On Wednesday, April 29, Jay Z announced a truly one-of-a-kind New York concert in which he will perform songs that haven’t appeared on his setlists in more than a decade — along with a few songs he’s never performed ever before.
According to Rolling Stone, the concert, called “Tidal X: Jay Z B-Sides,” will take place May 13 at an unnamed “intimate New York City” venue — and even at such short notice, there’s no shortage of event and party venues to choose from in the Big Apple.
The catch? Only subscribers of his new streaming service, Tidal, will be able to get tickets to the concert.
To get tickets to this highly anticipated show, Tidal users must curate a unique playlist that impresses Hova himself, using the hashtag #TIDALXJAYZ, before the contest ends on May 8.
Jay Z’s announcement comes days after the rapper took to Twitter to defend Tidal, a service aimed at providing high-quality audio and exclusive artist content to music lovers, against its naysayers. Since its launch last month, music critics and musicians alike have criticized Tidal’s overpriced, elitist nature that caters to long-established artists rather than promoting up-and-coming acts. Kanye West, Madonna, Rihanna, Usher and other multi-platinum artists are all part-owners of the service.
“We are not anti-anyone, we are pro-artist and fan,” he tweeted over the weekend. “We made Tidal for fans. We have more than just music. We have video, exclusive concerts, tickets for events early, live sports! Tidal is where artists can give their fans more without the middlemen.”
Evidently, “Tidal X: Jay Z B-Sides” is an example of one of these exclusive concerts available only to Tidal users. On Sunday night, Tidal streamed Jack White’s acoustic performance in North Dakota, as well.
“Major, international artists doing private, intimate shows for their fans is exactly what New York is all about,” says Alison Maher, Member Services Director, CityView Racquet Club. “One minute you are a face in a wide sea of strangers, and another minute you are one of the elite, making eye contact with an uber celebrity. Jay-Z giving his followers personalized attention is the best way he can recognize and thank them. It’s New York hospitality at its finest.”
Tidal users who aren’t able to score a pair of tickets to “Tidal X: Jay Z B-Sides” shouldn’t worry too much — the concert will be exclusively streamed live via Tidal, Rolling Stone reports.
And despite recent widespread criticism directed at Tidal, Jay Z said he and the rest of Tidal are committed to its mission for the long run.
“Tidal is doing just fine. We have over 770,000 [subscriptions]. We have been in business less than one month,” he tweeted. “The iTunes Store wasn’t built in a day. It took Spotify nine years to be successful. We are here for the long haul. Please give us a chance to grow and get better.”