As many of you know, Linkin Park is currently hosting a worldwide scavenger hunt in anticipation of the new album. In the short week since it began, the fans have already made this one of the most exciting album release events we've ever hosted. We haven't disclosed what is waiting for them at the end of it all, but we're all enjoying the trip there. I asked the fans at LPAssociation to give us a wrap-up of the events so far, and here's what they had to say:
If one thing has remained constant about Linkin Park throughout their evolution as a band, it's that they know how to put on a show for their fans, whether it be on the stage or off. With the upcoming release of their fifth studio album LIVING THINGS, the band has topped themselves once again with an interactive campaign involving cryptic messages, code cracking, puzzle solving and treasure hunting. The activities have sparked much intrigue throughout the LP community over the last two months, as dedicated fans across the world have come together to speculate and debate about the band's next moves. Where we're going, nobody knows, but we're excited to be along for the journey.
With last week's announcement of a real-world scavenger hunt, the band has once again stepped out of the box to engage their fan-base. It is the first time a Linkin Park album hype campaign has taken place outside the cyberworld, instead playing out in the backyards of some of the world's largest cities. The fervor at which the LP fan community has embraced this campaign is a testament to the band's worldwide presence and influence, and its scale and complexity makes this Linkin Park's most ambitious endeavor yet.
The journey began with an ambiguous tweet from Mike Shinoda on May 6th , which ignited much excitement among fans across social media and message boards. Two days later, the Linkin Park Scavenger Hunt was officially underway. The first clue was announced by Mike via Viddy. This would be the starting point for an ongoing campaign that would take Linkin Park fans on a journey around the world, and it all began Down Under...
Puzzle #1 - May 08th, 2012 - Sydney, Australia
The video Mike posted on Viddy revealed a map. LPA user Cure4TheItch quickly discovered that the bar was located on the campus of the University of Sydney Union. Since this clue was released in the dead of night in Australia, many fans in the region did not discover their role in the scavenger hunt until morning arrived. The dedication of Linkin Park fans became quickly evident with LPA member GloomyMushroom beginning a 2.5 hour journey to Sydney to help find and share whatever was waiting for us.
Fans were excited, curious and unaware of what we would find at Manning Bar and speculation amongst the community was high. It wasn't until Twitter user @MaDHacka tweeted the following image that we would have an idea of what we were getting ourselves into.
This poster, not out of place in your average college bar, was found on a wall space two floors below Manning Bar. The poster included a QR code which led to a new directory of the Linkin Park website located at http://linkinpark.com/youdidittoyourself, revealing the next location in the scavenger hunt to be Tokyo, Japan. Puzzle #2 - May 10th, 2012 - Tokyo, Japan
Upon accessing the new webpage at http://linkinpark.com/youdidittoyourself we were greeted with a message in Japanese. Working together, LPA user Kameiko enlisted the help of her Japanese friend @cammiechan for the translation which read the following:
"Last September, "A Thousand Horizons" took fans from all over the world here."
"May 10 or May 11. 11am-8pm only. Don't be early. Don't be late. One person only."
The second location was quickly narrowed down to be the NicoFarre Club located in the Roppongi district of Tokyo, Japan (this venue hosted Linkin Park's A Thousand Horizons event in September of 2011). Rallying fans online became the forefront of the puzzle, as it became crucial to have someone on hand to share their findings with the rest of the fan-base. Both @KaoruTK and @karinseino formed an alliance upon arriving at NicoFarre at 11AM on May 10th and were rewarded with our second clue of the hunt in the form of an envelope containing an address to an unknown Twitter account: http://twitter.com/youbetterhearme. Puzzle #2 Part 2 - May 10th / May 12th - "Allan" - Twitter
At this point in the game we were introduced to a character on Twitter named "Allan". The puzzle left the physical world and went online. As fans began to take notice, "Allan" played the role of an antagonist: Fans went to great lengths to spread the word that the next clue depended on "Allan" receiving 3000 followers, using Facebook, Reddit and Twitter to encourage people to follow @youbetterhearme. Mike Shinoda and Linkin Park also got involved, reigniting the drive in fans to promote the scavenger hunt, eventually reaching the goal of 3000 followers on May 11th. Seeing the band themselves interact with the scavenger hunt and the community taking part really made it feel like we're not segregated into different roles in the game. We're all in this together and Linkin Park want to see the fans succeed as much as the fans themselves do.
Upon reaching 3000 followers, "Allan" began to drop hints of the next location. He first began following Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper (@PMHarper), then changed his profile image change on Twitter, depicting the Toronto skyline. As "Allan" was teasing his followers with the involvement of the Canadian Prime Minister, fans got restless. Had we already been given the clue? Were we missing something in "Allan's" tweets? LPA member Cely_lp pointed out that there's a public park known as "Allan Gardens" in Toronto, could this be the next location? It wasn't until May 12th that "Allan" gave the location of the third clue, confirming Allan Gardens to be the location.
Puzzle #3 - May 13th, 2012 - Toronto, Canada
The photograph above shows a central location in Allan Gardens. Fans were instructed to check under the benches as seen in the image at exactly 1PM on May 13th. Multiple fans arrived at the location at 1PM to begin their hunt for the next clue; searching under benches, on statues and even in nearby bushes...but there were no clues to be found.
It wasn't until 2PM when the fans were approached by a man, appropriately asking "Did Allan send you?" before handing four fans a piece of paper containing the next clue. The four Twitter users @ericasibley, @thejaff2,7 @MartineAllard1 and @p33nny all helped solve Toronto, with the picture below: a building with no name, location, or identifying information. Puzzle #4 - May 15th, 2012 - Chicago, Illinois
Within seconds of the fans on location sharing the image, fans online began to work together to find the location of the building. LPA member Rappy hit the jackpot: the photo was taken at Lincoln Park Zoo, Gateway Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois.
Tomorrow, the puzzle continues, and we will we see just how deep the Linkin Park scavenger hunt will go.
As we approach the mid-point of the campaign it has become apparent that the Linkin Park Scavenger Hunt is becoming more immersive. What is most impressive is the fact that Linkin Park fans have fully embraced their participation in this campaign without even knowing what reward awaits us at the finish line. Fans from every corner of the globe have unified, collaborated, and pooled resources to solve each puzzle. Whether they are out there finding the clues, on message boards helping to solve the latest puzzle, or promoting the scavenger hunt through social media; there's a feeling of camaraderie between fans that makes achieving progress a tangible reward in itself. For something designed to hype up LIVING THINGS, this campaign has certainly taken on a life of its own.
If you're new to the scavenger hunt you can keep up with us and the fans, by following up to the minute updates at LPAssociation.com: http://www.lpassociation.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36248
--- Thanks to Derek and all the fans, named and unnamed, who have participated in the hunt so far. Keep an eye out for progress...the hunt may be coming to you next.