Farewell to the Meteors
There are few people other than Westlife who are likely to miss the Meteor Music Awards. Almost every year, the Westlife lads would turn up, smile for the cameras and go home with another clatter of gongs for the collection. …
There are few people other than Westlife who are likely to miss the Meteor Music Awards. Almost every year, the Westlife lads would turn up, smile for the cameras and go home with another clatter of gongs for the collection. There must be little room in their expansive gaffs for anything else with all those gongs, tooth-whitening products and abandoned tuxedos from their attempt to be the Rat Pack.
But there will be no awards for Westlife or anyone else in 2011. Yesterday, Meteor announced that they had “decided to take a break” after “10 rockin’ years” and “not produce the Meteors in 2011”. Few will be surprised if this break becomes permanent.
You could call the Meteors many things but “rockin’” is not one of them. It was an event which grew out of what used to be the IRMA Awards and previously the IRMA Milk Awards (both attempts by Irish record industry boyos IRMA to ape the Brits) and got going in 2001, when Elton John turned up to collect his humanitarian award.
The die was cast and the Meteors became synonymous with red carpets, showbiz reporters (Xpose must be gutted that the event has been axed), tacky limos (to cart the stars from one door to another, believe it or not) and W-list (as in “who the hell is that?”) celebrities in the audience. There was never much surprise or debate about the winners, with the annual 2fm Hope For… award for upcoming acts in particular often seen as the kiss of death for any aspiring act (hello Rubyhorse, Relish and Angel Of Mons). If any of the acts who won awards received a sales bounce as a result of turning up and waving at the crowd, we didn’t receive a press release about it.
It’s unlikely, though, that anyone will step into the breach and attempt to replace the Meteors in the short-term. Putting on an event on that scale requires a significant production budgets (Meteor had to obviously move from the O2 in recent years and a lot of cash was needed to transform the RDS into a venue fit for TV) and promotional spend. In current straitened financial times, such sponsorship budgets are more likely to be found in sports rather than entertainment because of a perceived better bang for the sponsor’s bucks. Then, there’s the fact that Irish music awards of this ilk will be associated with Meteor for quite some time to come so any incoming brand will have to spend a lot of cash to break that link. The aul’ red-carpet can be rolled up and put into storage for now.