I was able to attend the EMA Awards in Belfast in November. One of the most important music events worldwide if we consider the numbers of trucks (50) used for a 1 hour show. A wide array of artists performed at the ceremony, broadcast by the MTV channels around the world. From Lady Gaga to Justin Bieber, including LMFAO or Coldplay. Watching such a mixed show in one hour was interesting to say the least!
What I liked the most was seeing a city like Belfast, with all its history, coming together for this music event. It’s amazing to witness how after a crisis, society makes a stronger effort to prove what it’s capable of, opening up to the world. The same happened, on a larger scale, in South Africa after the Apartheid during the Rugby World Championship and, even if not comparable, this was a good moment to welcome lots of tourists and to show the best of themselves, proving that a page has been turned.
An event like the EMA is, in itself, a great city marketing event due to the international promotion it entails. This effect was twofold in the case of Belfast. On the one hand, promoting the city and, on the other, proving it’s a city that is open to the world, peaceful and ready to live the music.
Moreover, in these circumstances, music plays a very important role. It is a great way to reach the community and bring it together. This was the case of Berlin after the wall came down with the birth of the Techno movement.
Musically speaking I preferred the more intimate Kasabian and Red Hot Chili Peppers gigs at the Ulster Hall. MTV organised several events at this venue with a capacity of 1500 people in the days running up to the ceremony. It was also very special to see Snow Patrol performing in front of his home town on a stage located just at the Town hall.
David Hasselhoff, in charge of presenting some of the awards, should consider handing in his Baywatch swimsuit as he’s no longer up to the task. Lady Gaga shouldn’t make life so difficult for herself with those hats. No one could get past them to kiss her hello. It’s ok to wear something extravagant for the cameras, but there’s a limit set by basic practicality and being able to socialize with the people around you.
Thanks to MTV UK for allowing me to live such an experience from the inside.
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