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Live Music in Second Life: Part Two

Concluding our two-part series, here's the latest on putting on a concert in Second Life.

The following is a transcript of " Traveling Avatar's Quick and Dirty Tips for a Richer Life," a podcast from The audio program is available via RSS feed here and at's podcast home page.

Will Ross here, welcome to

The Traveling Avatar's Quick and Dirty Tips for a Better Second Life

. On this show we discuss tips and tricks for the game Second Life, created by Linden Labs.

This week's episode: Live Music in Second Life: Part Two

Last week we talked about where to see live music and had some tips on being a good fan. This week we give some tips on performing live in Second Life and for hosting live performers. Just a note, we don't get into the technical issues of streaming feeds or gear for performers, since that would be way to much to tackle in our short time together.

First up, we're going to talk about how to make your venue "musician friendly."

Venue Advice

Venue design

. When designing a space for a live event, try to keep all of your seating within 20 meters of the prim microphone, and preferably within 15 meters, especially if there's an entire band. This will make sure that performers can hear all of the audience kudos.

Also, try to leave a little headroom in the venue above and behind the audience, because if the audience is anything like I am, they'll want to move their camera into a cinematic position for the event so they can see the performer -- and the audience.

Dance balls

. Make sure to buy at least one dance ball and put it in an easy to click place. You don't want your audience standing around like a bunch of junior-high kids at their first formal. You can also put down a few couples dance or cuddle poseballs, but don't overdo it. Not everyone is going to bring a date. If you need a good source of poseballs, check out Bits and Bobs. The Bits and Bobs store in Second Life stocks a wide variety of both single and couples poseballs, including dances, sitting and resting poses, and even wedding stuff. Bits and Bobs is located at

SLURL. (Note: You must have Second Life software installed on your computer to access this address.)

It should also go without saying that you should turn off local voice chat during live performances. But I said it anyway.

Keeping the stage clear

. Try to remove rotating spotlights and any invisible prims between the audience and the performer, because these can get in the way when trying to tip the artist or trying to look at his profile and get the information that a fan needs to become a stalker.

Event notices

. Also, event notices are a good thing, but please just send out one, unless there's some large change during the event. If the performer is playing another set, feel free to send out a new group notice, but notices like "The party is still going on" are likely to get people to drop from the group.

Encourage tipping

. Finally, if you're going to host a live act, make sure to do everything you can to make the performers feel welcome and assist them in giving your customers the best experience possible. Have a tip jar on hand that you can loan them, and tastefully encourage your customers to tip. (Note that I said, "tastefully.")

TheStreet Recommends

The right way:

If you're enjoying the music, please consider donating to the artist and help support live music in Second Life.

The wrong way:

Tip the (bleeped expletive) band or I'll kill you, you cheap (beeped expletives).

You can also set aside a block of lindens and tip a little bit of it after every song as a little reminder to the crowd. Because remember, tipped performers are happy performers.


. Also, make sure to have at least one person available the entire time with full security privileges, just in case you catch

a random griefer or an overly enthusiastic fan.

Musicians talk, and a good reputation will go a long way to helping you book great acts in the future.

Performer Advice

So you want to be a rock superstar? Live large? Prim house? Flying cars? Yeah, yeah, so I'm ripping off both Cyprus Hill


Alan Cumming with that intro, but in my defense, how many people really saw "Josie and the Pussy Cats?" The answer ... not nearly enough. Anyway, I can't give you advice on how to be a better musician, but I can help you avoid a few common pitfalls. Here are a couple of tips for musicians playing in Second Life.


. Create a group and let your fans know where and when you're playing, but as I said earlier regarding venues, don't flood people with messages.

Tip jars

. Also, bring your tip jar and make it obvious. A tip jar shaped like a guitar case is cool, but if we don't know it's a tip jar, it won't get filled up with lindens. If you are going to use a nonstandard tip jar, let people know, and toss a floating text script into it that says "Tip Jar" so we know where to put our cash.


. Finally, pimp your Web site, pimp your CD, pimp whatever you want. But try to do it no more often than every couple songs. Don't be that radio station that's 60% commercials and 40% content. Not that I dislike those stations -- bad radio keeps us podcasters in business.

That's it for this episode!

Will Ross, a Second Life explorer and professional slacker, writes and records the

Traveling Avatar articles and podcasts. Following a stint in college where he came dangerously close to earning a degree in history, Will Ross spent countless hours of his life in a number of online worlds including Worlds of Warcraft, Everquest, Ultima Online, and City of Heroes before making a permanent home on Eldoe Island in Second Life. To request a topic or share a tip, send an email to or call 206-888-MYSL.