(All photography credits go to @SladeDaCat)
February Friday the 26th was a rainy day as the SlyFestMinis team set up the stage for the evening show. Hopeful attendees held their breath as they saw the rain pouring down, fingers crossed the weather would turn for the better. Noses buried in their phones, hope almost lost, they got the signal, “We begin the journey at 8:00 PM EST!” read SlyFest’s twitter.
As the rain miraculously stopped and the clouds parted revealing a beautiful sunset, Sly was running around making the final preparations for the launch of the SS Sly. Strings of bulbs lit up the corridor of shipping containers, with lights dancing across the puddles that had pooled on the docks almost as if they were designed to do so. A cluster of containers created a dance floor, the focal point being a modest LED lit stage with the whole dock being overshadowed by the impressive cruise ship the show was celebrating.
The gates were almost ready to open when Sly put the final touch on the event. Opening a ziplock bag, using tweezers, he carefully pulled out what looked like a napkin. Imbued with the image of a whale, the cloth was soaked in something that smelled like vinegar. Sly placed it at the entrance of the dance floor next to a couple of glow sticks. The show was ready to begin.
Eager attendees flooded in across multiple instances of the VRchat world. Quickly breaking off into groups, they explored the docks. Warmed by the barrel fires near the sticker wall and fueled by their own excitement, the energy of the crowd started to build.
Fireworks decorated the air as music began to echo throughout this sea faring launch point signalling the start of the event. Donned in magnificent outfits, party goers filled the dance floor, some climbing the large metal storage units to get a better view. Fire, heart, and “GO” Emojis filled the air as guests laughed, shouted, and danced in their full body tracking. Spirits and frames were high throughout the whole event as multiple DJs showed off their best sets to date.
Attendees traded avatars, caught up with old friends, made new ones, and engaged with each other in youthful child-like jubilance. Some reminisced on the original SlyFest flagship event, equating their current feelings to those felt back in October. They remarked on the magnificent qualities of the boat floating before them, eager to hop aboard.
As the 5 hour event came to a close, Sly delivered an impassioned speech speaking high praise of the large staff that made it possible to bring this dream to fruition. He doubled down on the fact that what everyone had experience would not be possible if it weren't for the support of those who volunteered their time and with the energy brought by the many fans of SlyFest. He reassured everyone that this night was just the beginning of a multi month long journey across the virtual seas, and expressed his own excitement for the destinations the whole SlyFest team would be bringing everyone.
Patrons then continued to hang out on the docks, not wanting to leave the warm feeling of emotional contentment till the glow of the morning twilight rose in the sky. The SS Sly then gave off a few toots of its horn as it was soon ready to embark on the open seas.