MTV VMAs Plan A Live Audience Return To NYC’s Barclays Center In 2021

It was looking hopeful last June when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gave the MTV VMAs the go-ahead to take place at the Barclays Center in 2020 with a “limited” audience. However, following an uptick in COVID cases, the VMAs instead opted to host the event at an outdoor space, invite only a virtual audience, and have just a handful of in-person performances. But now as large-scale events eye a late summer return, the VMAs are looking to host their 2021 event indoors.

The VMAs announced Tuesday that the awards show will make an in-person return this year. It’s slated to take place September 12 at the Barclays Center once again, and organizers say they plan to allow fans to attend. According to press materials, the event will “feature epic performances from the biggest names in music and bring fans together from across the globe to celebrate the return of live entertainment.”

Though organizers are feeling confident about gathering indoors, they are still making sure to take safety protocols seriously. “The health and safety of artists, fans, staff, and partners remain the number one priority, and MTV and Barclays Center are working closely with state and local officials to implement best practices in order to safely bring together music fans from around the globe,” organizers wrote in a statement.

The VMAs have yet to announce which artists are set to take the stage in September. Last year’s ceremony saw some showstopping performances by The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, BTS, and Lady Gaga, whose various eye-catching masks stole the show.