The coronavirus pandemic has truly shut down the entertainment industry indefinitely. Television and movie studios have halted production on all projects, Broadway/major theater productions have been closed, and all major award shows cancelled; at least until now. This week BET managed to show the world that not only were award shows still possible in a virtual context, but could also be extremely successful. Now, other major shows are inspired to provide some entertainment to the nation while it endures such a difficult time.
MTV’s annual Video Music Award show typically takes place the last week of August every year. A few weeks ago it was predicted that the VMAs would likely be either cancelled or digital, but recently, the city of New York announced that the show would be doing neither.
Instead, the VMAs will be returning to New York City’s Barclays Center this August, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo. In a news conference this week Cuomo claimed that the show would bring together music fans worldwide like it always does, and pay homage to the strength, spirit, and resilience of NYC and its residents.
The show will also provide performances from artists in remote locations throughout all five boroughs of the city. Bruce Gillmer, the president of music, music talent, programming and events for ViacomCBS Media Networks, which produces the show, recently made a statement reacting to the news.
“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.”
Like most industries that have begun to reopen throughout the country, the VMA’s is going to have to endure some major adjustments in order to properly navigate hosting a whole award show during a global pandemic. MTV made a recent statement in which they claimed that the health and safety of all “artists, fans, industry, staff, and partners is of the utmost importance.”
“Among the measures all parties involved have aligned to include extensive social distancing procedures, meaningful capacity limitations, the virtualization of components where possible, and limited capacity or no audience.”
MTV also claimed that the show’s producers and Barclays Center management has been closely working with state and local officials during the past few weeks and will continue to do so until the actual date of the show to ensure that all proper precautions are taken/followed.
The VMAs will be the first event that the Barclays Center is hosting since the Covid-19 pandemic initially hit New York City. The center is ecstatic to be back in the game and has stated that they’re “proud of the impact it will have on our Brooklyn community through the creation of local jobs,” referring to the hiring of additional employees to assist with the event, as well as local surrounding small businesses seeing an increase in foot traffic.
MTV, Barclays, the state of New York, and all local/state officials will be working tirelessly for the next two months in anticipation of the show and ensuring it runs as smoothly and safely as possible.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.