UPDATE: The 2020 MTV VMAs is changing course.
In a statement released Friday, Aug. 7 to Variety, the network announced the ceremony will no longer take place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn due to ongoing concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, performances will take place in various outdoor spaces throughout New York City.
"The 2020 VMAs will be held on Sunday, August 30th and pay homage to the incredible resiliency of New York with several outdoor performances around the City with limited or no audience, adhering to all state and city guidelines," the statement read. "In close consultation with state and local health officials, it became clear at this time that outdoor performances with limited or no audience would be more feasible and safer than an indoor event. The VMAs will highlight the boroughs in an exciting show and return to Barclays Center in 2021. MTV will continue to work closely with the Department of Health, state and local officials, the medical community, and key stakeholders to ensure the safety of all involved."
The show will go on—with limited or no audience.
During a press conference on Monday, June 29, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards are officially returning on Sunday, Aug. 30, at the Barclays Center. This marks the first event at the venue since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.
This year's MTV VMAs will bring together music fans worldwide and pay homage to the "strength, spirit and incredible resilience of NYC and its beloved residents," a press release read.
In regards to following CDC guidelines amid the ongoing global pandemic, the press release read, "the health and safety of artists, fans, industry, staff and partners is of the utmost importance." Further, show producers alongside Barclays Center management have been working closely with local and state officials to implement best practices for everyone involved in the event.
The extensive measures that will be taken include social distancing procedures, meaningful capacity limitations, the virtualization of the 2020 MTV VMAs where possible and limited capacity or no audience.
"We're very excited to once again host this legendary night of music, and are especially proud of the impact it will have on our Brooklyn community through the creation of local jobs," said Oliver Weisberg, CEO of Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets. "We deeply appreciate the support and advice of state and local government officials, as well as our internal management and team of medical experts, all of whom have been working hard to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved, and we will continue to closely follow their guidance throughout every step of the planning process with our partners at ViacomCBS."
President of Music, Music Talent, Programming & Events for ViacomCBS Media Networks, Bruce Gilmer, expressed he's "elated to bring the 2020 VMAs back NYC, the cultural mecca of the world where music and entertainment are woven into the DNA."
(This story was originally published on Monday, June 29, 2020 at 3:12 p.m. PST)