The 2019 BET Awards to leave Los Angeles for Atlanta or Las Vegas

The 2019 BET Awards to leave

Los Angeles for Atlanta or L

The BET Awards drew some 4.3 million viewers

across eight Viacom networks to its June 24

broadcast, landing the No. 1 cable awards show

spot for the fourth consecutive year. Held at the

Microsoft Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, the

show featured performances by Migos, Nicki

Minaj, Jay Rock, Janelle Monae and Meek Mill

with Miguel. During the broadcast, the BET

Awards dominated Twitter with 9 out of the top

10 trending topics. Social media engagement

peaked during Meek Mill’s performance with


The 18th edition of the BET Awards followed the

annual weekend-long BET Experience, which

brought together artists, sports stars, industry

professionals and fans to events all over the city.

But with the network’s contract with AEG, which

owns and operates the Microsoft as well as

Staples Center, up this year, as reported by

Fortune, what does that mean for future BET



“BET and AEG executives are reviewing the 2018

BET Experience weekend and will begin

discussing a contract extension for the 2019

event in the near future,” says a rep for the

network in a statement to Variety .

Still, while it looks unlikely that BET would make

a move for 2019, talk of a new host city, possibly

Atlanta or Las Vegas, has the industry buzzing.

Atlanta in particular seems an apt fit considering

the success of the locally-based Quality Control,

which is home to Migos, Rich the Kid and Lil

Yachty. Vegas, meanwhile, is playing host to

residencies by French Montana, Travis Scott,

Gucci Mane and DJ Khaled and has featured

high-profile gigs by Kendrick Lamar and Future.



“We have five hip-hop residencies between our

two venues,” says Deb Fass, director of

entertainment marketing at the Tao Group,

whose Las Vegas properties include the Tao

nightclub, beach and restaurant, Lavo, and the

Marquee brand of nightclubs and dayclubs. “I

think award shows do great in Vegas. It’s the

center of hospitality in the country, so you have

tons of dining and nightlife and hotels. It makes


Moreover, adds Fass, “These artists are all there

weekly. They have homes in Vegas. Hip-hop is

really ingrained in the city now. It’s become part

of the culture in Vegas, where it wasn’t for quite

some time.”

That’s not the case with Atlanta, which isn’t just

the base for Quality Control and hitmakers like

Mike Will Made It, but has traditionally seen a

robust R&B and hip-hop scene, from TLC and

Usher to Outkast and Goodie Mob. “There are

few cities that have a richer history than Atlanta

when we are talking about music,” says Jonny

Shipes of Cinematic Music Group, whose clients

include rappers Wale and Joey Bada$$. “So

many pillars of the culture have come out of

there, from Dungeon Family to the Migos.

Hosting the BET awards in ATL would be perfect

celebration of excellence, legacy and of course,



The Grammys switched host cities from Los

Angeles to New York for its 2018 edition, and the

MTV Video Music Awards have tried various

venues over the years, to varying degrees of

success. But the BET Awards have for the last

17 years been held in Los Angeles. Only once, for

its debut in 2001, was it held elsewhere: at the

Paris Hotel in Las Vegas. Says Fass: “I think it’s

exciting for these awards [shows] to change

cities and not get stale.”

Vegas certainly has experience with awards

shows, hosting the Billboard Music Awards

annually as well as the Academy of Country

Music honors. Atlanta is newer to the awards

show scene, though it’s worth noting that BMI,

the performance rights organization representing

songwriters and artists, moved its BMI R&B/Hip-

Hop Awards to Atlanta starting in 2017. It

returns to the city on Aug. 30.

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