Shivers Unleashed: an international music festival in Second Life

Shivers Unleashed
Shivers Unleashed Festival

Friday, July 8th through Sunday, July 10th sees the fifth Shivers Unleashed music festival take place in Second Life.

Organised by Shivers Productions, led by Mania Littlething and Anakin Muircastle, the festival brings together 20 headline artists and bands on the main stage across the weekend, supported by DJ sets on a separate “chillout” stage as well. With the exception of just one year, The Shivers Unleash Festival, or SUF, has been a part of the Second Life music scene since 2011, and is truly international in flavour. This year, for example, features artists from across Europe and North America and from South Africa and Japan, all of whom come together to celebrate and share a love of music with SL residents.

Shivers Unleashed
Shivers Unleashed Festival

I had the opportunity to chat with Mania littlething in the run-up to the event, and one of the first questions I asked her was how SUF came into existence.

“It actually started while being drunk with my partner,” she replied, laughing. “We had a Halloween event at our club and we got the idea to some time host a really big cool festival. That got realised in the summer of 2011, when we hosted the first ever Shivers Unleashed Festival!”

This year sees SUF take place on a dedicated region featuring a main stage for the headline acts, a second “Psychedelic Circle” (or PsyCircle) stage for DJ parties, a small marketplace area and a beach camp site where festival attendees can kick-back and simply enjoy the atmosphere. Over the three days of the event, a quite eclectic mix of music will be presented from acoustic / vocals through to synthpop and cyberpunk rock, going by way of electric blues, rock, metal, dubstep, psytrance and more. Given this mix, I asked Mania how the festival arrived at its line-up.

Shivers Unleashed - main stage
Shivers Unleashed Festival – main stage

“Well, the basic idea has always been to gather, in our opinion, best and most impressive artists of Second Life on our stage over the one weekend,” she replied. “Of course, because we’re looking for acts, our personal taste plays a role; but we start several months ahead of each festival, scouting around, asking those we’ve particularly liked if they would come back and perform. When we find cool acts we hadn’t previously come across, we invite them as well.”

She continued, “We’re also looking for new acts, or those who haven’t previously appeared at SUF. So this year, for example, we’re featuring Yadleen, a German composer who has only been performing in SL for the last four months.  But our main objective is to create a special event with special acts. And it’s always nice when we can bring acts who are not often to see in SL; this year, for example, we’re delighted to have Nnoiz Papp and Cyberpiper performing on stage!”

All of which adds up to an interesting mix – so, if you’re in the mood for music this weekend, why not drop in to Shivers Unleashed? Check the schedule below for acts and session times (all in SLT), and check-out the artists and bands in the Festival Guide. You can also catch a preview video for this years acts on YouTube.

Friday, July 8th – Live Sets

10:00 Dje Atolia  (France)
11:00 Psiquence
Noon Wolfie and the Bad Reputation (Gibraltar)
13:00 UKD Project  (Italy)
Plastik Guitar (Portugal)

Saturday, July 9th – Live Sets

08:00 Deceptions Digital (Germany)
09:00 Paris Cloyd (USA)
10:00 Bolt (South Africa)
11:00 Switchboard of Souls (USA)
Nnoiz Papp (Germany)
13:00 Cyberpiper (Luxembourg)
Paris Obscur and Lisa Brune (France)
Shivers Unleashed - PsyCircle stage
Shivers Unleashed Festival – PsyCircle stage

Sunday, July 10th – Live Sets

08:00 The Black Stripes (Japan)
09:00 Aminius Writer (Germany)
10:00 Zoz Quandry (UK)
11:00 Yadleen (Germany)
Option Y (USA)
13:00 Cellshader (USA)
Red Heaven (Canada)

Weekend DJ Sets – PsyCircle

Friday 15:00
Lunna Darwinian
Friday 16:00
Minna Freedom
Friday 17:00
Saturday 15:00
Saturday 16:00
Saaryi Ossic
Saturday 17:00
Annie of Fractal Psy
Saturday 18:00
Sunday 15:00
Shivers Unleashed - camp site
Shivers Unleashed Festival – camp site

Additional links


SL13B Music Fest auditions

The first round of the SL13B Music Fest Auditions
The first round of the SL13B Music Fest Auditions, held in Bay City

Friday, June 3rd saw the first round of auditions take place for the SL13B Music Fest. The event saw Linden staffers Xiola, Torley, Rider and Simon join music fans and local community members in gathering at an outdoor stage in Bay City to hear some of those who applied for the auditions (see my blog post on the auditions announcement).

Held between 12:00 noon and 2:00pm, as originally scheduled, the event venue hadn’t been advertised at the time of the original announcement, although SL residents were invited to attend as members of the audience. There didn’t appear to by any follow-up announcement on the selected venue (at least, none that I saw), and I only found out about it by dint of perusing the Destination Guide out of curiosity given there had been no update to the original official blog post, some 20 minutes after the event had started!

Xiola (to the front left) dances while Simon Linden (seated, front centre in his trademark top hat) listens, at the first round of the Music Fest auditions
Xiola (to the front left) dances while Simon Linden (seated, front centre in his trademark top hat) listens, at the first round of the Music Fest auditions

Nevertheless, those who did get the news and had hopped along to the event were all enjoying themselves (Xiola was bopping along nicely!), with folks taking the opportunity to join the judging panel seated in deck chairs, or simply standing in the open field and showing their appreciation for the acts.

If you’re interested in attending the second round of auditions as a member of the audience, you can do so from 18:00 through 20:00 SLT on Saturday, June 4th, and the same venue. The music fest itself will form a part of the upcoming SL13B celebrations later this month.

Benefit for Bri in Second Life

Benefit for Bri at the Starlight Ballroom, May 14th-31st, 2016

Commencing on Saturday, May 14th and running through until the end of the month is Benefit for Bri, a fund-raiser being held at the Starlight Ballroom to help the daughter of Second Life resident, artist and photographer, Tomais Ashdene.

Bri is currently studying at Purdue University, Indiana, to become a teacher, and is doing well. However, due to corporate downsizing, her family have hit some financial issues. So, to ease the burden on them of paying tuition fees, Bri launched a Go Fund Me campaign to raise the money she needs to continue with her education and obtain her qualifications.

Benefit for Bri has been organised by those close to Tomais, notably RickJ Ewing andr Kahvy Smith, to help raise funds to be put into the Go Fund Me campaign. The  shopping event featuring Consignment, Ex Machina, StoraxTree, Blue Balls, Powerdesgin, Fix Auto, Atelier by Stephano, Yer Old Gacha, Ohiomike’s Kilts, Lilliput for Tinies, Rosa Fashion, The Grey Goose, RickJ Designs, Sophie’s Choice, L.Querrien, Cake Fox, Photography by Tomais, Regimade, and Lazy Day Designs.

There will also be a benefit gala on Saturday, May 21st, featuring from 13:00 SLT, Samm Qendra, followed at 14:00 SLR by Reallymad Morpork, with DJ Kahvy spinning the tunes as well. Formal attire is requested, and the event is powered by JJ Goodman Event Photography.

Samm Qendra and Reallymad Morpork: singing at the Benefit for Bri gala, Saturday, May 21st
Samm Qendra and Reallymad Morpork: singing at the Benefit for Bri gala, Saturday, May 21st

Commenting on the event, the organisers  state:

Bri is an amazing young woman who found herself in a bit of a problematic financial situation as she is working hard to become part of the next generation of amazing teachers to our kids. All proceeds of this Benefit will go towards her Go Fund me Page after converting the lindens into USD and will be published there after the event.

SLurl and Additional Links

Smooth Fridays, Joy and music in Second Life

Caitinara Bar
Caitinara Bar

Caitinara Bar, the casual venue for music and relaxing at Holly Kai Park has been operating weekly series of DJ-led music events for the last couple of months, and has gained a small but loyal following – thank you to everyone who pops along!

We’re now very pleased to announce that starting on Friday, March 25th, Joy Canadeo will be joining the line-up with Smooth Fridays with DJ Joy, a two-hour session of music from 4:00 through 6:00pm SLT, to soothe away the cares of the week and help us glide into the weekend.

Every Friday from March 25th at Caitinara Bar
Every Friday from March 25th at Caitinara Bar

Caitlyn and I are looking forward to welcoming Joy to Caitinara, and very much hope you’ll be able to join us as well, every Friday from the 25th onwards, for Smooth Fridays with DJ Joy.

And There’s More…

Don’t forget: every Wednesday at the same time (4:00 til 6:00pm) we have Music with Anthony, bringing a blend of genres and themes to get us over the mid-week hump with Anthony Westburn. We’re particularly pleased to be able to announce that from Wednesday, April 6th, Music with Anthony will be presenting a monthly opportunity for people to have a little costume fun with out new Dress Up theme evenings.

We’ll be kicking these off on April 6th with The Spies Who Loved Me, a celebration of Bond, Bourne, Baur, Bristow (Sydney, that is), Black Widow, femme fatales and criminal mastermids with songs and hits from the movies and famous spy-ish TV shows. We’ll have full details of this new monthly series on the Holly Kai Park blog soon!

Caitinara Bar provides moorings for boats, access to the Holly Kai beach and, beyond, to Holly Kai Park and Art at the Park / Art at the Garden
Caitinara Bar provides moorings for boats, access to the Holly Kai beach and, beyond, to Holly Kai Park and Art at the Park / Art at the Garden

Then on alternate Sundays, Kess Crystal presents Feel Good Sundays  – music to get you into a positive, upbeat mood ready to face the week ahead. Kess will be back at the bar on April 3rd, and then on April 17th, with a mix of indie, pop, and more to keep us dancing and spirits high – so why not join us to round-out your weekend?

You can keep up with all of the activities at Caitinara Bar and at Holly Kai Park through the Holly Kai website and blog, which has all events listed in the Holly Kai Park calendar. So why not bookmark that as well?

Music with Anthony: Great American Songbook

Caitinara Bar, Holly Kai Park
Caitinara Bar, Holly Kai Park

Caitinara Bar will once more be hosting Music with Anthony on Wednesday, March 9th. To mark the return of the series after an absence of a week, Anthony will be presenting two hours of music from the Great American Songbook for your enjoyment from 16:00 through 18:00 SLT.

The Great American Songbook: classics for every generation
The Great American Songbook: classics for every generation

From the 1930s through to the present day, the Great American Songbook has enjoyed unrivalled popularity among singers the world over, and features some of the most enduring and best-loved songs ever recorded.

With songs by Gershwin, Porter, Berlin, Kern, Mercer, Rodgers, Hart, Hammerstein and others, sun by legends such as Sinatra, Bennett, Day, Horne, London, Lee, Martin and “King” Cole, these are tune which are instantly recognisable and still loved and recorded today around the world.

To mark the theme, smart casual or semi-formal dress is requested. Anthony, Boudicca, Caitlyn and I look forward to seeing you there!

SLurl Details

Holly Kai Park: Caitinara Bar opens with Anthony

Music with Anthony, Wednesdays 16:00-18:00 SLT at Caitinara Bar
Music with Anthony, Wednesdays 16:00-18:00 SLT at Caitinara Bar

When Nber invited me to take over curating art exhibitions at Holy Kai Park, I had no idea where things would lead. As I’ve noted in various reports in this blog, the work offered a lot of attractive elements: working with artists, building on the foundations laid by Nber and Autumnx with Art in the Garden and Art at the Park, to further develop the park for all kinds of artistic expression, as well as establishing a new Art Garden, and also redesigning some of the park  as well.

Part of the redesign at the park saw the installation of a bar on the west side of the park, overlooking the beach. This actually hadn’t been part of the original plan, but when I saw the building on the Marketplace, I had to view it in-world, and Caitlyn agreed that, with a little modification and adjustment, it would make a good addition to the beach and park. Thus was born Caitinara Bar.

Which left only one problem  – what to do with it?

Music with Anthony: Wednesdays 16:00-18:00 SLT at Caitinara Bar
Music with Anthony: Wednesdays 16:00-18:00 SLT at Caitinara Bar

Fortunately, I’m surrounded by good friends, so when Boudicca whispered in my ear that Anthony Wesburn, her partner, a DJ with 10 years experience in SL, and whose music I’ve previously enjoyed at their home region of Hestium (which is itself an absolute delight – read more about it here) – I jumped at the opportunity. And so was born Music with Anthony, a new 2-hour set hosted at the bar by Boudicca, Anthony, Caitlyn and myself every Wednesday  between 16:00 and 18:00 SLT, with the opening event taking place on Wednesday, February 3rd.

I admit to approaching the evening with a little trepidation; as Caledonia Skytower is teaching us in these pages with If you just build it, they might not come, getting a venue established needs a lot of promotion, and that’s something that, in-world, I’ve not had much exposure to (and am still learning by mistakes with the park!). But, the notices and invitations went out, and my fears were quickly put to rest. :); the response was fabulous, and we were quickly into a thoroughly enjoyable two hours of great music from the 1960s, great conversation, great company  – and a lot of fun!

Music with Anthony (clockwise from top left): Anthony; Terrygold and Coittolina; Michelle; BK; Alicia, Kerena, Ty and Romie – pictures by Romie Vella (thank you, Romie :) ) and via the Holy Kai Park blog
Music with Anthony (clockwise from top left): Anthony; Terrygold and Coittolina; Michelle; BK; Alicia, Kerena, Ty and Romie – pictures by Romie Vella on Flickr (thank you, Romie 🙂 ) and via the Holy Kai Park blog

Anthony’s style as a DJ is one of the most pleasant in Second Life, and his eye and ear for music are both superb. The playlist he put together, linked by anecdotes and jokes, and into which he neatly slotted requests from guests, was outstanding, with the music flowing seamlessly through the evening.

Hosting a music venue is a new experience for me, and I’d like to thank Anthony, Boudicca and Caitlyn for making the task so much easier for me (particularly when I was distracted by IMs and things!),. I’d also like to thank everyone for their feedback on the venue and support for the evening. We’re already planned some themed events as a result of the conversations!

I’d especially like to offer a very special thank you to CioTToLiNa Xue for her gift of a name plaque for the bar, which now graces the building and the deck and really completes the place.

Ciottolina's name plaques for the bar really add a touch of style, lit here using projectors.
Ciottolina’s name plaques for the bar really add a touch of style, lit here using projectors.

And finally, but by no means least, thank you to everyone who made the evening a success; we very much hope to see you back next week, and in the weeks to come – and to welcoming new guests and friends to Music with Anthony at Caitinara Bar 🙂 .