In 2016, Rotterdam played host to the MTV European Music Awards for the second time, the previous edition took place in 1997. The awards show is known as one of the largest in the world. 2016’s edition featured performances by Bruno Mars, Green Day, Lukas Graham, Zara Larsson, Shawn Mendes, Afrojack, Martin Gerrix, OneRepublic, Kensington, DNCE, and more, with Bebe Rexha as host. Getting your hands on some tickets was a bit of challenge: only a limited amount were available for sale, the rest could be won by participating in a variety of contests. MTV EMA 2016’s big winners were Justin Bieber (Best Song; Biggest Fans), Lady Gaga (Best Female, Best Look), Coldplay (Best Rock) en Broederliefde (Best Dutch Act).
MTV Music Week turned Rotterdam into Europe’s biggest music hotspot: concerts in extraordinary settings and unexpected locations popped up all over the city. Broederliefde, Douwe Bob, De Likt, Samm Henshaw, and Nielson are some of the many artists that performed during the week leading up to the MTV EMA. MTV presents REC featured performances by Skepta, Santigold, Lianne La Havas and SBTRKT. Finally, BIRD/John106, 45 Life, and the Hiphophuis organized ‘Beyond the Beat’, an ode to Yo MTV Raps, with live music, workshops, and an afterparty with iconic 90’s DJ Jazzy Jeff.