The overwhelming stage of the home of K-pop + ‘XR Directing’ 200 countries live.

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The representative K-pop awards ceremony ‘Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA)’ presented a stage aimed at both scale and meaning. This event, which was broadcast live to about 200 countries worldwide, drew more attention as MAMA announced that it would later enter the United States.

MAMA, held at the CJ ENM Studio Center in Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do on the evening of the 11th (some stages were pre-recorded), boasted a spectacular stage production using extended reality (XR) technology. In addition, reflecting the recent growing interest in the environment, ESG (environment, society, governance) was applied throughout the event, which is unusual for a famous culture awards ceremony.

At this year’s MAMA, the XR technology stood out. By adding a virtual structure on top of the actual stage structure, a scene that is difficult to realize in reality was created. When Wanna One, the group reunited after three years, sang ‘Hurry,’ the stage frame showed a burning effect. During the stage of Espa, a group with an avatar worldview, a giant snake, ‘Black Mamba’, showed a screen swirling around the entire venue.

This day’s award was effectively a solo stage for BTS. All four awards were taken: Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and Worldwide Icon of the Year. BTS, who could not appear at the scene because they were in self-quarantine after their activities in the United States, said in a video award ceremony, “I will work harder so that BTS’s music can be a little bit of comfort and hope in a difficult moment.”

It was also remarkable that British pop star Ed Sheeran worked as an ambassador for this year’s MAMA. Sheeran, selected as an ambassador along with Rain, Song Joong-ki, and Han Ye-ri, delivered a congratulatory message through video and performed ‘Bad Habits’ and ‘Shivers’ on a remote stage.

Hyori Lee, who became the first female solo host in MAMA, decorated the finale stage with dancing and singing along with the dancers who appeared on Mnet’s popular ‘Street Woman Fighter.’

MAMA has added a vegan (vegan) menu to the on-site lunch box starting this year. CJ explained that all the cast and staff who participated in the event could choose a menu consisting of vegan salad, low-carbon fruit, and fair trade coffee certified by the Korea Vegan Certification Institute.

Recycled materials were used for the production of cheering tools and on-site information. It introduced ‘M: Peaker’, a professional support tool for MAMA made using household waste such as paper, plastic, and aluminum cans. In addition, 300 on-site posters using waste plastic materials were produced, and after the event, they were collected and donated to recycling companies.

An environmental protection campaign video featuring the group ATEEZ appeared in the middle of the awards ceremony. ATEEZ members transformed into characters who recommend recycling resources, such as using tumblers in daily life in cafes and streets and commuting to work by bicycle.

Kim Hyeon-soo, head of CJ ENM’s music content division, explained, “As MAMA is an awards ceremony that has a great influence on the global MZ generation, we took responsibility for ESG practice both on stage and offstage,” explained Kim Hyun-soo.

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