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MTV calls off VMAs at Barclays Center, shifts to outdoor concerts throughout the city

Barclays Center. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon

And the award for the most sensible decision goes to…

MTV will not hold its annual Video Music Awards at Barclays Center on Aug. 30 and instead shift to hosting several outdoor shows around the city, according to representatives for the entertainment company. 

Officials at the cable channel opted against moving ahead with an indoor show at the Prospect Heights arena at Flatbush and Atlantic avenues — a decision first reported by New York Post’s Page Six — because of health concerns amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to a spokesperson.

“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,” said Joy Sandoval in a statement.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave MTV the green light at the end of June to host the 36th edition of the award show for the best music videos with “all safety guidance, including limited or no audience.”

With the event fast approaching, organizers have chosen instead to host several outdoor performances around the city, also with a small or no audience, according to Sandoval.

“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,” she said.

The award show, however, will return to Barclays Center in 2021, according to the statement.

The blowout event full of high-profile performers descended on Kings County once before, in 2013, gracing the borough with memorable moments like singer Miley Cyrus twerking and crotch-grabbing in a furry leotard and Katy Perry performing her hit single “Roar” underneath the Brooklyn Bridge.

This year’s bash — spread out across the Five Boroughs — will be hosted by actress and singer Keke Palmer and include performances by K-pop boyband BTS, Doja Cat, and J Balvin, MTV announced last week.

Sandoval did not immediately provide more details about any VMA events in Brooklyn. 

This story first appeared on our sister publication brooklynpaper.com.

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