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Massive Minecraft music festival postponed, refunds offered

"It's not fair to anyone involved to deliver a subpar experience," the organizers of the Rave Family Block Fest say.

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Minecraft's first virtual music fest ran into problems.

Michael Tullberg

A giant virtual online music festival set to take place within Minecraft this weekend was postponed, organizers said. The Rave Family Block Fest had been expected to feature Deadmau5 and Felix da Housecat, among hundreds of real-life acts on phantasmagorical sets. Attendees, who paid between $10-$15 to access the festival, found "major functionality issues," Billboard reports. Organizers said refunds can be requested through Eventbrite and would be issued within 48 hours.

"It's not fair to anyone involved to deliver a subpar experience and knowing what we've actually built versus what we were able to deliver is heartbreaking," organizers said in a Facebook message. "People who attended paid for an experience that they deserve." 

Although no rescheduled date was given, organizers sounded optimistic the festival could still happen in the future. "I want to be clear that this was never meant to be a one-time event, but rather the start of movement," the Facebook message read.

Originally set to take place June 25 to 28, the festival was moved to July 9 to 13 to avoid clashing with the Minecraft Nether update. 

Rave Family Block Fest had been planned as Minecraft's first virtual music festival, featuring 850 performers on 65 stages. Attendees could design their own campsites and  hop between stages in a model of the Tardis from time-traveling TV show Doctor Who.  Many of the stages were conceived by artists, and included Red Blocks -- a virtual version of the legendary Colorado outdoor arena Red Rocks -- and Thunder Mifflin, based on the Dunder Mifflin office from, well, from The Office.

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Minecraft

The festival was meant to run on both the Java and Bedrock versions of Minecraft, so attendees -- known as "Loozers," for some reason --  could play on desktop or mobile. 

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Ticket prices started at $10 for a weekend pass plus three extra encore weekends to see anything you missed the first time. VIP add-ons start at $15 and include access to extra worlds, stages, artist sets, early arrival and group camping.

Some of the major acts that had been scheduled to appear included:

  • Anabel Englund
  • Blondish
  • Bob Moses
  • Carl Craig
  • Deadmau5
  • DJ Soda
  • Ekali
  • Felix da Housecat
  • Ivy Lab
  • Kevin Saunderson
  • Khruangbin
  • The Knocks
  • Krafty Kuts
  • Luciano
  • Maya Jane Coles
  • MK
  • Paris Hilton
  • Rudimental
  • DJ Sneak
  • Seth Troxler
  • Sherelle
  • Skream
  • STS9
  • Todd Terry

The festival changed its name to avoid association with a suddenly high-profile hate group tied to a recent homicide.

Originally called Electric Blockaloo, the virtual festival was renamed to distance the fun from the far-right extremist boogaloo movement that wants to spark a race-focused civil war in the US. The movement's name comes from the 1984 cult film Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo and wasn't generally known until the shooting death of a federal security guard on May 29 in Oakland, California.

CNET's Gael Fashingbauer Cooper contributed to this report.