As Neon Carnival gets ready to return to the desert following a two-year hiatus, the coveted festival after party is also heading to the metaverse.
Paris Hilton will host the Neon Carnival experience in the metaverse in Paris World on the online gaming platform Roblox, giving the public an inside look at the exclusive event for the first time. Hilton launched the gaming experience Paris World on Roblox in October.
Brent Bolthouse, founder of Neon Carnival, spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about how the collaboration with Hilton came about, as well what event attendees can expect both in the metaverse and the real world.
“[Hilton’s] not kept it a secret that [Neon Carnival’s] her favorite party of the year and she loves it,” says Bolthouse. “That’s why she did her after wedding party at the pier in Santa Monica, because it had rides and kind of felt Neon Carnival-esque.” Hilton married entrepreneur Carter Reum in November 2021.
Ahead of this year’s Neon Carnival, presented by Levi’s and Tequila Don Julio in association with Liquid I.V., Bolthouse reached out to friend and business associate Reum, about the possibility of bringing the party to the metaverse with Hilton.
“It all came together really fast in like the last four weeks,” says Bolthouse. “This wasn’t a long plan. So everyone’s been working really hard to do that. We’re super excited to see how that plays out.”
The nightlife maven also says that he shared the Neon Carnival blueprints with Roblox, so the metaverse experience will closely match the party happening in the Coachella Valley.
“It was important to me that Roblox didn’t just have it be in Paris World,” says Bolthouse. “I wanted it to be like you need to leave Paris World, get on a bus or do something and go to Neon Carnival like you would do in the real world. Everything I’ve seen so far, the content looks really amazing.”
The event founder calls the collaboration that will feature a DJ set from Hilton a “great experiment” that will “hopefully” be “amazing.”
“It’s just kinda like this great experiment just for us to see how this plays out,” says Bolthouse. “It’s going to be up for a couple weeks. So, both weekends of Coachella we’re doing that.”
However, the Roblox experience isn’t the only Neon Carnival activation happening in the metaverse. Co-headlining sponsor Tequila Don Julio has partnered with artist and photographer Jose Silva to compile some of his most epic photos from the event over the years into an exclusive NFT, which unlocks tickets to this year’s otherwise invite-only event.
Only six NFTs are available for auction, with the six highest bidders each receiving four complimentary VIP passes to the event on April 16. As for those who do score an invite to the actual party, Bolthouse believes the energy will “be incredible this year.”
“I feel like obviously the entire world has just gone through a pretty traumatic time the past couple years on all levels,” says Bolthouse. “I think everyone’s really excited to sort of be outdoors and be doing something that we all really, really love that we haven’t done for three years, which seems crazy.”
Along with some new games and rides, the nightlife guru says attendees this year can expect to “dance the night away under the moonlight ’til the sunrise,” just like they have since Neon Carnival’s inception in 2010.