How MTV is Hurting Obama's Democratic National Convention

::::Planners hoping to score big-name acts for
the party's September pow-wow are worried
about those double-booked VMAs.
This story first appeared in the August 17 issue of
The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
The Theme song for September's Democratic
National Convention might be "The Sound of
Silence." With less than a month until the Sept. 3-6
event in Charlotte, N.C., sources say party planners
are having a hard time booking musical
entertainment for the various events.

The problems began when MTV moved its annual
Video Music Awards to Sept. 6, the Thursday when
President Obama will deliver his acceptance
speech at the convention. That means many A-list
acts, which normally would have been tapped to
perform at parties during convention week, will be
tied up in Los Angeles.
It's also a problem that the Dems' post-Labor Day
convention falls at the same time that many
exhausted performers are returning home from
summer tours. And even the president's most
ardent supporters admit there is somewhat deflated
buzz around Obama, as opposed to the frenzy of
2008, when such acts as Kanye West, Nelly,
Death Cab for Cutie and Sheryl Crow gladly
performed in venues big and small every night of
the convention.
This year, groups like the One Campaign and the
Human Rights Campaign, both of which threw
splashy events four years ago, have decided
against holding concerts as a way to trim expenses.
"We have four very costly ballot initiatives [on
marriage equality]," says an HRC rep. "We're
putting our money into winning elections." For its
part, an MTV source tells THR the network will shift
the VMAs to 8-10 p.m. as opposed to its traditional
9-11 p.m. slot "to avoid conflict with the
Democratic National Convention proceedings that
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And one party planner expects that last-minute
appeals will prevail among the Democratic loyalists
(rapper Flo Rida already has agreed to play an
event for military families). "I think there will be
good participation in the end," the planner says. But
while it might be impossible for a top musician to
resist a personal call for help from Obama himself,
sources say the fact that the convention is in
Charlotte, which is not easily accessible from Los
Angeles by air, also is a deterrent. "Charlotte is not
Denver," says one Democratic activist of the 2008
host city.
"My guess is it might not be the star fest that it
once was, but it will still command some star

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