Metro FM Music Awards gets new home
Mbombela - Talks are underway to make Mpumalanga the permanent host of the Metro FM Music Awards.
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) said the province had impressed the organisers by pulling out all stops after being asked to host the 2010 awards at the last minute.
"The decision to bring the awards to Mpumalanga last year was made at the last hour. The organisers had very limited time to prepare, but the awards turned out to be the best produced Metro FM Awards ever," said SABC’s group chief for public commercial services Lesley Ntloko.
He said the Mbombela event was also historic because the awards were hosted outdoors for the first time.
"The event was colourful and the Mbombela stadium was turned into a top-class entertainment arena," he said.
It has already been agreed that this year's awards will be hosted in the province again.
Last year's event cost the provincial government R11.4m.
Provincial government representative, Nthabiseng Motete, who is also the acting chief executive officer for the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA), could not say how much this year’s event would cost.
"The sponsorship for this year's awards will be based on the concept note," said Motete.
The Mpumalanga provincial government's three-year sponsorship of the awards expires next year.
Previous hosts of the awards include Johannesburg, which hosted the first three editions, and Durban, which hosted the awards for a record six times following the rise of Durban Kwaito Music.
Ntloko said that when the awards started 11 years ago, radio station listeners chose the winners.
"Our awards were listener-driven. Listeners were allowed to determine who should be the best artist, meaning that they were popular awards. They were happening through a voting system," he said.
Since then, a panel of judges, which is reviewed annually, was introduced to complement the voting system.
Ntloko said the aim of the awards was to uncover and help develop local talent. "When it was started, the awards were seen as a competitor to the South African Music Awards (Sama). However, we saw it as complementing what Sama is doing," Ntloko said.
Artists who have been nominated for this year's awards will be announced on October 7. Voting will take place between October 8 and 28.
Voting for the finalists will take place between November 4 and 24.
The winner will be announced on November 26 at the Mbombela stadium.