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The production management at the eska music awards 2013 was extremely professional. It was slick, the camera angles were good, the sound was excellent, the lighting was superb, the stage looked stunning. Well done to the production management and crew.

I was also very, very pleased that there wasn’t the usual huge line-up of sponsors listed like the WIG20. It was simply eska, ROKO and TVP1 that were listed as sponsors. Clear and simple. Mind you, there was zero branding on the stage, which was a badly missed opportunity for the sponsors. Oops!

But, the event management was a little surprising for me. Who the hell decided it was a good idea to hold a major awards event in the open? It is never done like that. Think of the Brit Awards or the MTV Awards – they are never staged in the open. There is a reason for that. Every open air event loses atmosphere – it cannot be avoided. That is why televised awards events are never done to a mass audience in the open. All awards events must be in an enclosed venue and with an invited-only audience.

The only events that work in the open are concerts. But, they have to be big name concerts with great performers who create massive atmosphere. Otherwise, it is lost to the sky. That is what happened to the eska awards on Saturday.

It was sort-of okay during the singing bits – when it was a concert, in other words. But, whenever an award was presented, the atmosphere disappeared. The presenters were put in an impossible situation because they could not possibly entertain such a huge crowd in the open air. At points it was painful to watch.

Bizarrely, the awards event-cum-concert was loosely connected with the tall ships regatta. Why? If Szczecin wanted to hold an end-of-regatta party or concert, why didn’t they? And, so it all seemed a bit of a ‘one event for many reasons’ type of event. When this happens it mixes messages.

An awards event is just that. It is not a live open-air concert and it should have nothing to do with tall ships. Was it the “eska music awards” or was it not?

But, the most serious point I would raise about deciding to stage a major televised awards event in the open is the weather risk. Assuming the eska awards was planned months ago, nobody knew what the weather would be. There is always the risk of sudden storms. Any good event manager simply would not take that risk. That is why I think luck, not management, was the main element that saved the eska music awards 2013 from disaster.

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