"In close consultation with state and local health officials, it became clear that outdoor performances would be more feasible and safer than an indoor event," MTV said in a statement.
The VMAs bowed to reality on Friday (Aug. 7) and announced that the VMAs will not be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, as originally planned. Instead, the Aug. 30 show, to be hosted by actress and singer Keke Palmer, will consist of "several outdoor performances around [New York] City with limited or no audience." The show will return to Barclays Center (which hosted the VMAs once before, in 2013) in 2021.
Here's the full statement from MTV: "The 2020 VMAs will be held on Sunday, August 30th and pay homage to the incredible resiliency of New York with several outdoor performances around the City with limited or no audience, adhering to all state and city guidelines. In close consultation with state and local health officials, it became clear at this time that outdoor performances with limited or no audience would be more feasible and safer than an indoor event. The VMAs will highlight the boroughs in an exciting show and return to Barclays Center in 2021. MTV will continue to work closely with the Department of Health, state and local officials, the medical community, and key stakeholders to ensure the safety of all involved., adhering to all state and city guidelines."