The MTV Video Music Awards are Brooklyn bound.
For the 30th anniversary of the cable network’s music awards show, the VMAs will be held at Barclays Center on Aug. 25. It will be the first major awards show televised from Brooklyn.
MTV used its social media accounts on Instagram and Twitter today (March 25) to provide hints that the awards were headed to the recently opened venue. Photographs of the VMA Moonman were posted throughout the day showing it making the journey from last year’s venue, the Staples Center in Los Angeles, to Brooklyn. Included were shots at LAX and JFK airports, Times Square, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
In the last nine years, the VMAs have been held in seven different venues in five different cities. The last three years have been in L.A., last year at Staples and, for the two years before that, the Nokia Theater. When broadcast from New York — the last time being 2009 — it has been at Radio City Music Hall, which has hosted the awards show 11 times, and the Metropolitan Opera House, which was hosted twice.
“From a vibrant musical scene for up and coming artists to epic concerts by today’s biggest stars and the triumphant return of pro sports to the borough after nearly 60 years, Brooklyn has re-emerged as a cultural capitol where music, sports and entertainment history is made every day,” said Stephen Friedman, President of MTV, in a statement. “We can’t wait to help write the next chapter on August 25th, when one of the biggest nights in music happens in Brooklyn.”
The Barclay’s Center has emerged as a premier location for music events following Jay-Z’s eight-night, venue-inaugurating residency last October. In the past five months, it has hosted headlining shows by Mumford & Sons, the Rolling Stones, Neil Young, and a Jay-Z/Coldplay New Year’s Eve performance, and has shows by Justin Bieber, Alicia Keys, Green Day, Rihanna, The Killers, Beyonce, and more on its upcoming schedule. The venue also is the home of the Brooklyn Nets NBA team, is currently hosting the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus, and will be the future home of the New York Islanders hockey team as of the 2015/2016 season.
“MTV’s ‘Video Music Awards’ are the perfect culmination to an incredible inaugural year for Barclays Center,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of the Barclays Center, in a press release. “The VMAs are a symbol of pop culture and have created iconic moments worldwide in music and entertainment. Brooklyn has become an international brand and is the perfect setting for these moments. We can’t wait to share our stage with the world.”
Last year’s VMA show took a significant hit in the ratings, dropping to 6.13 million viewers after a record-setting 12.4 million viewers tuned in in 2011, according to Nielsen. Prior to last year, the show had a strong showing of five consecutive years of ratings increases.
Dan Rys contributed to this report.