day),” topped the charts after its July release, garnering over 400 million streams to date.

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