Kill Us Now, Please

How Can Anyone Think MTV's 24-Hour Online "Music Festival" Is a Good Idea?

In recent years, it seems like music festivals have begun to pop up left and right. While it was once something you had to travel for, it's now hard to live in a major city without encountering at least one local music festival each year

And now, music festivals have become so cool that even MTV is looking to cash in.

Last week, Reuters reported that MTV would be hosting an online music festival next Wednesday (June 19) with the help of VH1 and CMT.

But it doesn't end there. The "festival," which will be hosted out of the networks' offices in New York City, Nashville and Los Angeles, will be streamed continuously over a 24-hour period.

While that might sound like a great idea to some, there are a lot of reasons why it's actually awful.

For one, MTV -- which used to stand for Music Television -- has abandoned its once music-heavy programming in favor of the drunken "reality" TV stars on shows like The Real World and the now-canceled Jersey Shore. We can't complain as much about VH1 and CMT, since they still actually play some music on those stations.

And did we mention that this is all being put on by Viacom, which owns all three stations? It seems they misunderstood the concept of being a corporate sponsor, and decided to throw their own festival instead of pushing their shitty reality shows on the crowd with Viacom's own brand of Chapstick.

We might all complain about the heat and prices of a music festival at some point, but have you ever had to watch Austin City Limits from home because you couldn't make it? It's depressing. I mean, bless ACL for doing its best to stream live performances for everyone at home, but there's nothing like being in the thick of it.

And really, this "Live Music Day Festival" (is that the name?) isn't just a music festival. Yes, 50 artists are slated to perform, including Hanson, Atlas Genius and Kate Nash, but there's also be a 24-hour drum-a-thon scheduled featuring ?uestlove. And don't forget about the O Music Awards, which will be hosted throughout.

Look, MTV, Viacom, whoever... we're just going to assume that you've never been to a music festival. If you had been, you'd know that it's hard enough to adhere to a schedule when you're just walking around a park trying to decide which band you want to watch.

Why? Because things go wrong. Bands go on late, or worse, your two favorite acts get scheduled at the same time. But more importantly, do you really expect your audience to tune in for all of this stuff? Our head is spinning just trying to explain it.

Hey MTV, you took "Music Television" out of your official logo in 2010. How about you stick to television, and leave the music for those committed to the experience? Because music festivals are about sunscreen, mud, blisters and falling into bed at night more tired than you ever remember being.

It's about getting to wear a cool wristband, making fun of people dancing, and screaming along at the top of your lungs.

None of those life experiences happen on your couch, and you can't get heatstroke from watching Labyrinth on your iPad Mini. Or maybe you can. We've never tried to watch a 24-hour music marathon on one.

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Alyssa Dupree
Contact: Alyssa Dupree