- The party features performances by Cardi B, Ludacris, Lil Yachty, Killer Mike.
- Shaq will play a DJ set under the moniker DJ Diesel.
- The VR set features a roller rink, basketball court and main stage.
Legendary American former professional basketball player Shaquille O’Neal is hosting a virtual reality New Year’s Eve party on Meta’s social and VR platforms.
“The Shaq-tacular Spectacular” is an hour-long virtual reality special produced for Meta’s platforms featuring performances by Cardi B, Ludacris, Lil Yachty, Killer Mike, and Whipped Cream. Shaq will play a DJ set under his stage name, DJ Diesel. Former NFL player Rob Gronkowski and model Camille Kostek will also make an appearance at the party.
The VR set features a roller rink, basketball court and main stage. In addition to the celebrity performers, a marching band, cheerleaders, pro roller skaters, and basketball players will ring in the new year along with fans attending the event in VR. The party will also include dance-offs which VR users can replicate in the virtual experience.
“This year we’re ringing in 2023 with new experiences and connections. I’m excited to celebrate with some of my favorite artists and athletes in a way that you can enjoy with friends and family in VR across the world,” Shaq said in a statement. “From music, laughs and much more, we’re celebrating New Year’s Eve and welcoming 2023 with a spectacular party you won’t want to miss!”
Produced by Westbrook Media, Media.Monks and O’Neal’s Jersey Legends Productions, in partnership with Meta, the project is an attempt to advance Meta’s metaverse ambitions as it uses entertainment to drive users to the virtual world.
In February, Mark Zuckerberg revealed announcing the fiscal fourth quarter and full year 2022 results that Facebook struggled to add to its monthly active users. The company also announced a significant decline in its net income. However, Zuckerberg remains optimistic about the long-term opportunities of the metaverse.
Meta’s previous metaverse entertainment projects include a virtual concert with a computer-generated avatar of late rapper the Notorious B.I.G., “Eli Roth’s Haunted House: Trick-VR-Treat,” starring Vanessa Hudgens, and a VR experience for Jordan Peele’s movie, ‘Nope.’
“Virtual reality has become such an exciting new way to experience and participate in and engage with entertainment and culture,” Westbrook Media president Brad Haugen said. “We are thrilled to partner with Shaq, the team at Jersey Legends, Media.Monks and Meta and invite audiences to spend New Year’s Eve with some of their favorite performers and athletes in a way that truly allows them to feel like they are in the room too.
“The Shaq-tacular Spectacular” will premiere Saturday, Dec 31, at 3:30 p.m. PT, in Meta Horizon Worlds and on Meta Quest TV, via in the Meta Quest 2 headset. Users can also join in the festivities on O’Neal’s Facebook and Instagram pages and in Messenger’s Watch Together.
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