The MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs) will be marking 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall when it takes place on Thursday evening (Nov. 5) at the O2 World Arena in Berlin, before an audience of over 17,000.
At a press conference today (Nov. 4) at the venue, Bill Roedy, president of MTV Networks International, predicted it will be the largest show in the history of MTV Europe. The broadcast will be available globally to around 2 billion TV viewers.
Roedy explained that in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, MTV had decided to make an exception to its rule of only ever holding the awards show in a given city once.
The Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit had offered MTV the opportunity of organizing a show in front of the Brandenburg Gate, an offer which Roedy decided to accept. The highlight of the show will be a 20-minute live performance by U2 in front of the Brandenburg Gate to stress the importance of this city as a symbol of global freedom.
"Berlin stands for diversity and human courage," said Roedy. "Here, young people in particular took the initiative to ensure that not only the Berlin Wall but also the Iron Curtain would fall."
U2 will be playing to an audience of 10,000 in front of the Brandenburg Gate. Executive producer Richard Godfrey appealed to U2 fans throughout Europe not to come to Berlin to attend the concert, explaining that there was not sufficient space in front of the Brandenburg Gate for them all. He added that 10,000 tickets had been given away by MTV online and stressed there was no space left, meaning that fans should not venture on a long journey only to be disappointed.
Berlin's mayor Wowereit had indicated that there had been reports that 100,000 fans were expected to come to Berlin for the concert. MTV warned that forged tickets for the U2 Brandenburg Gate concert may have been sold on auction sites, explaining that the genuine tickets were free and strictly limited in number.
EMA host Katy Perry explained that the show would not be as laidback as it had been during the last Europe Music Awards as the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall called for a more serious approach. She explained that the costumes and performance would be reminiscent of the spirit of the movie "Cabaret" and seek to invoke Berlin's unique charm.
Said Perry: "Just like last year, I'm sure I'll have butterflies in my stomach again and will try to give my very best." She said that she regretted that she would not be experiencing much of Berlin. The snow falls and below-zero temperatures meant that a tour of Berlin and its museums had to be postponed until next year, Perry explained.
Mayor Wowereit stressed the great honor which had been bestowed on Berlin of being chosen to host the MTV European Music Awards. He added that it was a particular pleasure for him to be able to welcome U2 to Berlin again as this group and its leader Bono had been involved in so many humanitarian initiatives. Said Wowereit: "Berlin is looking forward to welcoming the many stars and the whole world in the 20th year of the fall of the Berlin wall."
Godfrey expressed his gratitude to the city of Berlin, explaining that the city government had provided complete assistance and built a stage in front of the Brandenburg Gate that was sure to impress the entire world. He added that the show would feature effects of a type never before seen. Godfrey also thanked the millions of voters who had selected the winners, stating that Facebook, Habbo and Twitter initiatives had also contributed to the success.
The list of nominations for the 2009 MTV EMAs is led by Lady Gaga and the Kings of Leon, with both receiving nominations in five categories. They are closely followed by Beyoncé, who is nominated in four categories. Lady Gaga is nominated for Best Song for "Pokerface" (Interscope/Universal), Best Live Act, Best New Act, Best Female and Best World Stage Performance. Kings of Leon are nominated for Best Song for "Use Somebody" (RCA/Sony), Best Live Act, Best Group, Best Rock and Best World Stage Performance. Beyonce is nominated for the Best Female, Best Song for "Halo" (Columbia/Sony), Best Live Act and Best Video for "Single Ladies" (Columbia/Sony).
The Finnish rock band Deep Insight, Russian star Dima Blian, the Polish singer Doda, Italian pop rocker Lost and the Turkish rap rock band MaNga are the regional winners of the MTV European Music Awards. MTV fans from all over Europe voted for them. MTV International announced today that these five acts have now been nominated in the EMA Best European Act category.
Foo Fighters, Green Day, Jay-Z, Leona Lewis, Shakira, Tokio Hotel, Beyonce and U2 are the performers. Actor and musician David Hasselhoff, Lil Kim, World heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko, tennis legend Boris Becker and actor Jesse Metcalfe were also announced as the final names in the presenter roster, joining the Jonas Brothers, Backstreet Boys, Juliette Lewis, Jean Reno, Miranda Cosgrove, Asia Argento, Bar Refaeli, Brody Jenner and Batista.