In the live special, Blaine will float through the air a la Pixar’s “Up,” elevated by helium-filled balloons. The multi-hour “David Blaine Ascension” global livestream event will take place on the performer’s YouTube channel on Monday, Aug. 31.
“This stunt has been 10 years in the making,” Blaine tweeted Wednesday. “Let’s turn worry into wonder and take magic to new heights.”
Blaine will attempt to float across the Hudson River, suspended by a cluster of balloons as he travels from New Jersey to his native New York City.
“Watch in disbelief as David Blaine magically ascends above Earth, in his biggest live performance yet,” YouTube said in announcing the special. Verizon is the exclusive U.S. sponsor of “David Blaine Ascension.”
YouTube released a picture, evidently of Blaine, held aloft by dozens of balloons:
In one of his most notorious stunts, in 1999 Blaine was buried in a plastic box under a three-ton water-filled tank for seven days in New York City. During the stunt, titled “Buried Alive,” Blaine didn’t eat any food and subsisted on just a few tablespoons of water per day. In October 2012, in an event livestreamed on YouTube, Blaine spent 72 hours standing on a pillar in New York City while he was subjected to 1 million volts of electricity.
The performer, who is repped by CAA, most recently appeared in ABC’s primetime special “David Blaine: The Magic Way” in April 2020. Blaine has been the target of sexual-assault allegations by three women, in 2017 and 2019; he has denied each of the accusations.
YouTube announced the plans for a special live event with Blaine at TCA in January 2020. “David Blaine Ascension” is emblematic of the new strategy for YouTube Originals. As it has virtually abandoned scripted series, YouTube’s originals are centered around live events, music, celebrity- and personality-driven programming and educational content.
In June, YouTube announced an all-new documentary series following Demi Lovato, and renewed four original projects featuring big-name digital talent: “Instant Influencer with James Charles,” “The Creator Games Presented by MrBeast,” a sequel to interactive series “A Heist With Markiplier,” and “Retro Tech” hosted by Marques Brownlee.
Watch the teaser trailer for Blaine’s “Ascension”: