Players riding unicorns farting rainbows over the clouds with a giant Ariana Grande singing. Fortnite has never been gayer – and it was all the better for it.
The past weekend saw the latest in Fortnite’s music crossover events: The Rift Tour featuring Ariana Grande.
Previous performers include Deadmau5, Travis Scott and Marshmello, but Ariana is by far the biggest popstar to feature in the game – a significant milestone in gaming–music crossover events.
Excuse us, we love you
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) August 8, 2021
Yet where those performers had a more typical virtual stage setup, or towered over the existing map, The Rift Tour was more a game-within-a-game.
Akin to Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, the concert had players flying through rifts visiting different worlds for each Ariana track.
A sunrise over the ocean; glorious pastel bubbles in the sky; a speedway of blue, pink and white that screamed “trans rights”. There was even a shooting section on a plane early on that had players competing for points.
Fortnite The Rift Tour. (Epic Games)
And of course, a giant Ariana avatar loomed over every scene, shimmering in a crystalline outfit, signature ponytail flowing behind her, and glittering wings that made her look like a Final Fantasy summon. The finale had her slowly emerging from a crystal planet as players leaped around in low gravity to “positions”.
Perhaps best of all was an Escher-inspired world where Ariana slowly sashayed up a staircase of Grecian columns looking like a goddess; players following through portals that shifted perspectives.
That epitomised the surreal yet beautiful and classy visuals the Rift Tour offered up. Artistically, this was a stunning achievement.
It just needed more… Ariana. The main section was just short of seven minutes and was a medley of six tracks from her recent albums. Of course, there are plenty of bangers to choose from, but some of the older (and better) tracks would’ve been welcome – sorry, but where was “Into You”?
Ariana herself has supported the event on socials, but having the real Ariana prominent – not just the avatar – in the event would’ve been an amazing addition. Sadly, Lady Gaga was not included, despite rumours.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) August 6, 2021
Still, while numbers are yet to be released, The Rift Tour is likely to be the biggest event in Fortnite history, in terms of viewers. And perhaps in sales too: themed costumes and items are available to purchase, with plenty of Arianas watching Ariana throughout the weekend.
A technical wonder without hiccups and a visual feast, The Rift Tour was a prime example of music and games combining for a unique experience. Virtual concerts are undoubtedly the future. Thank you Ariana, who will be next?
Fans were certainly ecstatic at the event.
“A Helping Hand”
This was hands down my favorite part of the event It was so cool to see Fortnite paying tribute to all the people who lost their lives at an Ariana Grande concert bombing. I hope you guys enjoy this piece I made
Likes and retweets are appreciated pic.twitter.com/zVMl2sHLEg
— Purex (@PurexGFX) August 8, 2021
— Joe Burridge (@JoeFindsTalent) August 8, 2021
Ariana Grande Fortnite concert was MIND BLOWING.
— Nick Eh 30 (@NickEh30) August 7, 2021
OKAY BUT THE FORTNITE ARIANA CONCERT GAVE ME A RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE
— suqling (@suqling) August 7, 2021
If you missed it, you can watch Ariana Grande in The Rift Tour below.