MTV VMAs Set for August at the Barclays Center With ‘Limited or No Audience’

MTV Plans VMAs 2020
Manny Carabel/Getty Images for MTV

The show will go on.

While some awards shows have been postponed (like the Golden Globes) or have gone virtual (like the Daytime Emmys) due to the pandemic, the 2020 Video Music Awards will take place at the Barclays Center in New York City on Sunday, August 30. According to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo during a briefing Monday, the show “will follow all safety guidance, including limited or no audience.”

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MTV also announced that the event will span all five NYC boroughs — Brooklyn, The Bronx, Staten Island, Queens, and Manhattan — and include performances from various iconic locations.

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

MTV VMAs 2020 logo


The show’s producers and Barclays Center management are working with state and local officials to ensure the health and safety of artists, fans, industry, staff, and partners. There will be “extensive social distancing procedures, meaningful capacity limitations, the virtualization of components where possible, and limited capacity or no audience.” More details will be released at a later date.

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

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Signature VMA awards celebrating music include “Video of the Year” and the “Video Vanguard Award,” which has recently been given to artists Missy Elliott, Jennifer Lopez, and Beyoncé.

2020 Video Music Awards, Sunday, August 30, MTV