Including the likes of Marshmello, Travis Scott and Ariana Grande, Fortnite has had some serious global superstars grace their virtual stage – but are these concerts live? Let’s find out.

When it was first released in the summer of 2017, Fortnite didn’t take long at all to become a worldwide sensation. Arguably, no other game has come anywhere near as much of a global trend as Fortnite did, with the likes of Drake, Travis Scott, Chance The Rapper, 6ix9ine, Joe Jonas and many other global superstars jumping on the virtual bandwagon.

The rise of eSports and streaming grew in tandem with the game, too, with the aforementioned celebrities teaming up with game streamers like Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins, Timthetatman, Summit1g, Dr Disrespect, TSM Myth and many more on platforms like Amazon’s Twitch, Microsoft’s Mixer and YouTube.

We even began to see Fortnite dances and emotes being performed as goal celebrations in professional football and soccer matches around the world.

Are Fortnite Concerts Live?Pin

Now, the dances are back to full force in-game, as DJ’s and musicians take to the virtual stage within Fortnite to perform to world record-sized crowds in the millions. One question is, though, are these concerts and performances live or pre-recorded?

Are The Concerts On Fortnite Live?

While the initial in-game concerts from Marshmello, Travis Scott and Ariana Grande were pre-recorded and set to sensational, otherworldly visualisations, the latest DJ performances on the Party Royale island are genuinely live from Epic’s LA-based studio.

The inaugural in-game music concert from Marshmello in February 2019, which took place on a virtual stage within the Pleasant Park area of the Fortnite map, gave a truly live feel to those experiencing it, and although pre-recorded, featured the voice of Marshmello encouraging the crowds – crowds of which were estimated to be around 10.7 million in total, plus around 2 million more watching on Twitch, Mixer and YouTube streams.

14 months later, it was Travis Scott’s turn to take to the Fortnite island with the Travis Scott X Fortnite: Astronomical concert.

While this concert did begin on a floating stage between Sweaty Sands and Coral Castle, it soon turned into something much bigger, with a giant Travis Scott appearing and blasting players around the now carnival-themed island, through space, underwater and more. 12.3 million players watched the premiere in-game before a total of 45 million watched the scheduled in-game repeats. As of writing this article, the YouTube recording of the performance has 172 million views.

Another 16 months later in August 2021, Fortnite and Ariana Grande presented the Rift Tour live on the Fortnite island.

“Take a musical journey into magical new realities where Fortnite and record-breaking superstar Ariana Grande collide”Epic Games

As this sensational performance began, players were absorbed by a rift and pulled in by a giant Ariana Grande before surfing down a lush hill towards a newly-created fluffy pink island where Ariana makes her official (virtual) entrance.

In Epic’s latest huge in-game live music event, Ariana Grande strutted and soared over a candy-coloured sequence of Fortnite stages. The multi-day “tour” provided plenty of entertainment for gamers and Grande fans alike while displaying Epic’s remarkably seamless and aesthetically creative vision for live events that can be enjoyed by millions of people at the same time.

Epic’s efforts to elevate the standard for their in-game concerts, however, culminated in an incoherent jumble. The concert was finished before it really got started, and while we wait for the next celebrity to visit the island approximately 12 months from now, all we can hope for is a memorable performance.

Party Royale Island Concerts

With a particularly timely launch during the pandemic, when people were itching to return to the party scene to see their favourite DJ’s and artists, Fortnite created Party Royale, a separate game mode that features no weapons or violence, just dancing and socialising.

On this island, just like the main Fortnite Battle Royale island, there are a number of points of interest including stages and dancefloors. These stages have so far hosted genuinely live, authentic performances from the likes of Deadmau5, Diplo, Kaskade, Steve Aoki, Kenshi Yonezu and Dominic Fike on a live in-game feed.

Looking to the future, Epic, Fortnite’s parent company and developers, have now created a physical sound stage in Los Angeles so that these events can become much more frequent and be a genuine stop during the tours of some of the world’s top musical artists.

According to Epic, Tones And I, Brazilian rapper Emicida, Japanese pop musician and music producer Gen Hoshino, and French-Malian vocalist Aya Nakamura will perform on the Party Royale island in the following months.

Fortnite Icon Skins

So far, when each of Marshmello, Travis Scott and Ariana Grande has taken to the main island for their in-game concerts, Fortnite has released Icon Series skins so that players can look like the artists as they perform.

As well as the skins themselves, there are also usually back blings, harvesting tools, dances and emotes that have relevance to the artists as well.

These Fortnite skin bundles could be purchased from the Fortnite Item Shop in the lead up to each concert as well as for a short time afterwards. Buying these packages could mean players can not only look like their idols but also perform their famous moves and dances alongside them.

Fortnite Icon Skins certainly aren’t cheap though – they’re amongst the most expensive in the game. The Ariana Grande skin bundle, for example, cost 2,000 V-Bucks, which would mean having to buy the 2800 V-Bucks pack if you had an empty balance, which would cost you $19.99/£15.99.

Like with most things, the more you buy, the better value you get. Here’s how much each V-Bucks pack costs:

  • 1,000 – £6.49/$7.99
  • 2,800 – £15.99/$19.99
  • 5,000 – £25.99/$31.99
  • 13,500 – £64.99/$79.99