Black Entertainment Television, better known by its acronym BET, has been cultivating, showcasing, and reinforcing Black culture and entertainment for over three decades. Every summer the network hosts the BET Awards, celebrating talented contributions to categories like best male and female artist, best actor and actress, viewer’s choice, best new artist, humanitarian, and lifetime achievement. The awards are embroidered with anticipated musical performances, celebrity presenters, and are hosted by some of Hollywood’s most brilliant stars; this year hosted by ‘Rush Hour’ funny man Chris Tucker. The two hour celebration of Black entertainment and culture has since become known as the BET Experience, but this year marked the first annual augmentation of the experience; extending it to a weekend long festival and panning the spotlight from the celebrities over to the fans for a change.
With a venue considered to be the most entertaining place on the planet, the BET Experience found its new home this year at L.A. Live in Los Angeles, CA. From Friday June 28th, 2013 through Sunday June 30th, 2013, the city of L.A. was invited to take part in a larger than life, free fan festival that boasted a Taste of Soul food celebration, interactive exhibits, demonstrations, giveaways, and a rare opportunity to interact with their favorite shows, music, and entertainers sans the usual barrier of their television screens.
Thursday evening, June 28th kicked off the weekend in good spirits with the premier of comedian Kevin Hart’s hilarious new movie ‘Let Me Explain’. The following three days were a fan riveted whirlwind of concerts showcasing up-and-coming artists to watch, a celebrity basketball game, contests, health and wellness seminars, and panel discussions where fans were able to pick the brains of their favorite celebrities. Amidst all the hustle and bustle stood two oases from the sweltering June heat; the BET and Centric brand pavilions. Both were meticulously decorated, mercifully air-cooled, and equipped to provide viewers with multiple mediums and plush couches on which to watch their favorite movies and shows as well as preview new fall programming.
Tickets and VIP packages were available for purchase granting extended access to the BET Experience. Ticket wielding fans were privy to the BET Awards Lifetime Achievement exhibit at the Grammy Museum, comedy shows featuring the jocular genius of Mike Epps and Cedric the Entertainer, and concerts headlined by Erykah Badu, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Miguel, The Roots, Nelly, Eve, MC Lyte, Too Short; and the incomparable, R&B, pop, soul, and hip-hop pseudo deity, Mrs. Beyoncé Knowles-Carter herself. Sunday’s BET Awards followed by a few well-placed, celebrity-hosted after parties consummated the first annual BET Experience at L.A. Live.
Mass quantities of fan appreciation, culture, and entertainment are enough to make one’s head spin; and it’s quite easy to forget that someone actually had to plan it all! Every minute detail that brought the BET and Centric brand Pavilions to life was carefully animated and executed by the talented Ms. Kimberly Seeherman, phenomenal event producer, designer, and founder of her event planning firm Events By Fabulous. A Princeton University graduate and neuroscience major, Ms. Seeherman credits her event producing prowess to her scientific and analytical background. Her systematic regard allows her to isolate the many different elements that go into creating the perfect affair and assemble them flawlessly. “Science is the art of creation,” Kimberly explains, “It’s what allows me to be a miracle worker.” Kimberly considered the viewers in every aspect of the BET Experience, from the Photo Bombing booths where fans’ pictures were digitally inserted into celebrity photos, to the custom built structures, and hand selected furniture furbishing the posh pavilions. Even though every fan wasn’t able to attend the BET Awards, the BET Experience permeating the awnings cultivated an inclusive environment, and made every fan feel like they were a part of something special. With a mere few weeks’ time and a mission to bring BET and Centric programming to life in a way that was unique and tangible for fans and viewers, Ms. Seeherman contributed to exquisitely actualizing the first of many annual weekend long celebrations of music, entertainment, and Black culture.
For more information about Events By Fabulous please visit: www.eventsbyfabulous.com
**Photos courtesy of Andrew Harrold and Centrictv.com.