You’ve probably heard the complaint that MTV has forgotten its music video roots and spends too much time on reality television. Heck, you may have said something similar yourself. Well, for its third O Music Awards (an “event that celebrates and honors the artists, fans and innovators impacting digital music culture”), MTV combining elements of both — it’s an awards show, a concert (actually multiple concerts), and a reality TV show about a band hitting the road.
The previous O Music Awards were held Las Vegas West Hollywood, but this time the show is actually going to be on the road. A yet-to-be-named band will be touring the Mississippi Delta, birthplace of rock, and stop in eight different cities, with the award presentations interspersed. One of the goals is to set a new Guinness World Record for Most Live Concerts in 24 Hours (Multiple Cities) — apparently setting new records is something MTV tries with every show, but this time it’s really baked into the basic concept. And naturally, all of this will be livestreamed.
“Award shows today, generally, are so packaged and predictable,” says VP of Digital Music Strategy Shannon Connolly. “Here are the nominees and here are the winners. It just doesn’t have that feeling of authenticity or spontaneity make to it feel like there are real stakes here. But here, the bus that we’re driving really might not make it.”
That means there will probably be a lot of improvisation as things go wrong. And yes, that might mean MTV actually fails to set that new record, and Connolly says, “We have to be okay with that.” As for the band, like I said, it hasn’t been revealed yet, but she promises, “The band is completely perfect for what we’re trying to do.”
The nominees will be announced on May 23, and the awards themselves will take place on June 27.