This is the continuation of an earlier post here. It is the second half of the Linkin Park Scavenger Hunt story, a worldwide event over the course of the past few weeks. Written by LPAssociation.com
Puzzle #4 (Continued) – May 15, 2012 – Chicago, IL
The second half of the Linkin Park Scavenger Hunt began where we left off in Chicago, where a clue awaited us at the aptly-titled Lincoln Park Zoo. Linkin Park fans were instructed to visit the zoo’s Gateway Pavilion during regular business hours on May 15th to collect the next piece of the puzzle. Back on message boards and the Twittersphere, LP fans eagerly anticipated new developments upon the opening of the zoo at 10am local time. Thirty minutes went by without any news. Then an hour. Then two. The community soon became restless and started questioning whether we had overlooked something along the way. No longer able to contain their intrigue or excitement, fans from across the world began inundating the zoo with phone calls asking about the hunt.
Eventually, a fan by the name of Justin Sohn (@JustinSohn1) arrived at the front desk of the Gateway Pavilion and received an envelope containing a Brazilian soccer jersey. On the inside of the jersey was a message written in Portuguese:
LPAers quickly discovered the location to be the Cafe Forte, a well-known restaurant known for its traditional waffles, crepes, sandwiches and pasta.
Puzzle #5 – May 17th – Fort Copacabana, Brazil
Two days later, @maryakira, @MarceloBe, @ulyssessena, @leozinhomazza, and @WesleyLPBR were on-hand to search for the latest clue. The clue was found within a matter of moments after Fort Copacabana was opened. At Cafe Forte, the fans were greeted by an employee who presented them with an envelope, containing a riddle towards where we could find the next location. The message itself was very vague and told no location at first glance:
Staying true to the spirit of bringing fans together worldwide, this was no longer a clue that could be solved simply on location. The difficulty of this clue (and others to come) would increase past this point, and it was up to the anxious fans waiting on the internet around the world, to come together and figure out the answer in time for the next clue. After several members ran photos of the card through filters in photoshop, LPA newcomer MX1 pointed out the vague text in the top two corners:
This text was in fact reminiscent of a painting featured at Mike’s “Glorious Excess: Dies” art show entitled “SONG”:
This, combined with the “Born” and “Die” text (referencing Mike Shinoda’s two Glorious Excess Born/Dies art shows) confirmed the next location as the Japanese American Museum in Los Angeles, where the exhibition took place. Things were starting to get truly exciting, and fans could feel that something big was on the horizon, just waiting to be found.
Puzzle #6 – Japanese American Museum – Los Angeles, CA
On Saturday, May 19th, Linkin Park fans @spoileddxbrat, @contains_nuts, @pandayna and @jadesloth arrived at the Japanese American National Museum as soon as the museum was open for business. The clue was then handed to them in an envelope which contained a card with the following phone number:
Once the image was posted online the LP community went to work. It was quickly determined that the number originated from North Carolina, but when the phone number was called, it played a recorded message in German.
Almost immediately after a rip of the phone message was made available, LPA member BlackChester translated the clue as: “The next clue waits at the reception of MTV Germany on May 22 during business hours from 10am & 6pm”
Puzzle #7 – MTV Germany – Berlin, Germany
Proving to be one of the quickest clues to find/solve, Linkin Park fan @Kellogselefant found the clue at the receptionist’s desk on Tuesday, May 22nd and posted a picture of the message given to him on his Twitter account.
“SOMEONE WILL BE WAITING AT THE BLUE WHALE AT 3PM SHARP”
The paper, which contained the logo for the London 2012 Summer Olympics, revealed that the next and final clue would be in London, with the mention of the blue whale hinting at the clue being in the National History Museum.
In a fitting conclusion, LPA staff members Joe and Ree ventured to London to play an integral part in the conclusion of the scavenger hunt. Below is a first-hand account from Joe on his experiences that day:
Puzzle #8 – London National History Museum / BBC Radio 1 Studios – London, England
“After weeks of following the progress of the hunt, the London stage would finally give me the opportunity to directly take part in the fun. Over the previous two weeks I had been constantly updating LPA’s summary thread and tweeting Linkin Park fans all over the world to get involved. Now, I had the chance to take part in the final leg of the worldwide campaign, leading up to the big prize reveal. I had never envisioned this campaign would be as huge as it turned out to be. To think I helped guest-write the first half of the scavenger hunt with my team for Mike’s blog and now I would actually be involved in its conclusion was quite surreal.”
“I already knew before taking my five hour trip to London that I would be met with a number of Linkin Park fans at the Natural History Museum. By 3PM over twenty fans had congregated around the life-sized blue whale exhibit at the museum, the biggest turn-out yet for any location in the hunt. The clue was quickly revealed to be an envelope with a QR code printed on the front and a flash-drive sealed within. Once scanned in, the official Linkin Park app played a locked video of Mike Shinoda revealing the contents of the drive to be a new Linkin Park song. The video ended with a warning: tampering with the password-protected device would cause it to self-destruct. He then provided instructions on the next part of the scavenger hunt: to bring the envelope to the BBC Radio 1 studios at 7PM for a live premiere on Zane Lowe’s radio show. This was a completely unexpected development: from here on out that the day was going to be more than simply posting our findings online, but instead we had to literally go into the streets of London and end this ourselves.”
“All 20 fans went across London, eventually arriving at the BBC studios a whole four hours early. We were met by Zane Lowe himself who congratulated us and took the drive for safe-keeping. After a photo opportunity and brief chat with Zane we left to have what seemed like our very own Linkin Park Summit in Regent’s Park, London. It became evident that everyone involved was working as a team and it truly felt like a community effort to get to this point. Browsing through our mobile devices to see the support from our Twitter followers as well as from LPA, Mike Shinoda, Zane Lowe and even Linkin Park themselves (who had already uploaded our group photograph to their 40 million+ liked Facebook account) was surreal and really evoked feelings of accomplishment with everyone back at home sending their love through various forms of social media.”
“As 7PM drew closer, it was hard to wrap our heads around the fact that we the fans were about to premiere a brand new Linkin Park song live on Radio 1 and have the opportunity to speak on-air with Mike Shinoda! Heading into Zane’s studio was an incredibly cool experience. The Radio 1 staff were very welcoming and it really felt like the fans worldwide had come together to accomplish something incredible. Soon, Mike phoned in from Portugal for the interview. After a brief recap of the scavenger hunt to-date, Zane queued up the premiere of LIES GREED MISERY. I then personally had the chance to speak with Mike on-air about the hunt. It was a truly surreal and memorable moment to wrap-up the scavenger hunt in such a big way, and with a new Linkin Park song to boot. We had reached the last hurdle in the race, or so we thought…”
“Mike had one last task for me before we could bring the two-week campaign to its conclusion. He instructed that I not only take home the flash-drive and leak the studio-quality version of LIES GREED MISERY to the world…but also add something–my name, or whatever I wanted–to the file name, so we could always keep track of the mp3 we found, and be reminded of the scavenger hunt.”
“Being the only member of the general public with the song in my possession was absolutely extraordinary. I had been so involved in reporting the progress of the hunt on the LPA over the previous two weeks, and it felt like a poignant ending to the adventure. In a way, I felt like I finished what we had started.”
“However, ‘leaking’ the HQ file of LIES GREED MISERY was just a small part of the scavenger hunt to me. The whole experience of the day and the whole scavenger hunt up until that point was the real prize. Meeting so many amazing people along the way and being able to share the experience with every other Linkin Park fan was an incredible opportunity. I am so honored to be a part of a group of fans who helped see this to the end. What an amazing and unforgettable experience.”
On behalf of the Linkin Park Association and the rest of the Linkin Park community, we would like to thank the band and their marketing management team for organizing and planning this scavenger hunt for the fans. This journey has not only re-energized the LP community and created much excitement in the lead-up to LIVING THINGS, but is also a perfect example of the band’s commitment to giving back to their fans. In a way, the band has not only redefined musical genres, but also the artist-fan relationship. In return, Linkin Park gets a reward of their own: our unwavering loyalty, admiration and support.
Thank you once again,
The LPAssociation Team (Derek, Todd, Mark, Joe, Luke, Louis, Benjamin, Jeff, Ree)
Note from Mike: In an act that I think symbolizes the Linkin Park fan community’s dedication to one another, Joe decided not to put his own name on the mp3 he leaked. He titled it “LIES_GREED_MISERY_lpassociationdotcom” – a nod to the larger group of fans he belongs to, who helped lead the effort to solve this scavenger hunt. Years from now, when you search the internet and find a copy of LIES GREED MISERY with that file name, you can know it was a descendent of Joe’s file.
The band extends their deepest gratitude and congratulations to all the fans, from all fan sites around the world, who participated in this puzzle and have been supporting us on the road to LIVING THINGS.