Packing winds nearing 100 mph and dumping a foot of rain in some places, Hurricane Katrina hit South Florida on Thursday, killing four and leaving millions without power. The storm was expected to move west on Friday (August 26) over the Gulf of Mexico, possibly picking up steam and heading north to the Florida Panhandle by Sunday.
Though light by the standards of the four major hurricanes that lashed the state last year, Katrina was strong enough to put a crimp in the pre-VMA activities that had been planned in Miami. Working with the Miami Beach mayor's office, MTV decided to cancel Friday's outdoor activities planned at Hotel MTV (the city's Surfcomber Hotel), which on Wednesday hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony by VMA host Sean Combs (see "Diddy, Kanye, R. Kelly, Usher Burning Up Miami With Pre-VMA Parties").
"Due to weather conditions, MTV, in cooperation with the mayor's office of the city of Miami Beach, has regretfully decided to suspend all outdoor activities at Hotel MTV for Friday," read a statement from an MTV spokesperson. "Saturday's events at Hotel MTV will be operational from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., weather permitting. Some artists originally scheduled for Thursday and Friday are being rescheduled and will be added to Saturday's lineup. Ticket holders for Thursday and Friday's Hotel MTV events will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis."
Among the events canceled for Friday are a listening party and autograph session for Outkast rapper Big Boi's new Purple Ribbon label featuring Sleepy Brown, Konkrete and Bubba Sparxxx; and a Hotel MTV Celebrity B-Ball Tournament that was to include performances by David Banner, Mike Jones and the Ying Yang Twins. Also canceled was a party hosted by Ricky Martin for the world premiere his new album, Life.
Events for Saturday, which were to include an MTV Live show featuring Akon, Pitbull, Young Jeezy, Frankie J and the dancers from "Rize" as well as an MTV2 LIFEbeat benefit concert with the Bravery, Morningwood and a preview of the new Franz Ferdinand LP will still take place, weather permitting.
We will continue to monitor developments and provide updates as they become available.