Viacom's O Music Awards are back for their third run and, continuing in its benchmark-setting tradition, the show will attempt to break a Guinness World Record.
Producers have set their sights on Jay-Z's current record of the most live concerts performed in multiple cities over a 24 hour period, which currently stands at an impressive seven. Kicking off on June 27, the 24-hour-plus livestream will feature a yet-to-be-announced band as they make their way through eight cities (by bus, not jet) in the Mississippi Delta, home to musical greats such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Al Green, Justin Timberlake and Three 6 Mafia.
With each of its previous cycles, the O Music Awards have broken records. First, rapper Chiddy of Chiddy Bang rapped for 9 hours, 16 minutes and 22 seconds, shattering the record of Longest Freestyle Rap and the Longest Marathon Rapping in Las Vegas in April 2011. Six months later, the OMAs took over Hollywood's famed club, The Roxy, where 13 dancers seized the record for Longest Dance Team Marathon. Easily their most ambitious attempt yet, this time they will face more uncertainty than ever -- including flat tires, breakdowns and detours.
"The chances of us pulling this off and breaking the record are slim, but that’s what keeps it exciting," Shannon Connolly (VP of Digital Music Strategy, Viacom Music Group) told THR. "And honestly, we know from looking at the first two shows that the record attempts that resonate with the audience -- that they want something real. They want something that’s authentic, that feels like there’s high stakes, that feels like something unexpected could happen, that feels like it's not perfect and produced. The uber theme of this whole thing is the outcome is not predetermined on every level."
"We started O Music Awards as an experiment and it keeps gaining momentum as an incubator for experimenting with interactive storytelling across multiple platforms,” said Dermot McCormack (Executive Vice President of Viacom Music & Logo Group) in a statement. "We invite the audience in and together we want to push the boundaries of how stories are told. We also have some fun, give out awards and break a few records."
Along the eight-city trek, the band will join a wide range of artists onstage at their already-in-progress shows, meeting up with fans and presenters to dole out awards. Even while watching from the comfort of their own home, viewers will also have the opportunity to be a part the show itself. While past involvement has included interaction via Twitter and Facebook, producers may enlist services such as Skype to bring the audience into the story.
"Essentially what we’re doing is wrapping up our third iteration of our newest awards show and in the true spirit of treating this as more of a digital product than a television show," said Connolly. "What we’re doing this time is, we’re taking the show into the real world. We’re taking it into multiple locations, so it’s not going to be in just one location and again, we’re going to break a Guinness World Record. But this time, we’re collapsing the record into the show creative itself."
Fans can suggest potential categories and nominees at the O Music Awards website beginning Friday. All categories, nominees and the identity of the band that will be performing are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.