This year’s MK Awards were short but a spectacular ceremony nonetheless. Witty hosting from Bouwer Bosch, Jean Jordaan and Anne Hirsch ensured an entertaining evening.

The awards ceremony opened with the upbeat melodies of Al Bairre, who then went on to claim the award for Best Video with production costs under R15 000. The “We move on” video cost the band nothing to produce and they very excitedly accepted their award.

The award for Best Venue, a category which was not open for fans’ votes, was shared by Arcade Empire and The Assembly in Cape Town.

Shortstraw claimed the awards for Best Album for their 2013 release, Good Morning Sunshine, and Best Music Video for their single “Waterworks”, which they collected while wearing colourful suits and top hats.

It came as no surprise that Oppikoppi took home the award for Best Festival. Oppikoppi, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, beat emergent festivals such as RAMfest and Rocking the Daisies.

With a new single and a new album, Wrestlerish entertained the crowd just before Al Bairre went on to claim their second award of the evening for Best Newcomer.

Van Coke Kartel was awarded Best Afrikaans Act and Jeremy Loops won the award for Best Live Act. Loops cheerfully accepted his award, joking about the mess he made of his acceptance speech in 2013 and how he hoped his parents would be impressed by the fact that he even wore a jacket this year.

Haddad Viljoen was given the Legend Award for his work in the South African music industry. Viljoen has previously been involved in Aardklop and in the marketing and publicity management for M-Net’s Afrikaans channels. He is now the executive producer at Orijin, a design and production company in Cape Town.

Other standout performances of the ceremony included Jack Parow and Haezer’s live collaboration, which had the crowd screaming in excitement, and Fokofpoliesiekar’s act that finished the ceremony with a punch to the gut.

One person who should have won an award was Anne Hirsch’s designer. Hirsch appeared a number of times during the show wearing outfits that could rival Lady Gaga’s style. A fried egg suit, a newspaper dress and an outfit of rubber chops and charcoal packets were creatively crafted and served as a source of ongoing entertainment.

The production of the evening was exquisite, both visually and audibly. The stage was decorated with giant lit-up letters, a revolving stage and mesmerising lighting. The sound quality was well engineered and resulted in some strong performances from all of the evening’s acts. The event seems to have undergone some downscaling in comparison to previous years and with MK moving towards online streaming, the awards may be set to move in a new direction. However, the evening provided a promising picture of the future.

While a number of excellent local acts were nominated for awards there is still a lingering hope that a wider variety of smaller, solo and alternative acts will stand the chance to find a place in the nominations among the industry heavies.

The night was still young as the ceremony closed and all that was left to do was meet Bouwer Bosch and Jean Jordaan at the bar as they had so temptingly promised in their welcoming speech.

Photo: Reinhard Nell

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