Since 1999, the annual Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) have brought together fans from all around the world. Produced by South Korean media and entertainment company CJ ENM, MAMA is Asia’s largest music awards ceremony, garnering a widespread reputation over the years for its massive performances and elaborate stage designs. This year, in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, MAMA went virtual for the first time with “NEW-TOPIA,” a new virtual world where fans can return to make contact with one another through the power of music.
The concept brought together AR and XR (Extended Reality, a bucket for all mixed realities) technology with some of the biggest names in K-pop today. Seven AR-enabled cameras were used across performance stages to display one-of-a-kind performances. And throughout the show, MAMA awed fans from around the globe, topping Twitter trend charts in 68 countries including U.S, Brazil, UK, Japan, Thailand and more. Fans also got to vote for their favorite K-pop artists across various categories, like “Song of the Year” or “Best Band Performance.” With over 531 million votes cast, BTS swept the awards — earning a total of eight awards and the “Artist of the Year”, “Song of the Year”, “Album of the Year” and “Worldwide Icon of the Year” title.