Representatives from the Barclays Center and MTV confirmed to us in a joint statement on Friday: “The 2020 VMAs will take place on Sunday, August 30, and will pay tribute to the incredible resilience of New York with several outdoor performances around. [NYC] with limited or no audiences, adhering to all state and city guidelines. In close consultation with state and local health officials, it became clear at that point that outdoor performances with little or no audience would be more feasible and safer than an indoor event.
The statement added, “The VMAs will showcase the boroughs in an exciting spectacle and return to the Barclays Center in 2021. MTV will continue to work closely with the Department of Health, state and local authorities, the medical community and key stakeholders to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
The annual music video awards were due to take place at Barclays with “limited or no audiences” by order of Governor Cuomo regarding pandemic protocols.
A source told Page Six earlier this week that some staff said they did not feel safe continuing the show. But another source said the decision to suspend the indoor show was due to a number of safety factors.
MTV announced Thursday that Keke Palmer will host the show, and the network also revealed this week that K-pop group BTS will be performing for the first time. Doja Cat and J Balvin are also among the live performers.
Sources said gift bags for stars and guests had been shipped.
Nominations this year are led by Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga, with nine each, followed by Billie Eilish and The Weeknd, who each have six nominations.
This would have marked the first time the show has been at Barclays since 2013.