MTV’s Video Music
Awards to return
to Barclays Center
— without crowds REMEMBER WHEN: When Brooklyn hosted
the Video Music Awards in 2013, Miley Cyrus
(left) made headlines and the Brooklynbased
artist KAWS redesigned the trophy.
COURIER LIFE, JULY 3-9, 2020 25
OUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO THE BOROUGH OF KINGS
BY KEVIN DUGGAN
The state will permit MTV to hold
its Video Music Awards at Barclays
Center on August 30, Gov. Andrew
Cuomo announced at a press briefi ng
The cable channel’s annual award
show for the best music videos features
performances from chart-topping artists
and it’s 36th edition will take place
at the Atlantic Avenue arena with “all
safety guidance, including limited or
no audience,” according to Cuomo.
MTV’s prospects to hold the event
at the Prospect Heights venue were
fi rst reported by Variety in late May.
In a press release following the
governor’s announcement, MTV said
they will implement “extensive” social
distancing, limit capacity, and
make some shows virtual where possible.
The company statement echoed
Cuomo, saying the event might also
impose a limit on attendees or have no
The cable station will announce
more details as the data on the virus
for the Empire State becomes clearer,
the statement said.
One senior offi cial from MTV’s parent
company Viacom said that the fi rm
was delighted to return to the city.
“We’re elated to bring the 2020
‘VMAs’ back to NYC, the cultural
mecca of the world where music and
entertainment are woven into the
DNA,” said Viacom’s president of music,
music talent, programming, and
events, Bruce Gillmer in a statement.
The VMAs rolled out the red carpet
at Barclays Center once before in 2013
— a year after the stadium’s opening.
The festivities included memorable
moments, such as singer Miley Cyrus
twerking and crotch-grabbing in a
furry leotard and Katy Perry performing
her hit single “Roar” underneath
the Brooklyn Bridge.
The chief executive offi cer for Barclays
Center and the Brooklyn Nets
said the award show will be a fi tting
blow-out for the arena, after months of
“The 2020 MTV VMAs will be the
fi rst Barclays Center event since the
COVID-19 pandemic reached New
York,” said Oliver Weisberg in a statement.
“We’re very excited to once again
host this legendary night of music, and
are especially proud of the impact it
will have on our Brooklyn community
through the creation of local jobs.”
While Barclays Center itself has
been closed, the plaza in front of it at
the corner of Flatbush Avenue has become
the epicenter of Black Lives Matter
protests in Brooklyn during the
past month, with local journalist Norman
Oder calling it the borough’s “accidental
File photo by Natalie Musumeci
File photo from MTV/Getty Images