Students attend first MTV Video Music Awards in N.J.

The VMAs started in 1984 to honor the best music and music videos. Other than giving awards, the award show is filled with several performers. On Aug. 26, the lineup consisted of a variety of stars, such as Lizzo, Jonas Brothers and Missy Elliott.

“I was looking forward to seeing what the event would look like at the Prudential Center since I’ve only been there for Seton Hall basketball games and graduation,” Stephanie Dilorio, a senior elementary and special education and social and behavioral sciences major, said.

Dilorio added, “It was really interesting to see how it was set up for the VMAs, and how it changed throughout the night for different performances.”

Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Lizzo got the Prudential Center crowd to stand up and dance during her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards.

With the VMAs hosted in New Jersey, several students, like Rochelle Acebedo, a senior visual and sound media major, were eager to try to gain tickets to the event.

“Since I live in Jersey City, Newark is literally a city over, so it was not difficult at all to travel to Prudential Center,” Acebedo said. “Because of how close the venue was in proximity, it gave me more of a reason to want to go.

“I’ve always watched the VMAs on TV growing up so being given the chance to actually be at the event was a once and a lifetime opportunity.”

Acebedo was able to obtain tickets after being selected from a lottery. She stated that she entered the lottery in July; however, she was not notified until the day before that she won.

“As the event’s date came closer, I was definitely feeling more anxious and constantly checked my email every hour waiting for a response,” Acebedo said. “When I saw the lineup being released, it made me way more eager to attend the event since there was a lot of celebrities that I would love to see live.”

Her tickets gave her access to “the pit,” which is the area near the front of the stage. For future events, Acebedo noted that she will sign up for seated lottery tickets instead of pit tickets or arrive earlier to get a closer view to the stage. Despite standing throughout the whole event, she was able to see some of her favorite performers.

“Lizzo was my favorite performance hands down,” Acebedo said. “She got everyone in the venue to stand up, dance and sing along with her throughout her performance. Not only are her vocals amazing, but I love her enthusiasm and confidence.”

The VMAs present a number of awards, including the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, a lifetime achievement award. This year, the award went to Missy Elliot, who is the first female rapper to receive the honor. Alexis Juarez, a junior visual and sound media major, expressed her excitement to see Missy Elliot perform.

“I think my favorite performance was Missy Elliott because I definitely grew up on some of her music,” Juarez said. “It was really cool to see her win an award she undoubtedly deserved.”

For Juarez, attending the event was a lifelong dream. Juarez stated that she grew up watching the award show. However, Juarez expressed her confusion on the lack of awareness to the Newark water crisis. Recently, it was discovered that the water in Newark consisted of high levels of lead.

Juarez said, “We felt that they should have done something like a donation to the crisis or bringing awareness. They didn’t even acknowledge it during the ceremony and we just thought that was a little wrong of them.”

Nicholas Hernandez can be contacted at

Author: Staff Writer

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