One thing i’ve grown to enjoy is observation. Where people go, what people wear, crowd variations event to event. I’ve had the opportunity to attend a major awards ceremony, tapings of TV shows and dance music festivals.
This particular summer I got to attend the MTV Video Music Awards. While there can be some assumption of who attends these shows i.e celebrities, the media, rich people who can afford a ticket, but there is a whole other group that attended the show I went to. Fans. These fans ranged from girls to guys to parents with their kids.
Thanks to 1iota I attended this event and a few weeks later, The Katie Couric Show. I can’t take too much credit for attending Katie because i was amongst the last 5 to get cut out, despite my on time arrival. No worries though, I get it. As a PR practitioner and live entertainment enthusiast, not everything is going to work out every time. However there were some notable practices.
MTV VMAs – Brooklyn
Here, one could make a keen observation based on appearance alone. The attendees in this crowd were dressed …. music-video-ready, hunny. There were rhinestones galore, high heels, strappy heels, flats, leather skirts, the little black dress,
baller baseball caps, collared shirts, bow ties, studded high tops, Doc Martins, suspenders and much much more. The event advised “business casual attire, you are going to an awards show.” With that advisory, attendees whom wanted to leave no room for error pending a lingering camera shot, gave their unique spin on what those terms meant. Aside from the attire there was something else about this young crowd.
An ambient mood was consistent throughout the crowd. Despite waiting for 4 hours, in the sun, everyone was relatively friendly. People were talking about who they might see, what A-listers were probably saying on the red carpet, what performances where going to be the best. There was excitement and anticipation. As the crowd baked in the hot August 25th sun. People were happy to get a once in a lifetime opportunity to be in the same room with music’s biggest stars for such an exclusive event. There was an organic spirit and bond that was created by time and space.
The Katie Couric Show
Not too long after the MTV Awards, an opportunity through 1iota.com arose to see Lil Wayne on Katie. Lil Wayne and Katie Couric? This was going to be epic. I had anticipated I’d see much of the same people there young, hip, music-video-ready sort of people. While the ticket guidelines illustrated “wear bright colors, (try to avoid black)” and things of that nature, when you’re a 25 year old that wouldn’t mind a glance from Lil Wayne, there’s so much more to an outfit than avoiding black. Nonetheless I had the perfect dress on reserve.
Upon arrival, I looked for the fashionistas and ‘nistos that’d be heading to the same taping as myself but didn’t see much. As I arrived to the line of about 20-30 people (there was a group already inside), there was something vastly different from this crowd. First, it was about 85% women if not more. Furthermore, these women were at least 35+. While the whole crowd varied in age, there was a prominent representation middle aged women. Was I in the right place? Were they here to see Lil Wayne? …Maybe but there was something I hadn’t considered. They were here to see Katie.
Being a special guest kind of show, or so I thought, Lil Wayne fans would be heavy in representation. His fans were there but so were their moms.
This hour long wait was much different from MTV. Mostly in pink and pastel colors, these ladies were in the matching two-piece pants suits, the floral tops and the 1/2 inch heel flats. They looked nice but were a far cry from music-video-ready. Their attire gave a dressed up lunch date vibe. Furthermore this crowd was not buzzing with excitement. There wasn’t a discourse or ambience. Katie’s line was quiet. There weren’t women exchanging Lil Wayne fan stories or chatter about what the plan was after the show let out. Everyone kept their conversation to the person they’d arrived with or silence. There was a 4 foot space from shoulder to shoulder and no eye contact with anyone. Although they were cordial, this crowd wasn’t making friends. On this sunny and warm September day, Katie was the special guest. It was the first show of her new season and the support for her was there. It was nice but vastly different.
The difference in one crowd over the other is not classified under a particular preference. While the MTV VMAS is an award show, Katie is daily TV. Yes, I got to sit next to MGK, Shaun White and a few seats away from Ariana Grande but Katie’s crowd got a computer on that day.
No matter what
If you get the opportunity to go to a live show, whatever the hosts or guests. GO. GO. GO. Some people don’t take advantage of this, it is an amazing chance to be a part of something intangible. Once the show airs, it’s gone and the thrill is what lives. The thrill of watching the hosts be cued, the excitement of being on a set and the claim to fame of saying “it was fun, i was there.” They’re all fun, each show is different from the other. I’ve been attending live shows since, TRL. The social experiment alone is worth the trip. Pay attention to people. Watch how people at your local Starbucks differ from those in Starbucks in Florida or California. And stay. Stay long enough to absorb the ambience, to strip people of labels and pay attention to how close they get to one another. To see how many people hold the door for someone behind them at each place.
Those are the things that matter.