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An Oregon music festival lives on as a surreal and charming MMO, this weekend only

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Nearly every summer for more than 50 years, thousands of people have gathered in Veneta, Oregon, a little town 13 miles west of Eugene, to party. The Oregon Country Fair is an annual art and music festival with an eye to the region’s history of counter-culture movements and environmental activism, staged as a non-profit, family friendly affair. But, as with most public events, the Oregon Country Fair was cancelled this year due to the rapid spread of COVID-19. 

Cancelled in person, at least. 

The Oregon Country Fair in the Clouds is the festival’s first virtual showing, but it’s not just some simple webcast. The entire outdoor venue, multiple stages and walkways strewn about the Oregon forest, have been recreated in glorious low-poly—a wholly volunteer effort. We’re talking bulky cauliflower trees and blurred swatches of grass and dirt that look straight out of Everquest. And you can explore the whole thing in first-person. 

(Image credit: Oregon Country Fair)

Performers are streaming their sets into virtual screens nested in each scene while attendees wander and congregate around stages, chatting openly. Yeah, mics are hot and on by default, but you can block anyone causing a ruckus. That’s a nice upgrade from the usual concert setting, honestly. 

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