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The Fierce and Fascinating Facts of the 2018 MTV EMA

October 31, 2018
If you tuned into the 2018 MTV EMA, you already know that this year's show was jam-packed with adorable backstage conversations and epic live performances from some of the world's hottest talent. We witnessed a ton of artists in action like Global Icon honoree Janet Jackson, 2018 EMA Host Hailee Steinfeld, Nicki Minaj, Rosalía, Halsey, Panic! At the Disco, Alessia Cara, Bebe Rexha, Little Mix, Jason Derulo, David Guetta, Marshmello, Bastille, Anne-Marie, Muse, and Jack & Jack.
 
But, there's way more to the EMAs than meets the eye! From the creation of the set and red carpet to Glam Squad's thousands of lashes and lipsticks, there's always an EMA-zing secret story about the work that goes on behind the scenes. Check out the fiercest and most fascinating facts from the 2018 MTV EMA at the Bilbao Exhibition Centre in Spain:
 
THE TEAM – MTV TAKES OVER BILBAO
  • For the crew alone, MTV booked 5,500 total hotel room nights across the two-week period.
  • On the night of the 2018 MTV EMAs, Sunday, 4 November specifically, MTV took over 2,500 hotel room nights for MTV and guests.
  • There was a total of 1,500 crew members working across the Red Carpet, MTV EMA and After-Party on the night of the event, alongside 500 locally sourced production crew members.
 
THE FANS
  • MTV welcomed over 65,000 fans to the EMAs this year—from the Music Week and World Stage pre-events to the number of fans attending the red carpet and the MTV EMAs.
  • MTV had 800 fans on the EMA red carpet alone, and 35,000 fans at San Mamés Stadium for MTV World Stage Bilbao, leading up to the main event.
 
THE SET
  • Julio Himede reprises his role as this year's set designer. Inspired by the idea of celebrating music through art, the visual language/narrative of the show has been driven by approaching Bilbao as a metaphor for an art gallery. Video screens of paint flowing through the set supported the live show visuals, mixed with "living portraits" of artists that played out during transitions of performances and via different graphics packages.
 
THE CATERING
  • About 16,000 meals were served this year for crew and artists, all of which is sourced from local markets.
  • Thirty pallets of alcohol were available at the VIP bars and after-party, including 4,000 bottles of vodka, whiskey and Beefeater gin, along with 10,000 bottles and 400 taps of San Miguel beer. The party will continue with 2,400 bottles of G.H Mumm Champagne.
 
DIGITAL – ELEVATING INNOVATION
  • This year, MTV is celebrating another technology first. Through the EMA app, fans voted for their favorite artist in the "Biggest Fans" category using augmented reality.
  • Playing into the idea of a user-driven "fandom museum," the MTV EMA app prompts fans to design gallery-style artwork of their favorite "Biggest Fans" nominee, which they can socially share and submit as votes through the EMA app.
 
BEYOND THE MUSIC: HONORING CHANGEMAKERS
  • This year, the MTV EMA included the first-ever "MTV EMA Generation Change Award" to elevate and empower the fearless, original young people who are changing the world.
  • Five changemakers from around the globe, all under the age of 26, were nominated for the award, which was presented during the "2018 MTV EMA" red carpet pre-show.
  • Nominees from around the world include Sonita Alizadeh, 21, of Afghanistan; Mohamad Aljounde, 17, of Lebanon; Ellen Jones, 20, of the UK; Xiuhtezcatl "X" Martinez, 18, of the USA; and Hauwa Ojeifo, 26, of Nigeria.
 
THE LOOK
  • THE CREATORS: As always, it takes a team of extremely skilled makeup artists and hair stylists to put together all the looks for the MTV EMA. Every year, the most sought-after appointment for hair and make-up is two hours before Red Carpet. This slot is booked up months in advance, from as early as August.
  • MAKE-UP BY NUMBERS: To put all the MTV EMAs looks together, the 2018 show had 52 of the world's best make-up artists on-hand headed by Glam Squad's Debbie Dannell, including graffiti artist and glam squad member "The Urbanist," who uses his airbrushing guns to beautify everything from wigs, hair and skin to suitcases and accessories. The crew came along with 5,000 available makeup items on the day of the show; 72 cases of wigs; about 200 sets of custom Ardell eyelashes; 1,000 individual lashes spanning the full spectrum, from 6mm to a full 20mm in length; 500 hairbands; thousands of hairpins and grips; and hundreds of big fluffy Spectrum brushes with fun names like "Your Best Angle and "In the Buff." The MTV EMA make-up room held hundreds of thousands of €€ worth of product with each kit costing €24k – €48k. Each make-up artist traveled with about 60kg of supplies.
 
BACKSTAGE AND FOR THE ARTISTS
  • Available in the Artist Gift Lounge were the following: A one-of-a-kind floral design by Fulford Flowers; backstage concierge with a nutritionist; personal trainer and doctor from AMCK FIT; bar specialists Badaboom with a unique bar setup; watchmakers from RAYMOND WEIL the music inspired watchmaker; Bodaskins and their bespoke personalized handmade leather jackets; FOREO with an experience zone, allowing artists to test their sonic facial cleansing brushes and toothbrushes; PREVU, the contemporary menswear design house from East London will showcase their luxe styles; Trespaws, the outerwear dog brand that the other dog brands envy with their unique products; DLX, with their exemplary outdoor equipment made for the extremes; Salon brow treatments by HD Brows; Revitalizing head, neck and shoulder massages provided by massage therapists Ibiza Angels; Lab Series with their innovative high-tech skincare products for men.
 
THE AFTER PARTY
  • No MTV Awards Show would be complete without an over-the-top After Party! MTV welcomed 2,000 guests.
  • The setting for the After Party takes five days to build. Designed and produced by MTV & Music Alchemy, the beautiful VIP party environment featured a giant red flying Pegasus, 2000 lightbulbs and a special dance performance choreographed by Spain's very own Dani Panullo.
  • The After Party served-up 258 Mumm Champagne Bottles, 2600 bottles of beers, 1000 draft beers by San Miguel inside the party & in the San Miguel garden designed by Bilbao Flower Shop.
 
THE CITY – RICH IN CULTURE
  • Winner of the 2018 European City of the Year by the Academy of Urbanism, Bilbao evolved from its roots as an industrial port city to become one of the world's premier hubs for culture, becoming the economic and innovation engine of the Bay of Biscay area.
  • Bilbao is the heart of the Basque region, also known as the "Culinary Nation." With several Michelin starred restaurants, the region stands out for its locally sourced cuisine.
  • Bilbao is renowned for its avant-garde contemporary designs and unrivaled architecture, especially as it is home to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao – known to locals as "el Guggui."
  • The city stays connected with its award-winning Metro Bilbao. Designed by architect Norman Foster, the Metro has become widely known for its accessibility, effectiveness and impeccable design.
 
To stay in tune with all things MTV EMA, follow the show on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat (@MTVEMA) and Facebook and follow the social conversation using #MTVEMA @MTVEMA.