On July 8, superstar artist The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) will play the first date of his ‘After Hours Til Dawn’ world tour at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
According to an announcement from the artist, the stadium tour will be “the first global concert tour to integrate Web 3.0 technology for an enhanced fan experience”, with cryptocurrency exchange Binance named as the tour’s official sponsor.
Binance has collaborated with Toronto-based HXOUSE, a so-called “think-center and community incubator” for creative entrepreneurs, to release an exclusive NFT collection for The Weeknd’s tour, along with co-branded tour merchandise.
Attendee’s virtual ticket stubs can also gain access to “commemorative” NFTs which Binance says will provide unique experiences for fans.
The Weeknd’s partnership with Binance follows this week’s news that Binance Labs, the venture capital and incubation arm of Binance, closed a new $500 million investment fund supported by institutional investors like DST Global Partners, and Breyer Capital.
Binance says the new fund will invest in projects that “can extend the use cases of cryptocurrencies and drive the adoption of Web3 and blockchain technologies”.
The media statement announcing the tour sponsorship also notes that The Weeknd launched the XO Humanitarian Fund earlier this year, as a United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Global Goodwill Ambassador.
To mark the launch of the tour, Binance says it will donate $2 million to the XO Humanitarian Fund, which is administered by World Food Program USA.
Additionally, The Weeknd and Binance are creating a specially designed NFT collection and they say that 5% of its sales will be donated to the XO Humanitarian Fund.
“Binance is all about the community, about people, about inclusion. I was impressed by their focus on users and innovative edge,” said The Weeknd.
“It made perfect sense to work together and I can’t wait for fans to experience crypto within a creative avenue while supporting a good cause. There are so many possibilities with crypto and I think this is just the beginning.”
Binance Co-Founder Yi He, added: “We are excited to be an exclusive crypto partner of The Weeknd’s tour, giving fans and people the ability to interact with crypto in a new avenue.
“Crypto is community-centric and we believe this partnership embodies that, including empowering local artists and giving back, through a mainstream platform.”
As part of the agreement, Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) will administer The Weeknd’s songwriting catalog and all his future works, “in a new long-term deal, upon expiration of his existing commitment”.
The wide-ranging deal also builds on the relationship between The Weeknd and UMG’s Republic Records, which has been his label partner since 2012 and which, UMG says, will remain his label partner for future recorded music releases.
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