What’s it like to be in an award show fan pit?
It was pretty hot. The New York concrete was cooking us outside the world famous Lincoln Center. But when you say that the #LOWDLADIES of Hip Hop are gathered together for one night only to be honored for their groundbreaking achievements, we only had one question — what time should be there?
Queen Latifah, Salt-N-Pepa with DJ Spinderella, Missy Elliot, and Lil’Kim drew crowds ready to celebrate the women that have recorded and produced some Hip Hop’s classic tracks, set the bar for explosive music videos, and have become fashion icons.
We waited about an hour in the heat from our call time to join other ecstatic people to be part of the fan pit. Have you ever watched an award show on TV and see some people sitting down in the theater, and others crowding around the stage? Those people standing have special tickets that assign them the fan pit. The downside is that you won’t get to sit throughout the entire taping, but the upside is that you could be a three feet away from Lil’Kim, which we were.
If standing isn’t your thing, websites that do audience casting (like this one that we used) usually offer an option to be a seat filler. There’s a pro and a con to this too because there’s two different type, and unfortunately, websites don’t usually specify until you’re there.
The first type is just a regular ticket in a lesser positioned seat, usually far away from all the action. Sometimes these events don’t have enough people to fill the room – hence seat fillers. The second type are people who sit in guests seats when they run out so there’s no gaps in the audience. You can spot these people in shows like in the Oscars when you see a lady sitting in Leonardo DiCaprio’s seat. These aren’t as fun because you’re not really there to enjoy the shows.
Anyway, after checking in on tablets by staff we were escorted through the building, past VH1’s pink carpet, through security, and into the theater. It was majestic. However, the fun ended when they announced we weren’t permitted to use our phones during the live airing. NO PHONES?!? So how do people know we even went? Where’s the trade-off? We snapped as many pictures we could before the show started, especially when the women sat in their royal boxes – as Queens should do – above our left shoulder.
Before we knew it, Eve was on stage MC’ing the show, dancers were flying over all over the stage jumping to classic Missy Elliott joints, and when we couldn’t think it was hyped enough, Fat Joe and Remy Ma were performing “All the Way Up.” So yeah, for a brief moment we forgot about the No Phone Policy. It wasn’t until a staff member tapped a woman’s shoulder in front of us to put away her phone. Their occasional bickering between was probably the least fun part.
Performances included: Fantasia, Monica, Tweet, Nelly Furtado, Naughty by Nature, Lil Mama, Teyana Taylor, Eve, Ashanti, Dreezy, Keke Palmer, Rich Homie Quan, Fat Joe and Remy Ma
It was a star studded show with speakers such as Common, Busta Rhymes, NYC radio personality Angie Martinez, Diddy surprised Lil’Kim for her birthday, First Lady Michelle Obama sent a video message and Black Lives Matter leaders Alicia Garza and Darnell Moore opened up the show. You can find out more about their opening and Common’s speech in our article here.
Aside from the breaks for commercials and the treacherous wait outside, it was a live night we were honored to be apart. Since the fan pit in these shows are 1/16 the size of a GA concert, we recommend everyone try it at least once. We were arms length distance away from our childhood heroines without having to break someone else’s arm and it was great. Plus we might’ve snuck in a few pictures in too…