MTV’s Mobile Music Festival

Dat Funky Music: A column by Annie Nickoloff

MTV has ruined a lot of things for me, but starting me on a rant about useless reality shows clogging TV channels won’t ever change anything—Snookie is just as popular as ever, and it seems as though what was first created to be a “Music Television” station now barely clings to anything actually musical anymore.

However, just the other day I stumbled across a bit of MTV news that seemed to bring the long-forgotten “M” back to MTV. On June 19, MTV will host the biggest online-only music festival to date, with artists performing for 24 hours, starting at 7 p.m.

A smart phone or laptop is now not only a way to glimpse live performances, but will be the essence of the show, the ticket to get in. Clearly this festival will garner the attention of people who already spend hours online streaming music from youtube… but what about real-life music festival fans? The ones that go not only for the music, but for the entire experience—wouldn’t an event like this almost seem absurd for people like that?

I mean, there are no rules saying you can’t twerk around your house while watching this music festival from your computer screen, or even get a dance party together somewhere for a more genuine concert-going ambiance… but at that point, why not just go to a real concert where there are real performers singing or playing in front of you, with a real amoeba of people pulsing around you? The entire idea of an online-only concert just defeats the idea of calling it a concert, much less a music festival.

Though the performers seem good, they’re not anything great. Some of them stand out, like Atlas Genius or Kate Nash. But then there’s Hanson… I mean, when I was twelve years old I was obsessed with Hanson; I had a crush on the baby-faced, golden-haired lead singer and knew all the words to “MMMBop,” but now, if I hear that song one more time I may will need to kill somebody.

Maybe I’m losing touch with reality; maybe this is the direction live performances are heading in modern society. However, if online-only concerts are going to be a new way to see music, I hope that live concerts remain a way to see music too; something that is just as popular with my great-great grandchildren as it is to people today.

But perhaps I’m just being really stubborn. Admittedly, MTV is trying. There is no denying that bringing music to more people through electronic devices will definitely bring more popularity to the performers. Actually, one very admirable feature of the festival is the contest for up-and-coming artists, who the audience can vote onto the popular “artists to watch” feature on MTV advertisements.

On one hand, the show can help small bands get big. On the other, it keeps listeners glued to their screens and out of the excitement of a real performance. Ultimately, it can’t compare to a live concert, but… it’s something.

it's something
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Annie is a rising sophomore English/Psychology major at Case. She typically spends her days watching Netflix and trying to learn how to dance.

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