Porter Robinson’s virtual Second Sky festival, lovingly denoted Secret Sky, materialized recently. Featuring Porter’s hand-selected roster of influential and underground artists, each brought a delectable set to the table.
In combination with Brownies & Lemonade, the stream raised a staggering $116,000 for MusiCares, a music-industry focused relief initiative. With nearly 4,000,000 people watching, it felt like a once-in-a-lifetime experience in every way.
If you missed out on the event, or feel called to relive some of the magic, take a look at the posted sets from Secret Sky below.
secret sky was a monumental experience
nearly 4 million ppl watched
250k peak viewers on all streams
200k+ event tweets
#2 trending on US twitter
nearly every artist trended too
$116k raised for musicares
14 hrs of incredible music
we broke the internet
thank u all
— Brownies & Lemonade?? (@TeamBandL) May 10, 2020
Inventive, cooperative listening experience
One of the highlights of this festival was the obvious commitment to both quality and community. While the stream was easily accessible on both Twitch and YouTube, the team also created a virtual listening auditorium website.
Within the site, each user would appear as a neon colored streak that could move around with keyboard commands. If you hovered over another, the state or country they were steaming from would appear.
Although the sheer force in numbers caused the platform to crash occasionally, we didn’t face any problems accessing the festival on other sites like YouTube. Above all, the amount of viewers from both around the world and close to the Pacific Northwest marked significant camaraderie and togetherness.
Porter’s set: full of energy, new releases, vibrant visuals
Arguably the reason most people attended the virtual Secret Sky festival: To catch Porter Robinson’s set. A renowned performer, Porter melded sounds from every lineup slot to curate a set that testified to belief each artists’ vision.
Throwing in a few curveballs as expected, we didn’t expect him to drop the hottest Lil B collab we’ve heard since Clams Casino. Porter’s reportedly been a fan of Lil B’s (the based God) for years, but now it’s abundantly clear the love flows both ways.
Running behind his decks, Porter played visuals that both hearkened back to the Worlds days, and forecasted what his upcoming Nurture album visuals could be. Between a maze of tangled black lines and spinning rainbow cubes, Porter played a tribute mash-up that the world didn’t know we needed—Avril Lavigne’s I’m With You into his defining Language.
To top off an already incredible set, Porter closed with a new unreleased track.
Immediately during the instrumental build-up, the world felt palpably 15% more healed. Full of gripping lyrics saturated with honest vulnerability, driving drum kicks and string instruments, topped off with a vibrant melody, Porter delivered everything in Look at the Sky. Re-watch his full set below.
Other artists bring style, creativity throughout lineup
It feels impossible to mark a single highlight on the rest of the lineup, as each act consistently brought a unique sound to the festival. While most still subside in the underground realm, almost each artist trended on Twitter throughout the day. Even some of the more well-known acts like Madeon, Jai Wolf, and San Holo still dug through the proverbial crates to find fresh or forgotten sounds. G Jones took everyone on a ride with the first installment of his Illusory OS Mix.
Artists hailed from around the globe, donning their Secret Sky DJ and performance gear. Anamanaguchi the band, previously well endorsed by Porter, had all four members and guest singers playing from opposite corners of the United States. Shadient’s trap set reached across the pond from England. Even further away across the Atlantic, Nanobii’s synthpop set hailed from Sweden.
On one end of the genre gamut, Lil Texas spun hardcore in the average 200 BPM range. AG Cook delivered an acoustic EDM set, packed with dense and experimental pop. True to Porter Robinson’s fascination with Japanese-influenced music and culture, KZ from Livetune performed a Japanese electro set.
Even the barely-out-of-high-school trio Wavedash turned heads for their creative dubstep set. And a lovable character from the first Second Sky fest, DJ Potaro, played an early 2010’s-centric Porter Robison electrohouse set.
Secret Sky’s high impact: From fundraiser to morale boost
Over the course of 14 hours, Secret Sky festival raised an unbelievable $114,000 for MusiCares. Formed through the Grammy Music Awards, MusiCares is a relief initiative for industry members struggling through the economic fallout of COVID-19.
Apart from being a highly successful fundraiser, the festival also impacted exponentially more people struggling during the uncertainty and negativity surrounding daily life. Secret Sky fostered community through shared joy in new music, with resounding themes of positivity and vibrancy.
Perhaps the most comforting of all, Porter promised a return of his Second Sky Festival in the future. Although no one has been able to precisely predict the fate of live music, everyone breathed a collective sigh of relief. At least some day, we’ll meet again in person for another Porter Robinson show.
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