Doja Cat
Doja Cat is one of the performers confirmed for MTV VMAs Image Credit: Instagram

MTV says it is ditching plans for indoor performances for its upcoming Video Music Awards, opting for outdoor shows spread throughout New York City instead.

Organizers had planned for some performances inside Brooklyn’s Barclays Center for the August 30 show, but say they will follow the guidance of state and local officials to move them outside.

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The shift announced is in response to the coronavirus pandemic. New York City was one of the first US cities hit hard by the virus, but cases have leveled off and some restrictions are being loosened.

Governer Andrew Cuomo’s announcement in June that the VMAs would be held at Barclays surprised many and was a signal of the city’s turnaround in its fight against the virus.

A statement by MTV and the Barclays Center promised the show would “pay homage to the incredible resiliency of New York with several outdoor performances around the City with limited or no audience.”

190608 BTS
BTS Image Credit: Reuters

The show plans to return to Barclays for its 2021 edition.

The ceremony bestows new awards focused on live performances and music videos created at home during the pandemic. Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande are the leading nominees with nine apiece.

BTS, Doja Cat and J Balvin are among the performances announced so far by MTV.