Because virtual reality is so new, artists and organizations have managed to create a great deal of buzz with concerts in Second Life. Two years ago, when the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic streamed a video of a concert into virtual reality it created headlines in the New York Times, the Liverpool Telegraph, and many other newspapers due to the novelty of the activity. When major artists such as pianist Lang Lang have appeared in Second Life, they have been rewarded with both coverage in the mainstream press and also amateur YouTube videos and spin in the blogosphere.
For emerging artists, Second Life becomes one of a number of online strategies for promotion and dissemination. The Second Life community has been described as an international cyber tribe. If so, it is a large and growing tribe and savvy artists and arts organizations are finding that virtual reality is a great way to reach beyond regional and national borders. Second Life has its own media, and the popular news, radio and television stations covering events in virtual reality have proven to be a great way to communicate with this select group of high tech audience members. One interesting place to visit is the Second Life Cable Network.
Communication within SL is done primarily through groups that individuals can elect to join. Because avatars are limited to membership in a maximum of 25 groups, getting avatars to join your group is highly competitive. You are reaching a very select group of “opted in” classical audience members when you broadcast a classical concert on one or more of the main classical music groups.