The VMAs have always been at the forefront of pop culture and controversy. Between Beyonce’s pregnancy announcement, the infamous Kanye West and Taylor Swift incident, and the unforgettable Miley Cryus performance from 2013; the show has truly had some crazy moments. The show never fails to make headlines, and the events that occur are talked about for years after. I have always imagined what it would be like to witness pop culture history, and this year my wish came true. Here’s what it was like attending the VMAs.
While the show didn’t start until 8 p.m, check-in began at 3 p.m.. I arrived at the designated parking lot that check-in was held at to see
a very unglamorous setup. It included: three large tents, a row of porta-potties, and an extensive security line. As I got to the front of the line, I went through security, received my wristband, and was escorted to the waiting area. Sitting in anticipation was definitely the worst part, but I definitely made the best of the situation by making friends with other attendees. Around two and a half hours passed and I was finally making it somewhere, making it to the point where they locked up my phone. I totally understand the logic behind locking them up, but boy was it brutal feeling my phone vibrate for the next six hours and not being able to see what was going on.
Now to the fun part! After “yondering” our phones as they called it, we were escorted through the backstage area to get to our “seats” in the pit. Our line was quickly halted to make way for an incoming set piece which turned out to be for Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s performance. This was the moment that made me pinch myself… was I really here? I will never forget walking onto the floor of the Prudential Center and seeing the giant silver moon man front and center, surrounded by an A-list seating chart. Seeing everything being set up and perfected before cameras started rolling was so surreal. After another hour of standing around and receiving directions from the crew, it was finally show time!
The celebrities packed into the arena in their gowns and outrageous outfits. Seated directly in front of me were the celebrities I have seen on my screen so many times before, but this time- I was actually in the room with them. Selena Gomez in her sparkling red gown was escorted to a seat in the front row. Renee Rapp, a newer artist who has quickly become one of my favorites, was sitting at the top of the section with her friends, chatting away. Tiffany Haddish was having the time of her life during even the most mundane of interactions, and Shakira was seated next to her young sons who looked like they were ready for bed all night. Seated on the other side of the stage was Taylor Swift, Sabrina Carpenter, Ice Spice, Lil Nas X and so many other iconic celebrities. One of the most incredible parts of this whole experience was seeing how all of the celebrities interacted with one another when a camera wasn’t on them. I loved seeing celebrities fawn over each other, cheer each other on and even just have side conversations during the commercial breaks. Watching Taylor Swift reacting to her friends winning awards and all of the live performances was almost as entertaining as the actual show.
As previously mentioned, the VMAs are known for outrageous performances and grand announcements. This year brought a highly anticipated NSYNC reunion, a fake-out performance from Olivia Rodrigo and history-making wins for Taylor Swift. While nothing truly monumental or controversial happened, it was still an incredible experience I will never forget. I am so grateful I got the opportunity to witness the award show this year, and hope to be in attendance again in the future!
Now you may be asking…how did I pull this off? How much money did I have to spend to get these tickets? Well, I have great news for you, it’s actually really simple. Oh…and it’s free! My go-to site for unforgettable television experiences is 1iota.com. There, they offer tickets for all of your favorite late night and daytime talk shows, a few award shows (like the VMAs) and other random fan experiences. While based mostly in NYC and Los Angeles, they do offer a few experiences in other cities. They upload new experiences everyday so keep checking if you do not see one you’re interested in yet. If you are a pop culture fanatic like me, this is the site for you.