In a clear case of hero worship gone haywire, hundreds of people are presently camped out on sidewalks surrounding MuchMusic’s headquarters at Queen and John streets. The line begins on the southeast corner and runs south to Richmond, then wraps around the building and snakes all the way to St. Patrick Street, where I just talked to two girls who told me they are in 836th and 837th place.
Yes, it’s that time of year again: the MuchMusic Video Awards air live from the station’s parking lot on June 20, and ticket hopefuls have been lining up since yesterday afternoon to snag passes to the star-studded event. Wristbands will be handed out Saturday at 8am.
The long wait for MMVA tickets has become something of a tradition in recent years, and it’s clear that Much/CTV loves every minute of it; the awards show blog even has a tag devoted to lineup stories. They could have executed this contest in dozens of other ways — doling out all passes via email or (gasp!) video entries selected on merit or at random would cause much less mayhem, and would be more cost-effective, too. A private security crew is keeping an eye on the line, and one guard gave Matt a hard time when he showed up to take the picture above. (Matt was asked for a press pass…to take a photo in a public place. Strange.)
The lineup, however, is part of the spectacle. It feels kind of like Much’s original, Znaimer-fied style of television production to see all those plucky kids (and their moms, who are the only ones likely to remember it) hanging out on the sidewalk. Speaker’s Corner and Citytv are gone from Queen and John, and Much has all but turned its back on videos and VJs in favour of prerecorded, episodic programming.
But nostalgia aside, passing by all of these people in tents on public space can’t help but raise the question of whether, say, The Scott Mission Video Awards would be granted the same kind of latitude for its lineup of would-be audience members.
Photo by Matthew Blackett