The 2020 Video Music Awards will not be held indoors at New York’s Barclays Center as previously planned, MTV announced on Friday.
Instead, the annual awards show will feature live outdoor performances throughout the city with limited or no audiences — adhering to New York’s health guidelines put forth to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
“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,” MTV said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.
However, the network has since decided the outdoor performances “would be more feasible and safer.”
The statement continued, “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.”
Along with the usual categories — including video of the year, artist of the year, song of the year, best collaboration and more — MTV has added two new categories aimed at honoring music created during the pandemic: best music video from home and best quarantine performance.
The 2020 VMAs, hosted by Keke Palmer, is set to air live on Aug. 30 at 8 p.m. ET.
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