MTV to Hold Socially Distanced VMAs in August with 'Limited Capacity or No Audience' in N.Y.C.

The awards show is scheduled for Aug. 30 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York

Lizzo performs onstage during the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on August 26, 2019, in Newark, New Jersey. Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty

MTV is moving forward with its annual Video Music Awards by following extensive safety precautions amid the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

On Monday, the network announced that the awards show will be held on Sunday, August 30, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The event was granted a go-ahead from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who first revealed the news in his press conference on Monday.

The show will "pay homage to the strength, spirit and incredible resilience of N.Y.C. and its beloved residents," while t0-be-determined artists perform at locations throughout the city for the broadcast.

"We’re elated to bring the 2020 VMAs back to N.Y.C., the cultural mecca of the world where music and entertainment are woven into the DNA,” said Bruce Gillmer, president of Music, Music Talent, Programming and Events for ViacomCBS Media Networks, in a statement.

To ensure the health and safety of everyone involved, producers and venue staff will work with local officials to facilitate "extensive social distancing procedures, meaningful capacity limitations, the virtualization of components where possible, and limited capacity or no audience."

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"The 2020 MTV VMAs will be the first Barclays Center event since the COVID-19 pandemic reached New York," said Oliver Weisberg, CEO of Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets, in a statement. "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."

Added Weisberg: "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."

Last year's VMAs were hosted at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, with top prizes that went to Taylor Swift (video of the year), Ariana Grande (artist of the year), Billie Eilish (best new artist) and Lil Nas X (song of the year).

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The announcement comes after several other awards shows and major events were either canceled altogether or postponed during the pandemic.

The Tony Awards nixed its June showtime, and the Oscars pushed back its ceremony by two months, now instead slated for April 2021. The Emmy Awards will still air in September. On Sunday, the 2020 BET Awards aired a virtual broadcast, honoring the music industry while staying home.

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