MTV Sets Date for Live VMAs From Barclays Center With ‘Limited Capacity or No Audience’

Annual event to span all 5 NYC boroughs

2019 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

MTV is moving forward with its plans to stage the 2020 VMAs at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The show will have “limited capacity or no audience” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to MTV, producers and Barclays Center management have been working closely with New York health officials to develop health and safety protocols for the show. In addition to the limited audience, the show will also employ “extensive social distancing procedures, meaningful capacity limitations, [and] the virtualization of components where possible.”

Further details and potential options will “come at a later date based on the science and data in New York,” MTV said.

At least some portions of the show will be filmed remotely, with MTV promising performances from “various iconic locations” throughout New York City’s five boroughs. The announcement comes a day after BET took a similar approach with its fully virtual BET Awards on Sunday night.

“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,” said Bruce Gillmer, president of music, music talent, programming & events for ViacomCBS Media Networks.

“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. “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. 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.”