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The Weeknd Fans Celebrate Fortnite Festival Launch With Times Square Flash Mob

The 300 Abel-alikes dressed like the singer's in-game skins during the Saturday night (Dec. 9) takeover of the iconic downtown TKTS staircase.

Abel Makkonen Tesfaye better known as The Weekend performs during a concert as part of the 'After Hours Til Dawn' tour at BBVA Stadium on Sept. 26, 2023 in Monterrey, Mexico.

Abel Makkonen Tesfaye better known as The Weekend performs during a concert as part of the 'After Hours Til Dawn' tour at BBVA Stadium on Sept. 26, 2023 in Monterrey, Mexico.

Medios y Media/Getty Images

If you happen to be waltzing through Times Square over the weekend and you got a glimpse of The Weeknd, or 300 Weeknds, then you weren’t seeing things. The eye-popping downtown New York scene on Saturday night (Dec. 9) came courtesy of a 300-person flash mob assembled on the TKTS staircase in the heart of Times Square to celebrate the new Fortnite Festival game.

The dancers were all dressed in a variety of After Hours-era Weeknd looks — which are available as skins in the game — to celebrate the singer’s (who now goes by his given name, Abel Tesfaye) debut as the headliner for the game in which players can jam out with friends. The outfits modeled by the dancers included the red jacket and black pants outfit the Weeknd wore throughout the After Hours era, as well as the white mask and white shirt and white mask and black outfit as they all danced to “Blinding Lights” for a reported crowd of 15,000.


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Fortnite Festival launched on Saturday and it allows players to perform their favorite songs solo or with their friends by tapping out notes, with Tesfaye serving as the game’s first headliner. On the Main Stage, users can choose songs for their setlist and used their preferred control method to rip it up on guitar, bass, keytar, drums or vocals; up to four players can be on the Main Stage at once.

The Weeknd is the latest artist to team up with Fortnite for a music event, following virtual concerts by Eminem, Ariana Grande, Travis Scott, Marshmello and Kid Cudi. In April, Coachella teamed up with Fortnite for a game called Coachella Island, which featured a virtual world inside the Fortnite universe with mini-games, Coachella-themed merch, art installations and virtual versions of the fest’s iconic ferris wheel and Spectra building.

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Check out footage of the flash mob below.

This article was first published by Billboard U.S.

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