UPDATED: An MTV rep confirmed to Variety final month that the community was working with metropolis officers to maintain the VMAs at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on August 30, and stated additional particulars could be forthcoming. On Monday morning, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated that the present will happen with “restricted or no viewers.” Only a few hours later, the community made the announcement official:
“This yr’s display screen breaking spectacle will deliver collectively music followers worldwide and pay homage to the power, spirit and unbelievable resilience of NYC and its beloved residents,” it reads. “Spanning all 5 boroughs — Brooklyn, The Bronx, Staten Island, Queens and Manhattan — music’s largest evening will function epic performances from numerous iconic places.”
Holding any type of mass public gathering is problematic because the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the nation, as evidenced by the outraged response to a pair of nation concert events over the weekend that drew between 1,000 and a couple of,000 followers who flagrantly disregarded social-distancing norms.
Including to the controversy, within the weeks because the VMA information initially broke, Barclays Center, which is situated in a densely populated a part of New York Metropolis’s most populous borough, has turn out to be a gathering level for Black Lives Matter protests. This provides one other layer of each complication and relevance to holding an awards present at the venue.
The announcement addresses these issues. “The well being and security of artists, followers, business, workers, and companions is of the utmost significance,” it reads. “Present producers alongside Barclays Center administration have been working intently with state and native officers to implement greatest practices for everybody concerned. Among the many measures all events concerned have aligned to embody intensive social distancing procedures, significant capability limitations, the virtualization of elements the place potential, and restricted capability or no viewers. Particulars and potential choices to come at a later date primarily based on the science and information in New York. Barclays Center and ViacomCBS are unequivocally dedicated to guaranteeing that the present doesn’t compromise the well being and security of anybody concerned within the occasion.”
These priorities had been emphasised in a press release from Oliver Weisberg, CEO of Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets. “The 2020 MTV VMAs would be the first Barclays Center occasion because the COVID-19 pandemic reached New York,” he stated. “We’re very excited to as soon as once more host this legendary evening of music, and are particularly happy with the influence it would have on our Brooklyn neighborhood by way of the creation of native jobs. We deeply respect the assist and recommendation of state and native authorities officers, in addition to our inside administration and workforce of medical specialists, all of whom have been working exhausting to make sure the well being and security of everybody concerned, and we’ll proceed to intently comply with their steerage all through each step of the planning course of with our companions at ViacomCBS.”
BET, which can be owned by MTV guardian firm ViacomCBS, staged its personal remarkably well-produced awards present final evening; though there was no dwell viewers and the segments had been all pre-taped, it confirmed a circulation and an innovation in working inside the parameters of social distancing that had not been seen in an occasion of that scale because the pandemic started.
It will mark a return to the Barclays Center for the VMAs, which had been held at the venue in 2013 shortly after its opening. Notable winners from 2019 included video of the yr for Taylor Swift’s “You Want to Calm Down” and artist of the yr to Ariana Grande.
MTV despatched out save the date notices to prime brokers and expertise reps late in Might, indicating this system would transfer ahead in its conventional format. Because the business waits and watches for selections from prime awards franchises just like the Academy Awards and the Emmys, MTV proprietor Viacom has been tinkering with its branded dwell occasions.