Change The Ref Brings Guacathon into The Metaverse, a Celebration Of Joaquin “Guac” Oliver’s Life

The occasion takes place on Roblox and features a digital efficiency by rapper Denzel Curry and a collaboration with road artist Shepard Fairey, in addition to minigames and digital items for a trigger

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Since 2020, the household of Joaquin “Guac” Oliver has thrown a energetic birthday celebration for him, dubbed “Guacathon,” riffing on Joaquin’s nickname “Guac” and making it an annual custom following Joaquin’s assassination on the Parkland, FL faculty capturing.

Joaquin’s dad and mom Manuel and Patricia Oliver, vocal advocates of artistic activism and youth empowerment towards frequent sense gun legal guidelines, need extra younger individuals to expertise the get together and have fun Joaquin’s birthday and life—and to make a optimistic impression on their world. To do that, they and the group they based, Change the Ref, have listed the main metaverse improvement studio MELON to convey guacathon to Roblox on August 4, 2022.

on August 4Joaquin’s twenty second birthday, a celebration will happen within the Guacathon expertise. An in-person, unique occasion will accompany this present day’s celebrations in New York Metropoliswith invitees which might be shut associates and allies to Patricia and Manuel Oliverwho’ve been invited to this gathering to commemorate the life and continued legacy and activism of their son.

Guacathon will unfold as a digital city pageant, full of individuals listening to music, interacting with artwork, and capturing hoops. Fiercely unbiased Miami-raised MC Denzel Curry will carry out on the mainstage, bringing songs from his most up-to-date album, the critically-acclaimed Soften My Eyez See Your Future, in addition to his storied catalog to the stage. Curry has labored intently with among the most fun names in music, from rap titans like Ross Rosso and T-Ache, to idiosyncratic bass maestro Thundercat and legendary producer Robert Glasper, amongst others. He has just lately appeared on The Tonight Present Starring Jimmy Fallon, NPR’s Tiny Desk Live performance and carried out present stopping freestyles for Funk Flex and LA Leakers. 2022 has seen Denzel Curry cement himself as some of the very important names in rap after a decade-long ascent from underground icon.

“There’s been quite a lot of misuse of weapons in the US that declare the lives of many, I’ve misplaced quite a lot of family and friends members to gun violence,” remarks Curry. “Right this moment is not a tragic day for the household of Joaquin…at this time is a day we have fun the lifetime of Joaquin to the fullest to indicate his legacy won’t ever be forgotten and that now we have brighter days but to come back.”

Across the digital block get together, Roblox neighborhood members will be capable of view a brand new portrait of Joaquin, created by underground legendary artist and viral phenom Shepard Fairey, whose ubiquitous OBEY marketing campaign and Obama HOPE poster designs impacted and moved hundreds of thousands. As well as, Fairey’s work has been exhibited in museums comparable to MOMA and the Victoria and Albert. That is Fairey’s first interactive public artwork undertaking on Roblox.

“I’ve seen how artwork can shift the dialog and produce us collectively in politically and culturally significant methods,” notes Fairey. “I am keen to look at this similar factor unfold within the metaverse and to see if we are able to begin a brand new dialog round gun security and violence that is led by the younger individuals too typically impacted by it.”

Together with performances and participatory artwork experiences, Guacathon will even function customized minigames reflecting Joaquin’s loves, together with road artwork and basketball. Paint Zone lets guests seize a digital spray paint can and compete in a race to tag as many areas and earn as many factors as attainable. Hoop Jam challenges sports activities followers to beat the clock and make more and more troublesome pictures. In each minigames opponents earn tokens that can be utilized to unlock digital merch that commemorates the occasion, together with a Roblox model of Guac’s guitar and a particular Guac jersey. All proceeds from these gross sales go to Change the Ref. As well as, Shepard Fairey and Denzel Curry will provide a number of particular digital gadgets, with half the proceeds from the sale of these things going to Change the Ref.

In celebrating Joaquin’s life, the Olivers wish to spotlight the function younger individuals can play in talking up and supporting significant change of their communities. “We’re not having a second of silence. We’re having a celebration,” explains Joaquin’s mom Patricia. “I am grateful for the metaverse, for having a spot the place my son may help individuals join and share his life. I need his friends to take pleasure in a celebration in his honor and make associates along with his metaverse self.”

Most significantly, Joaquin will seem as an avatar at his household’s request all through the expertise, serving as an inspiration for the festivities. It displays Change the Ref’s perception that we are able to shift our relationship to gun violence and security by optimistic, clever work collectively. This metaverse version of Guacathon continues a number of years of tech-forward, celebrity-hosted digital occasions on platforms like Fb Stay and Twitch, all of which mirrored this dedication to artistic activism and youth empowerment.

“It is an honor to work with the Oliver household and produce Joaquin to the metaverse. Manuel and Patricia’s energy and love for all times is an inspiration that has pushed this undertaking,” notes Josh Neuman, co-founder and co-CEO of MELON. “We hope that Guacathon strikes younger individuals by this celebration, and that they’ll really feel the fervour of this particular household and the neighborhood they’ve constructed round them.”

Guacathon opens on August 4, 2022. Denzel Curries premier efficiency takes place at 3pm PST on FridayAugust 5 and he’ll repeat an encore efficiency each hour till 11pm PST on August 7.

About Change the Ref

Change The Ref (CTR), was shaped to empower Future Leaders. CTR offers the youngsters of at this time the instruments they should be empowered to make adjustments to important points that have an effect on our nation, by training, dialog, and activism. It makes use of city artwork and nonviolent artistic confrontation to show the disastrous results of the mass capturing pandemic. Change The Ref’s final purpose is to provide the younger era of survivors and victims a disrupting voice to assist cleared the path to alter – a extra peaceable future.


Based in 2017, MELON is a powerhouse improvement studio for the metaverse. They’re creating authentic recreation properties and constructing among the most revolutionary experiences throughout sports activities, music, movie/TV, trend and types on the Roblox platform and past. MELON’s partnerships with main music labels and shopper product IP have gathered and engaged a whole bunch of hundreds of thousands of visits world wide.