So, just like several awards shows all over the world, due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s VGMA was done virtually but, a limited number of people were invited, most of them being nominees, performers and the media.
Representing Kuulpeeps, I was given an E-invite to attend the event and well, here are my thoughts on everything!
Before the event, there was a list of protocols to follow (given to all invitees, I presume) all in line with the COVID-19 precautions and I was super curious to see how it played out.
The document stated that the State Park which was opposite the Grand Arena (the venue) was the official car park for the VGMAs. There were going to be shuttles that will transport guests to the venue. (Weird considering the fact that the venue was right across the street)
The security personnel or ushers right at the entrance did not do a good job at, at least, directing people to the parking lot. Maybe it’s because I arrived in a Picanto Uber, that’s why I barely got any help. I’m sure the celebs with bigger and nicer cars must have had a better experience.
Once I figured out there was not going to be any shuttles and asked the security guys if this was where the VGMAs was happening, I got my temperature checked, ticket checked and was allowed in. That’s when everything got better.
There were several handwashing stations and sanitizers plus another temperature check right before you stepped onto the red carpet and before you entered the auditorium.
Social distancing was hard to maintain on the red carpet. Very hard because a lot was happening at once. The invitation pdf had mentioned a specified number of guests will be allowed on the Red carpet at a time but, clearly, it got out of their hands.
The area was definitely too small but the organisers attempted to make things work by making sure security moved around in the crowd signalling people to wear their face mask. Same thing happened inside the auditoriums aswell although I can say for a fact that all these face mask rules were very lax on Friday but super strict on Saturday.
There was barely any direction on the red carpet on Saturday. Artistes just walked in and looked confused for a moment as to where to move to. The media definitely played a huge role in ushering the artistes to all the photo op spots before joining Regina for the Red carpet interview.
I think this is the first time the VGMAs was actually on time. On Friday, the event started a little after 8 but ended by 12. On Saturday as well, it started sometime after 9 and ended quite early. The performances were quick, awards were presented quickly too with no time-wasting and I really appreciated that.
Friday night’s MC-ing was such a drag! Sika Osei… *yawnn but shoutout to Giovanni for holding the fort. Saturday night’s MC-ing was much much better and although the Kumerica jokes were tiring, Berla Mundi and KOD did a good job.
Sadly, I can’t say much about the stage setup because… Ghana we dey. You cannot have BET and GRAMMYs stage expectations because you’d just get hurt!! I went with zero expectations and per our standards, the stage wasn’t bad at all. It was big, plain but the screens and effects made it interesting enough to watch for some of the artistes. (Specifically, Epixode…he made good use of those screens and his performance was TOO GOOD)
I certainly cannot talk about all the performances because they were a lot but thankfully, just a few were quite memorable. I missed E.L’s performance but the reviews have been nothing short of amazing. Kofi Kinaata is obviously a crowd favourite and had people dancing the minute he came up. Ras Kuuku, Kelvynboy and Kuami Eugene were in complete control on stage. It was such a pleasurable experience watching them.
Eno Barony’s intro was everything. Whether it was deliberate or just a sweet coincidence, the spotlight shining on her just like Kendrick Lamar’s Humble video was so profound considering the fact that she was rapping about being the best.
Kofi Mole gets points for trying to do something different with his performance and not failing… he appeared on stage in a shopping cart.
The legends, Akosua Agyapong, Rex Omar and Nat Brew definitely sealed Saturday night with their performance. The whole auditorium lit up when they got on stage. The only problem I had with their performance was, sometimes it seemed Akosua Agyapong was performing to her backing vocalists more than the audience but once she snapped back to us, it was all enjoyment after enjoyment.
Kwesi Arthur’s performance was definitely the most disappointing of the night. I was disappointed with Efya’s performance only because I felt she should have been given more time to show her prowess but Kwesi Arthur…Kwesi Arthur almost made me cry.
He disrupted the whole auditorium, had us risk social distancing around our seats, trying to see who or what was coming in with loud motorcycle sounds only to come and do what exactly on stage? Nothing! I cannot even remember the songs he performed. All that drama for a halfhearted performance!
King Promise’s performance was simple and beautiful until Darkovibes joined him to perform Gin and Lime. Such a brilliant song but the performance was just meh. There wasn’t really any energy and I honestly wasn’t feeling the performance at all.
Akwaboah’s performance didn’t have the impact I hoped it will. I think he had an issue with his keyboard Cos he seemed to be fidgeting around with it for a while and it was just distracting for me but before he got his hands on the keyboard, everything was going well.
Organisation gets a 75% because things ran smoothly. There was only a slight problem with the sound during Saturday’s event but that was rectified quickly.
I also think this event was more inclusive. Amerado’s Yeete Nsem was given the chance to shine for a moment and the awards seemed to have favoured more fresh faces than the usual winners we always see. The young artistes took home most of the awards and that just drives home the point that the young ones are about to take over the industry.
Performances wise, I really think the VGMA organisers need to look out for artistes who are brilliant performers and forget the ones with barely any stage presence. Sometimes it’s not about popular song performances… it’s about stagecraft. For an event that is meant to project the talent of our artistes, more effort should be put into giving fresh faces from different genres of music opportunities. After all, it’s the VGMAs, not a December concert.
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