The 2020 MTV Video Music Awards is taking place this Sunday, August 30 in New York City. Many are probably scratching their heads, wondering how an award show is taking place in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, especially since other award shows taking place later this year have recently announced their plan to go virtual.
The VMAs have actually received an exemption from New York’s COVID-19 quarantine rules. “The VMAs applied through DOH to allow individuals coming from travel advisory states to participate in the production of the show, in line with the methodology granted for professional sports,” officials at the New York Department of Health told Vulture.
A few months back, Governor Cuomo announced that the award show ceremony would be held inside at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. However, plans have changed so now the VMAs will be held virtually and the performances will take place at different venues across the state’s five boroughs, according to Vulture. The performances will be audience-less and outside, according to the Rolling Stone.
“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,” said a spokesperson for both MTV and the Barclays Center in a joint statement.
The lineup of performers include Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, The Weeknd , BTS , Doja Cat, CNCO, and Maluma . Two artists who were originally expected to perform are Roddy Rich and J Balvin , but as of yesterday, the two announced that they will no longer perform at the annual award show. They dropped from the performance due to COVID-19 concerns, according to Deadline.
In regards to nominees, Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande top the list with the most nominations. The Weeknd and Billie Eilish are also on the list both nominated for six awards each. Taylor Swift , Dua Lipa , Justin Bieber , BTS, and Harry Styles are also a part of this year’s nominees, according to MTV.
This year’s VMAs will have the typical award categories with a few additions. New categories include “best music video from home” and “best quarantine performance,” according to Deadline.
Keke Palmer is set to host the award show which will air at 8 pm EST on MTV.