MADRID — Metrically speaking, the 2010 Europe Music Awards might not be the biggest production in the 16-year history of the show, but it's certainly the "boxiest."
That's because this year's EMAs will be broadcast live from Madrid's Caja Magica, a new clay-court tennis facility (and home to the city's legendary Real Madrid basketball team) which, literally translated, means "The Magic Box." Opened just last year, the Caja features multiple retractable roofs, wandering water features and seating for more than 12,000. And Sunday, when it'll play host to the EMAs, the stage also will be a box — a four-sided, rotating, multidimensional cube courtesy of British theater designer Es Devlin, who's worked with Lady Gaga, Kanye West and Muse.
The stage is entirely constructed of steel shipped from London, and rotates 360 degrees to reveal four distinct settings for the EMA performances, which will include B.o.B and Hayley Williams, Miley Cyrus and Ke$ha, to name a few. And, in the city itself, Linkin Park, Katy Perry and 30 Seconds to Mars will perform live from the Puerta de Alcala, a monument commemorated in 1778.
The show itself will feature eight costume changes by host Eva Longoria (including an outfit designed by Victoria Beckham), and more than 600 sets of eyelashes, 300 wigs, 300 shades of eye shadow and blush, and 100 sets of pre-painted nails, modeled by 97 dancers from 12 different countries.
And while all that is plenty big, the behind-the-scenes stats are equally eye-popping: Stars can luxuriate in 34 different dressing rooms, dine on special macrobiotic meals crafted by a team of international chefs or be waited on by a staff of first-class Lufthansa airline attendants.
Meanwhile, the crew — some 1,300 workers, technicians, talent wranglers and caterers — will communicate on more than 800 walkie talkies, backed by 1,200 batteries and 450 headsets. And they'll eat meals cooked by 30 chefs (who will go through some 600 chickens and a half-ton of beef every day) and pastries created by three Madrid bakeries and chug their way through 10,000 bottles of water (all of which will be recycled).
Oh, and in the days leading up to the show, more than 110 limousines and vans will move artists around the city of Madrid, and more than 100 buses will transport VIP guests and the media to and from the Caja.
Looking at all those numbers, maybe the 2010 EMAs is the biggest production in the show's history. We can't imagine anything bigger.
The 2010 EMAs will air on MTV2 on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET, and an edited, performance-heavy version will be broadcast Friday, November 12, at 9 p.m. ET on MTV.