On June 23rd, 2023, the pioneering virtual world of Second Life will turn 20 years old. The 20th annual Second Life birthday celebration (SL20B for short, in keeping with the customary style of abbreviation of previous years) will be held from June 22nd to July 11th, 2023.
I’m quite sure that many of the literally millions of people who have set up SL accounts and created avatars over the years (many of which were abandoned after a day, a week, a month, or a year) never dreamed that Second Life would reach this epic milestone. And for 16 of those 20 years, I myself have been in Second Life, part of a small but passionate user base who may have taken a hiatus from time to time, but never truly left.
Despite the doomsayers, SL is still going strong, and still makes a tidy profit for Linden Lab, the company which created and maintains Second Life. As in previous years, the SL20B celebrations will feature live music and many other kinds of performances, some shopping, and some amazing exhibits by the many communities and cultures which make their home in Second Life.
A featured news post on the community pages explains how this year’s theme was chosen:
This year we wanted a theme that not only reflects on where we have been but embraces where we are going. We are celebrating twenty years of Second Life. That is an amazing realization. Who could have imagined in 2003 the vibrant, engaging, and creative community we are in 2023? We are living the future that was only a dream twenty years ago. Now we are projecting the future we hope to see as we move ahead another twenty years as both a community and a world.
We are pleased to announce our Birthday theme for this year: Our Fantastic Future. The cornerstone of this idea is what we would define as eco-futurism including sustainability, a focus on our environment, and the next generation of our world. Some might call this science fiction, but what is science fiction except a dream for a possible future? In Second Life, we build worlds. Our worlds, our way. For SL20B, we invite you to show us your worlds of the future!
And you can be a part of the celebration! At the moment, Linden Lab is searching for musical performers:
To get things started, we are opening applications for Music Fest, to be held on June 22nd-24th. Music Fest will kick off the overall SL20B celebration with three days of live music performances featuring some of the most talented live musicians in Second Life!
To sign up for a Music Fest audition, please complete this application form by April 9th, 2023.
We are also opening up applications for the general performance schedule. Why celebrate for one day when we can party for a week?! We are looking for all types of performers to join the week-long festivities from June 25th to July 2nd. Are you a DJ who can spin up a great party set, or a live performer who can jam all night? You might be one of the grid’s amazing dance companies, or perhaps you’re a particle performer? One of the things that makes Second Life so vibrant and exciting is the wide range of performers who share their talent with our residents. Whatever your medium, we would love to hear from you!
Fill out the official performer application form by May 14th, 2023, and tell us a little about how you roll.
While we encourage all interested performers to sign up, please note that it does not guarantee a spot. We will review all submissions and extend audition invitations via a follow-up note in-world to the SL username that you provide.
In addition, there are calls for SL20B exhibitors and volunteers, with a deadline of May 14th, 2023 for each:
Share your Second Life passions with us. Your interests. Your communities. Your world! Every year we celebrate because of you, the amazing and creative residents who have chosen to call Second Life home. What has drawn you into this world, and what keeps you here? These annual festivities are an opportunity to show us what fuels your Second Life. Let’s celebrate that together!
New this year, we are offering two types of exhibitor regions, General rated regions and Adult rated regions.
If you would like to participate as an exhibitor with a presence at SL20B, then please fill out this exhibitor form no later than May 14th.
We’re also looking for volunteers to assist during the celebrations. We are seeking Residents with great people skills and a passion to share the best of Second Life to help us make SL20B a huge success!
If you have the Second Life spirit and stamina to promote SL20B events and serve as a guide for huge crowds, we’d love for you to fill out the volunteer application by May 14th!
There’s a Flickr pool of photos taken at past birthday celebrations here.
This freebie fashionista expects some truly epic gifts, both at the Shop and Hop event and at various locations on the SL20B fairgrounds.
So dust off your old avatar, and save the date!