MTV's quirky award show, the O Music Awards, set out to be even quirkier and more ambitious with their latest "ceremony." As with the show's previous installations, this iteration focused on setting a Guinness World Record. This mission: to have the Flaming Lips perform eight shows in multiple cities in 24 hours to beat the Guinness World Record (set by none other than Jay-Z) while handing out 23 awards with fun pit stops along the way. It was a carefully calculated plan, which risked failure at points, but ultimately the awards were pulled off successfully.
In 2006, Jay-Z performed at seven cities in 24 hours travelling by private jet. The Flaming Lips would travel via bus in the Mississippi River Delta area to break their record. Guinness representatives were on board to make sure the rules were followed, including that each show lasted at least 15 minutes in each city and each city was 31 miles away from the previous. MTV set up the route so that, as long as everyone stayed on schedule, the record would be broken.
The adventure was livestreamed on the award show's website. Viacom reports that the stream was the most viewed Viacom Music & Logo Group digital driven event to date. The company attempted to keep viewers engaged in the stream with three different channels -- the "Bus," "Venues," and "Control Room." The Flaming Lips performed at eight stops, with opening acts including Neon Trees, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Neon Indian, and others performing sets before the band arrived, allowing for viewers to toggle between channels (though the "Control Room" channel never seemed particularly interesting). Other incentives for watching included a feed of the award show's Twitter and Instagram accounts as well as periodic codes given out for viewers who could then use bonus voting points for each award.
Viacom also reports that the 24 hour ceremony generated more than 43 million votes, doubling the amount of votes from the O Music Awards 2 that took place in October. Adam Lambert won "Must Follow Artist on Twitter" after winning the same award at the October ceremony (Lady Gaga won the inaugural award) and Tokio Hotel's infamously aggressive fanbase won the "Fan Army FTW" honor, which they have swept all three times. Smart move putting the "Fan Army FTW" award last as the Twitter feed would commonly include Tokio Hotel fans (who beat out the fanbases of Taylor Swift, One Direction, and popular K-pop groups Girls' Generation, Super Junior, and 2NE1) tweeting about the awards. The band also promised a guitar for a fan if they won, which they mentioned in a quick thank you video played after the win.
Other wins of note included nods to music technology (the mobile music manager app Artist Growth won Best Music App, Myxer Social Radio won Most Addictive Social Music Service) and industry professionals (Tatiana Simonian, head of music for Twitter, won Hottest Music NILF).
Though it did fall behind schedule at times, the show's planning was intricate with awards given out by the hour and non-award show related pit stops to keep viewers entertained, including shooting off fireworks, one-off performances (like Karmin doing their hit "Brokenhearted" acoustic [this week at No. 17 on the Hot 100], and Grace Potter performing a song after sucking in helium from a balloon), and conversations with those hosting. This included the likes of former social media correspondent of "The Voice" Alison Haislip and VH1 Classic's "That Metal Show" host Jim Florentine.
Upon completing the final show in New Orleans, Lips frontman Wayne Coyne got on his hands and knees praying to the Guinness World Record representative that his band broke the record. With 20 minutes to spare, she confirmed they did it. The band continued on with their show after completion with Coyne citing each venue's excitement giving them the energy. "We could not have done it without you guys. I'll get that call from Jay-Z pretty soon here." Florentine asked if he thought Jay-Z would call to congratulate and Coyne responded, "Of course he will, he's cool."
Coyne ended his talk with Florentine saying that he would never want to tour this way or break the record again as he had to only do quick shows and leave, unable to give a full show to the fans.
Still despite the reluctant comment at the end, the third installment of the O Music Awards completed what they set out to do, successfully filling a 24 hour award show livestream feed and helping a band set a world record while they were at it.
Full List of O Music Award Winners:
Best Artist with a Camera Phone: Selena Gomez
Best Artist/Digital Entrepreneur: Katy Goodman
Best Music App: Artist Growth
Best Music Hack: Bohemian Rhapsichord
Best Music Teacher Replacement: Bandhappy
Best Online Concert Experience: 30 Seconds to Mars
Best Protest Song: Bohemian Rhapsody
Best Vintage Revival: Animated GIFS
Best Web-Born Artist: Karmin
Beyond the Blog Award: Metal Injection
Beyond the DJ: Most Innovative Solo Performer: MNDR
Digital Genius: iamamiwhoami
Fan Army FTW: Tokio Hotel
Hottest Music NILF: Tatiana Simonian
Most Addictive Social Music Service: Myxer Social Radio
Most Adorable Viral Star: Abby Koocher for "BONE PUGZ"
Most Extreme Fan Outreach: Riot !n Paris
Most F*cked Up Live Performance Gone Viral: Kelvin Cheung
Most Innovative Music Video: We The Kings
Most Intense Social Spat: Frances Cobain vs. Courtney Love
Must Follow Artist on Twitter: Adam Lambert
Too Much Ass for TV: Big Freedia
WTF I Love This Award: Drinkify