• Ashleigh Williams

Pandemic and the Pink Carpet: What to Expect from the 37th Annual VMAs

Updated: Sep 17

The emergence of COVID-19 has affected every industry, but it has hit the music scene especially hard as most music festivals and tours, including Coachella and all Live Nation events, have been canceled or postponed to 2021. This year’s award season was also cut short with the last Hollywood award show being the Academy Awards on February 9th.


Things are looking up, however, and the music industry is slowly making a comeback. The 2020 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) will take place in person, but officials have made adjustments to the ceremony to ensure the safety of those in attendance. The presentation marks the first award show to take place since states began implementing quarantine restrictions in mid-march.


Wondering how MTV plans to hold a live event amidst a global pandemic? We've got the scoop on the 37th Annual VMAs!



The Venue

Originally, the entire show was to be held indoors at New York’s Barclays Center, but performances will now take place at discrete locations across the city’s various neighborhoods including The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, and Brooklyn. Nickelodeon star Keke Palmer will host, but it is not yet clear whether she, as well as nominees, will attend the event virtually or in-person.



Typically, the audience consists of fans in a concert-style pit while celebrities are seated above or around them depending on the arena’s seating arrangements, however, this year’s capacity will be limited to comply with state and local guidelines.



The Quarantine Categories

Another twist added to this year's show is the addition of two new categories inspired by the current health crisis: Best Music Video from Home and Best Quarantine Performance. Nominees for the best music video from home are:

  • 5 Seconds of Summer "Wildflower"

  • Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber- "Stuck with U"

  • Blink-182- "Happy Days"

  • Drake -"Toosie Slide"

  • John Legend- "Bigger Love"

  • Twenty One Pilots- "Level of Concern"

Competing for Best Quarantine Song are Chloe x Halle, CNCO, DJ D-Nice, John Legend, Lady Gaga, and Post Malone. Additionally, one lucky artist will be awarded the Best Alternative Song for the first time in over 20 years.



The Performers

With an abundance of stages, fans can expect a jam-packed show featuring artists from every genre. Those booked to perform are Ariana Grande, Black Eyed Peas, BTS, CNCO, Da Baby, Doja Cat, Maluma, and The Weeknd. Returning to the VMAs stage are Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga, who will perform both her original material and her collaboration with fellow pop star, Ariana Grande - we can't  WAIT to see a live performance of "Rain on Me".


We're hoping that the stages across New York will be majorly decked out to make up for the typical setting they host at the Barclay Center. But if one thing is for sure, we know the VMAs rarely ever miss and there's sure to be some iconic moments -- cue Nicki Minaj's infamous line:  Yo, Miley what's good?



The Fine Print

Now that you have the lowdown on who and what to expect at this year’s video music awards, here are some notable details.

  • Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga lead the pack when it comes to nominations, with each having nine, followed by Billie Eilish and The Weeknd who are each up for six.

  • BTS, Miley Cyrus, and Lady Gaga will all debut live performances of their latest singles.

  • Most importantly, you can catch the event on Sunday, August 30th at 8:00 p.m CT on MTV or stream it live from their website.

Who are you looking forward to seeing at the VMAs this year? Let us know in the comments!

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