Cate Manning | @catemanning

As live events and concerts have mostly gone extinct in the past year, venues like Lawrence’s Bottleneck and Granada are unable to host this year’s Farmer’s Ball. Instead, several KJHK members have taken it upon themselves to build the locations in Minecraft. The game has proved to be a popular site for hosting virtual concerts and Farmer’s Ball semi-finalists have the opportunity to perform in KJHK’s own Minecraft server. Like organizing a concert, building a virtual world is anything but an easy task.

KJHK’s In-Studio’s Director Cole Billings set up the Minecraft server, which will allow people to virtually attend Farmer’s Ball. Building detailed real-life locations, such as KJHK’s studio and Lawrence’s music venues, in the game is different and more difficult than playing for fun.

“Me and a bunch of my friends had played Minecraft for a long time, but I wouldn’t say that I was the most experienced with building anything,” Billings said. “We would build for fun because you kind of have to build things, but this is my first time where I’ve actually set out to build XYZ and it has to look a certain way. Usually, I just kind of go with the flow, but you have to have more planning and stuff in something like this.”

For the past month or so, the server has seen the construction of the KJHK station in the KU Memorial Union, as well as a stage and venue similar to the Granada, where each band will make an appearance.  While he can’t remember the exact date that work started on the server, Billings said it’s been moving along thanks to the help of a couple other builders.

“There’s been a few people that have hopped on: mostly just other members of [KJHK.] But, yeah, it’s been open to whoever,” Billings said. “Obviously, not everybody has Minecraft, so I wasn’t really expecting too much, but people have been very helpful and hopped in and done what they could.”

The final product will be worth the wait.

The semi-final performances will be streamed on Thursday, April 8 at 7 p.m. and then, vote for the finalists. Finals will take place on Saturday, April 10 at 7 p.m. with a winner announced later that night. You can register to join the free event and get more information at ku.universitytickets.com.

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