Janelle Monáe closes first season of HBO’s Lovecraft Country with a Virtual Reality Concert Experience

Work October 20, 2020

To celebrate the season finale of the new series Lovecraft Country, HBO closed out their Lovecraft Country: Sanctum Social VR experience tonight by transporting invited guests into Music of the Cosmos.

In this first-of-its-kind, groundbreaking social VR experience, 100 select influential voices experienced a series of events consisting of immersive theater, escape rooms, art installations and puzzles via the Oculus Quest headset. The event ran simultaneously on the social VR platform VRChat, which allows guests to talk and interact with each other in real time within the environment, and streamed to the world via YouTube Live.

The final event was a virtual reality concert given by Janelle Monáe, eight-time Grammy nominated singer-songwriter, leading film and TV actress and record producer, who gave fans an out-of-this-world performance as her first ever performance in virtual reality.

“I’m so excited to partner with HBO and The Mill to pioneer the future of concert experiences in Sanctum,” said Janelle Monáe before the event. “I always strive for innovation and this project gives me the special opportunity to celebrate Lovecraft Country (a show I’m a huge fan of) and connect with fans in a completely new way using virtual reality. This is the perfect platform to explore the impact of music and movement in a new dimension designed to celebrate Black art, stories and voices.”

The musical experience re-imagined the future of performances and live events, featuring a virtual environment that is interactive and directly impacted by the artist’s physical performance. Ahead of Monáe’s set, guests were invited into The Reliquary, a mystery room hosted by Lovecraft Country Michael Kenneth Williams, that was littered with artifacts from throughout the show and virtual experience – each with an accompanying audio snippet narrated by Williams.


Discover more about these Virtual Events in the Lovecraft Country: Sanctum Case Study.


Credits | The Mill:

Executive Creative Director: Rama Allen

Executive Producer: Desi Gonzalez

Experience Director: Aline Ridolfi

Design Director: Sally Reynolds

Technical Director: Kevin Young

Senior Producer: Hayley Underwood Norton

Strategist: Min Wei Lee