Ever wondered what it takes to pull together a show like the MTV EMAs? Well, look no further as an MTV insider has gathered the bizarre and 'EMA-zing' facts about the 2015 MTV EMAs for you – revealing what goes on behind the scenes to produce one of the biggest global music events of the year that celebrates the hottest artists from around the world.

October 24, 2015

  • The 2015 MTV EMAs set has been designed by celebrated German-American stage and set designer Florian Wieder – the creative mastermind behind the MTV EMAs set designs in Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Liverpool, Amsterdam and Glasgow. He has also previously designed for the MTV Movie Awards and the MTV VMAs.
  • This year’s set is inspired by taking MTV back to its roots – creating a massive TV set on-stage as the show will take the audience into different ‘worlds’.
  • The entire set on the main stage is made of LED screens with a ‘tongue-like’ stage extension from the main stage, creating a floating effect into the arena.
  • 10,000 CDs have been flown in to be used as a performance backdrop.
  • Production equipment include: 4 truckloads of video screens, 10 truckloads of lighting to help ignite the stage and red carpet – all of which will be housed in a 70 metre long glass marquee, 2 miles of gaffer tape used this year, 500 radios for staff, 2.5km of barrier
  • Everything has been transported through 50 technical trucks.
  • 6 enormous generator units will be used to power the show.
  • MTV EMAs Site Managers walk approximately 15 miles each day in the run up to the show


  • The 40-person MTV EMAs professional makeup artist team has spent over 500 hours with internationally renowned make-up artist and MTV EMAs guru, Glam Squad’s Debbie Dannell.
  • Together, they have brought an arsenal of make-up tools, including 5 kilos of glitter, 300 sets of lashes, 60 assorted moustaches, 300 cans of hairspray and 300 assorted styling products.
  • The team includes a specialist graffiti artist – The Urbanist – who creates beautiful body art, treating the human body as a living canvas.
  • And here are some added hair-raising facts: A backstage wiggery to house over 1000 over-the-top wigs, 300 hairpieces and 100 poly heads, with the onsite help of 22 expert hairdressers, led by Pauline Simmons, now in her 17th year at the MTV EMAs. This is the highest number of wigs ever housed at the EMAs backstage!


  • Despite the scale of the event, an intimate team of 14 wardrobe staff have worked around the clock to produce more than 150 costumes for dancers, presenters and artists.
  • On top of reams of fabric, the team has used over 72 metres of ribbon and 1,000 metres of silicon.
  • 24-hour fabric sublimation printing was employed to create one fabulous outfit.


  • This year's troupe of 35 dancers was selected by MTV EMAs veteran Aicha McKenzie of AMCK from over 700 potentials who flew to Italy to audition. And the troupe will be choreographed by Nathan Clarke.


  • MTV will be connecting with fans through more social platforms than ever before, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope, and Vine. More than 20 social influencers from countries including Italy, the U.K., the U.S., Germany, the Netherlands, and Brazil will be on the scene to share the EMA experience with their combined 9+ million followers.
  • Fans at home can check out a digital exclusive backstage show streamed live from the EMA Guitar Hero Live Green Room, and an app-exclusive Virtual Reality experience streamed live from the red carpet and venue.
  • The MTV EMAs social handles have millions of fans around the globe.
  • The 2015 MTV EMA app is available on iOS and Android in 11 languages, while the 2015 MTV EMA website is available in 18 languages across 34 regions.
  • It takes over 200,000 lines of code to power the official website The MTV Digital team has spent over 2500 man hours testing and the MTV EMA apps. Over 1200 mobile application builds were created to deliver 3 releases on App Store and Google Play Store.


  • Over 1,600 fans came along to the 2015 MTV EMAs open castings across three days, so they can be part of the live audience, with 700 fans invited to scream their hearts out at the red carpet. Notable auditions include:
  • 'Edo Sheerano' – An Italian version of Ed Sheeran sporting a casual suit, bright trainers and a full head of fiery, ginger hair. The look would not be complete without an entourage of his own fans who screamed through his performance, showering him relentlessly with kisses and gifts, while taking selfies and snaps.
  • I Heart <3 MTV EMAs – First contestant was a heart surgeon who came alone at the early hours of the morning to show his love for music – possessing books full of concert tickets dating back to the 1970’s! Another contestant later in the day showed up with over 400 used tickets. MTV hearts them too!
  • R-r-r-r-remix – Quite a few remixes of popular songs turned up at casting. From "We want to come to the E. E. M. A’s!" sung to the tune of YMCA, to "What E.M.A’s?" performed to the beat of "What Do You Mean?" by Justin Bieber. A favourite was a rendition of Adele’s “Someone Like You” by a young guy called McRobert, who re-wrote the entire song about his wish to attend the EMA… They all got through!
  • For the Girls – A group of girls told a mother they were going shopping, but got stuck in a line, so they had to admit the truth to the mother who was waiting for them. The mother went to the casting call and ended up auditioning with the girls for fun, while the father was waiting in the car having no idea where everyone went!
  • And the winners are… – 3 teenage girls who traveled 262 km to put on their own rehearsed sketch for MTV. Dressed flamboyantly in feather scarves and glitter-adorned sachets, guest-presenting their dream award – ‘Tickets to the EMAs in Milan’. It ended with one of them handing over their handmade MTV EMA-branded envelope to MTV’s head casting manager, with their names listed as the winners!


  • 2015 MTV EMAs performers, presenters and crew will enjoy over 40,000 delicious meals and snacks from specialist showbiz caterers Eat Your Hearts Out using locally sourced, high quality ingredients.
  • 4 truckloads of catering equipment.
  • 500 eggs and 150kg of sugar used daily.


  • 28 hotels booked wholly by MTV for the EMAs
  • Nearly 6,500 total room nights
  • Over 1,900 hotel rooms on show night alone
  • 1,074 international travelers coming to the city

Host Ed Sheeran and co-host Ruby Rose will be taking charge of this year’s MTV EMAs, which will broadcast live across the globe on Sunday, 25 October at 9:00PM CET* from the Mediolanum Forum in Milan.

Performers will include Pharrell Williams, Ed Sheeran & Rudimental, Ellie Goulding, Jason Derulo, twenty one pilots, Tori Kelly, James Bay, Jess Glynne, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Andrea Bocelli and Justin Bieber. Voting for all award categories is open on through 24 October at 11:59pm CET.