The annual MTV EMAs were presented during a two-hour audiovisual spectacle on Sunday 4 November. Host Hailee Steinfeld welcomed a line up of guests including Little Mix, Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha, Marshmello, Jason Derulo, and Janet Jackson in a dazzling decor on one central stage and four satellite stages. For the live show, Faber Audiovisuals installed 870 square metres of LED screens and many LED video strips.
“Once again, the design was the brainchild of the designer Julio Himede,” says Steve Ackein, who functions as the project manager at BEC in Bilbao (Spain) on behalf of Faber Audiovisuals. “This was the third year in a row that we worked with him. And he surpassed himself in creativity this year.” Himede designed a decor that connected the stage floors, as well as the catwalk, the vertical wall behind it, and a ceiling structure, visually with each other by means of a continuous flowing curve. “All of it equipped with LED,” says Ackein. All structures to which the video equipment was affixed had to be designed and made specially.
“There was nothing substantial that we could affix LEDs to. Hence, this required tailor-made solutions. It took 9 tons of steel in total.”
Construction commenced eight days before the show: “We worked on this project with a 20-man crew. The scheduled completion date was Thursday November 1st, so that technical trial runs could still take place that same day. The rehearsals were on Friday and Saturday, and the show went live on Sunday.” Those who watched the show live, or who watched segments afterwards via the Internet, will be impressed. Every year, the MTV EMA exceed all expectations. “We are, of course, very proud of the final results,” says Ackein. “Such a project requires you to work non-stop in shifts. The whole team feels on top of the world if it works out as planned and there are no complications. The initial reactions convince Ackein that the client feels the same way. “They trust us to be able to handle such challenges. It is for good reason that we were tasked with this project for the third time in a row.”
BILBAO, SPAIN – NOVEMBER 04: The MTV EMA stage ahead of the MTV EMAs 2018 on November 4, 2018 in Bilbao, Spain. (Photo by Ian Gavan/MTV 2018/Getty Images for MTV)