A decade on and the decadence is gone

November 2016


I can’t remember when exactly the music industry reformation started in New Zealand. But I do know we are a double octave away from some of the shambolic and shameful days of the Tuis. 

Pead PR started working on the event 15 years ago – and alongside event, production and sponsorship maestros J&A Productions – we’ve observed a seismic shift in attitude to the awards.

The early days were…..colourful.

Urination in the aisles, fellatio in the green room, dick picks in the media centre and other industry hi-jinks exasperated the production and PR teams.

Then back stage used to be filled with Eau D’ Mary Jane; now it’s all water and workouts.

Then artists and presenters arrived with outfits stuffed into a plastic packet, if we were lucky; now it’s a military schedule of hair, make-up and wardrobe for red carpet grooming.

Then artists would cringe at media opportunities or just not bother to pitch; now their messaging is as sharp as the cut of their designer outfits.

The industry has scrubbed up, grown up and the super slick Vodafone NZ Music Awards of today is not only the biggest night in entertainment but also one of the most professional acts in town.

The live broadcast on TV 3 reaches an audience of more than 500 000, the strongly supported PR programme generates more than $9 million in publicity and the social media engages more the 250 000 people.  It’s a big deal for our artists and the production values of the event do justice to the size of the audience and the sponsorship support. 

I’ll be the first on my feet to applaud change for the better but I also want our artists to keep the faith and show us their inspired creativity and some of their torture.

And that’s why I loved Aaradhna’s unexpected speech and gesture on Thursday night.  The speak-from-the-heart moment detonated a PR top spin to the evening and keeps the event real.  At the risk of getting in to trouble with my client, I want to see a bit less “Oscars style compliance” and more spontaneous spirit.

But please do use the gents and spare us the dick pics in the media centre.

Deborah Pead.

Image credit: James Ensing-Trussell