The dust have settled and the conclusion of the 10th Mnet Korea Music Festival (MKMF) this past Saturday have seen deserving singers who have worked really hard over the past year receiving awards as recognition. But there has been mumurings that the 2008 MKMF is just an internal party for YG Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, SM Entertainment and MNET Media. The distribution of the awards has been described as distributing pork by some fans.
The three daesangs (big awards) comprising of the Song of the Year, Artist of the Year and Album of the Year were handed to the Wonder Girls (JYPE), Big Bang (YG) and DBSK (SM) respectively. Big Bang also got the Digital Music Award (most downloaded song) and Best Male Group. The Wonder Girls won Best Female Group and Best Music Video. DBSK got 4 additional awards, Internet Popularity, Overseas Viewers, Style Award and Mobile Popularity Award.
As the organizers of the MKMF, artistes under MNET Media also had their fair share of the 30 over awards being given out. Lee Hyori won the Best Female Singer and Best Dance Music Award. SG Wannabe won the Best OST Award while Davichi went away with the Best Female Newcomer Award.
Although MKMF is already into it’s 10 year with some age, but many still feel that it’s like an exclusive internal party for the major music companies. There is actually some debate over the actual fairness of the awards, especially towards the daesangs every year. With each major company being accorded a fair share of the awards, it has become like a big celebratory party for them.
Something that needs to be mentioned is that MKMF have always treated the smaller entertainment companies as outcasts. Even if the singers aren’t taking home an award or performing on stage, it’s near impossible to find singers from smaller companies appearing at MKMF. According to a staff from a smaller company, “The organizers (Mnet) did call us up to invite us but it’s just for show. They have no intention of inviting us to the awards ceremony actually.”
Another expressed, “We have good singers in our company and their album sales have set records. If they take part, they are sure to get an award. But it’s like a party for the major companies and you can say they are just competing among themselves. So we felt that there isn’t a need for us to be at the awards ceremony. MKMF is an award ceremony organized for the four major entertainment companies, YG, JYP, SM and MNET. Compared to other awards ceremony, it’s more appropriate to treat it as a celebratory party instead”.
Shinhwa members Lee Minwoo and Shin Hye Sung who announced just before last year’s MKMF that they would not be attending, did not appear this year. Actually, none of the Shinhwa members were nominated or seen at this year’s MKMF. Shin Hye Sung’s management expressed then, “If the judging for the awards ceremony was held fairly and easily understandable, there’s no reason for us not to participate. But how fair is the judging if the list of winners and confirmed performers were made known right from the beginning?”
This year’s MKMF was a big success especially with the special stages. The kiss between T.O.P. of Big Bang and Lee Hyori are guranteed to dominate headlines for years to come. But amidst the performances, what fans would really hope for is to have an award ceremony that is judged fairly and being competed among the talented musicians in Korea. Let’s hope that it would be a better competition next year and not just another big celebratory party for the big 4 (sorry if this sounded like the English Premier League).
But I felt that the awards for 2008 MKMF were justified overall.