Music is all about creating a connection between people, so it goes without saying that music festivals should be about creating an environment that fosters this connection; but, for a lot of festivals these days, it all seems to get lost in the noise somewhere along the way.
Then there’s Mettā Creative, an organization devoted to curating a connected, purpose-driven community — one that strives to live more sustainably and ultimately enhance the human experience. Their tools are the creative arts and, strangely enough, cryptocurrency.
The two come together in the context of Mettā Creative’s upcoming music festival, Beauty in the Backyard, during which a utility token, similar to digital currencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, will incentivize participation in certain activities and reward environmentally mindful behavior. As the currency can be redeemed or used at events, the underlying aim is to inspire more festivalgoers to seek memorable experiences with new people while also making a difference.
In all honesty, Bunk Buddha and Bassdread gracing the headlining slots of an event whose lineup boasts northeast heavyweights like Bitsky, 5AM, Malakai, Tygris, and Dice Man should be incentive enough to hit Camp Ramblewood from October 12th to the 14th. But if it isn’t, check out what Mettā Creative co-founder Dylan Nunn had to say about how Beauty in the Backyard will use this decentralized technology to foster a more connected community than ever before.
It sounds really unique what you guys are trying to accomplish here.
Dylan: Hopefully we’re doing a little more than trying! We’re working towards it, and it’s really exciting. It all started in college: I went to the University of Delaware to study hospitality and entrepreneurship. I got my degree and, in that learning process, another idea spurred which was working on the problem of unfulfilling nightlife that we experience in college – with the binge drinking and binge studying mentality. It’s really, really taxing on a lot of people.
In leaving school it was just apparent that we needed to create spaces that are more conducive to conversation, and spaces that are comfortable for people to connect.
And how does this all tie into the cryptocurrency aspect of future Mettā Creative events?
Dylan: In college we definitely got interested in Ethereum and knew this was going to be technology that would change the game in terms of contracts.
We really want to go into the concept of “proof of experience.”
Basically, the idea is to use RFID wristbands and have people digitally detox during the experience. So, we’d have certain charging stations at vendors (or certain points in the camp) where people can leave their phones and use little notebooks to go around and connect with people, get people’s numbers.
And do people get something out of having their phones plugged in?
Dylan: Exactly. Right now, we are developing our utility token and we just deployed in on Ethereum. It’s exciting and brings this full circle in terms of adoption: it allows us an ability to just airdrop people through fun activities.
It’s going to be called Mettā Coin (MTC). So, if you show up to this 6 a.m. yoga class, you’ll be airdropped tokens. Things that we want to promote and keep wholesome will be things that people are rewarded for. And that’s the main thing: keeping it fun, keeping it in person.
And once you have tokens, what can you do with them?
Dylan: Eventually you’ll be able to get tickets to our new experiences. Everyone is going to have a customized wallet when they come, which will allow them to store their tokens. At the end of the day, when the organization grows, we value those people with more tokens. Being able to track that on a distributed ledger is really incredible.
Sometimes, at these music festivals, you go to all these sets but you don’t remember who you saw or when. So, being able to tap into a beacon during the set so it can record it on a side chain, people will be able to see a little receipt of all the different sets they went to at which time; maybe even who they got to meet, because they tapped wristbands with somebody else.
It sounds a little scary, sometimes people don’t want to be found at festivals.
Dylan: Absolutely! So, just like Snapchat, you’ll have a ghost mode. You can swipe up or down to be on ghost mode.
For Beauty in the Backyard specifically, what are people going to be able to do, in relationship to crypto?
Dylan: We’ll definitely be getting an airdrop, so we’ll be giving tokens to people so they’ll be able to earn tickets to future events as they engage and participate in our experiences.
I will personally be hiding portions of my Bitcoin and Ethereum in the forest, in literal airdrop locations. So, if you haven’t actually received your first Bitcoin or Ethereum, I would invite people to come to Beauty in the Backyard and look for Bitcoin, have fun with each other, get to know new friends, and go on an adventure.
There was a member at Electric Forest actually who was dropping little capsules in the forest. You opened it to find a paper wallet inside with instructions on how to receive it.
We will also have Mettā Coin on our airdrops as well, because we can drop it on top of Ethereum. So, if you drop someone a little bit of Ethereum, it can come along with a token on top of it.
Do you feel crypto can change the world, and the world of art for the better?
Dylan: At a lot of music festivals’ enjoyment and fulfillment these days is measured by how many phones are up in the air. We’re changing that with wearable technology that incentivizes attendees to participate in the activities that inspire collaboration.
The really cool idea is that we can start to stake our token, time, and energy on different projects. Imagine how far we could be if we were to make functional art pieces or functional things for people to use in the future. We’re known for what we create together, and being creative together is the best way to connect.◆