As previously established, the VMAs were a clusterfuck. It seems this was also the case for what has happening outside Barclays Center leading up to Sunday night, as residents in the surrounding area of Prospect Heights have now had some time to air their grievances about the awards show descending upon their neighborhood. They’re not exactly thrilled with how it went down.
MTV had been explicit in its goal of integrating the Brooklyn landscape into the show. “This is one of the few arenas actually in a neighborhood,” VMA execute producer (and Brooklyn native) David Sirulnick told the Times last week. “It’s not going to be a red carpet show during which you can’t tell where it is,” which explains why cameras continually panned a corner bodega, storefronts and brownstones during the red-carpet preshow.
This, of course, came at the expense of the people who actually shop at the storefronts and live in the brownstones. Traffic was a mess, and bright lights and noise became pretty big nuisances, but the biggest concerns involve poor communication between residents, MTV and city authorities, and what that means for future large-scale events at Barclays:
“In terms of the way it impacted residents, it was a much, much, much bigger event than we were told,” Peter Krashes, president of the Dean Street Block Association, told Radio.com. “You want to be able to count on communication and commitments being met, and if those things aren’t done you hope that the next time around, they are done. Everything went wrong this time.”
DNAinfo reported that a meeting planned for late July with residents, MTV, the Mayor’s Office of Film, and the 78th Precinct, which oversees the arena, was “abruptly canceled at the last minute.” Norman Oder, a veteran reporter following the Atlantic Yards development, told Radio.com, “People are worried, not just because of this large event, but because of the precedent it may set. Neither MTV nor the Mayor’s Office of Film/Broadcast/TV would come to a public meeting. Plans were not submitted to the local community board(s). It doesn’t look like the Code of Conduct [determined by the Mayor’s Office] is being followed.”
Though both Barclays and MTV had set up email accounts and hotline numbers for neighbors to contact with questions and an arena rep had attended a Dean Street Block Association meeting, some residents insist in was difficult to find the info that was available to them, outside a list of street closures and traffic re-routing plans mailed out last month. How amplified would the noise be? Would crowd control measures be in effect? How about extra sanitation teams for post-show cleanup? No one really seemed to know.
A statement from the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment responded to the criticism: “The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment has been in close communication with the community, meeting with residents and answering questions, in addition to the outreach done by MTV and Barclays. Our office has also reduced the footprint of this event significantly to lessen the impact on the local community.”
Speaking of things that are disruptive, did you guys see Miley Cyrus’ tongue? Heh.