After spending the previous two years in Las Vegas and Hollywood, the MTV Video Music Awards came back to New York City's Radio City Music Hall, the venue where it all began 25 years ago. It was a memorable evening filled with exciting performances, dramatic dedications and a a pair of stage crashers in Kanye West and Lil Mama. While the final product was amazing — particularly the red carpet set up outside of Radio City — it took a lot of work to get there.
50 stagehands started building the red carpet area at 6 a.m. on Saturday morning (September 12) and put the finishing touches on in time for the red carpet to open at 6:30 on Sunday evening. Along the way, they built a series of platforms, laid down 5,000 square feet of carpet and set up cameras and equipment that required over six miles of cable. All the while, they had to work around occasionally heavy rain and midtown Manhattan road and foot traffic.
The strike was just as efficient. Because the audience had to exit out of the main entrance underneath the marquee, the crew needed to clear out everything from that area during the two hours that the show was airing live. The rest of the area was gradually picked apart by carpenters and electricians, leaving no trace that MTV was ever there. "I was a union carpenter for 20 years," said production manager Adam Stewart. "And this is my fourth VMAs, but in all that work, this is the hardest job I've ever done." Click here for the behind-the-scenes photos of the construction of the red carpet stage at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards!