Tonight about 500 people will wait in a Chapel Hill parking lot for shuttles to take them to an undisclosed location.
It’s not a secret mission — it’s MTV and Intel’s The Music Experiment concert, featuring alternative pop artist Santigold.
The Music Experiment is a series of four interactive concerts featuring various artists in Portland, Ore., New York, Los Angeles and Chapel Hill.
The experiment does not disclose the concert venues.
Ticket distribution locations are revealed when locals tweet using the phrase #musicexperiment. With each new tweet, a map zooms in on the location.
The concert series has been organized by MTV Iggy, a new MTV project that focuses on global music and culture.
Nusrat Durrani, general manager and senior vice president of MTV World, said MTV wanted to go to Chapel Hill because of its huge youth audience and rich musical history.
“We really needed to anchor this in sort of a college town that has an organic music experience,” he said. “We had to go to Chapel Hill. It’s really a town that’s all about the music.”
Durrani said MTV did not pick artists specifically for the cities, but Santigold turned out to be a good fit for Chapel Hill.
“She’s an artist who likes to push the boundaries artistically,” Durrani said.
Santigold, whose real name is Santi White, said in an email that she likes the concept behind The Music Experiment.
“I think it’s interesting to have these secret shows where fans win tickets to come, especially now days (sic) where social media is such a big thing,” White said.
Katrina Bond, a UNC freshman, said she was late joining the Twitter campaign, which started two weeks before tickets were available Sunday at The Clothing Warehouse on Franklin Street.
“I found out about it and became interested literally the day before the tickets were on sale,” she said.
Bond said she found out about The Music Experiment from a friend.
When the experiment reached its tweet quota Saturday and revealed the tickets would be distributed at The Clothing Warehouse, Bond said she ran there around 6:30 p.m.
Tickets weren’t being sold yet, so she and a few friends staked out The Clothing Warehouse, driving by several times during the night and camping out in front of the store with rugs at about 9 a.m. Sunday.
“We were so into it,” Bond said, adding she’s not the biggest Santigold fan, but enjoys her music nonetheless.
“We have dance parties to her music all the time,” she said. “Her music is definitely not what you would hear anywhere else.”
Bond said each person in line received two tickets, which instruct attendants to dress in costume according to a “Surreal Magic” theme and go to a specified parking lot — at 184 N. Columbia St. — at 7 p.m. for shuttles.
Durrani said MTV worked with the UNC Department of Dramatic Art to choose the theme, which he said is a perfect fit for Chapel Hill.
“We found that this is a very interesting city. People really like to dress up,” he said.
Durrani said audience members will be involved in the show — they will be featured in a video of the concert, and any pictures taken of the audience will be displayed during the show.
“It’s not just about bringing our audience amazing musicians, but also about bringing the audience into the experience.”
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