If you remember the backlash around Rose McGowan’s dress at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards or the buzz around the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards performers — Britney! BSB! NSYNC! Ricky! — then you know the awards show is typically must-see TV. But how will MTV host its biggest night during a pandemic? What location is safe for the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, anyway?
Luckily for music fans, MTV has a game plan. This year’s VMAs, hosted by Keke Palmer and originally planned for Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, will now feature outdoor performances filmed throughout New York City’s five boroughs, according to People.
“The 2020 VMAs will be held on Sunday, August 30, 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,” MTV said in a statement.
Here’s what else to know about the socially-distanced event:
The 2020 MTV VMA will feature an impressive lineup of performers.
Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande — who lead this year’s VMA nominees field with nine nominations apiece — will perform their hit collaboration “Rain on Me” at this year’s awards show. K-pop boy band BTS, meanwhile, will perform the television debut of their single “Dynamite,” and Miley Cyrus will sing her new song “Midnight Sky.”
Other 2020 MTV VMAs performers include The Weeknd, Roddy Ricch, Doja Cat, J Balvin, Maluma, CNCO, Black Eyed Peas, and DaBaby.
The 90-minute VMAs pre-show — hosted by Nessa and Jamila Mustafa — will feature performances by Chloe x Halle, Jack Harlow, Lewis Capaldi, Tate McRae, Machine Gun Kelly, Travis Barker, and blackbear.
These are the top 2020 MTV VMAs nominees.
After Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, the next most-nominated artists of the 2020 MTV VMAs are Billie Eilish and The Weeknd, who are tied with six nods. In the Video of the Year category, those four stars are competing against Eminem feat. Juice WRLD, Future feat. Drake, and Taylor Swift.
The 2020 Artist of the Year nominees, meanwhile, are DaBaby, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Meghan Thee Stallion, Post Malone, and The Weeknd; and the Best New Artist contenders are Doja Cat, Jack Harlow, Lewis Capaldi, Roddy Ricch, Tate McCrae, and YUNGBLUD.
This year’s show also boasts two pandemic-related categories: Best Music Video From Home (with nominees 5 Seconds of Summer, Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber, blink-182, Drake, John Legend, and twenty one pilots) and Best Quarantine Performance (with nominees Chloe & Halle, CNCO, DJ D-Nice, John Legend, Lady Gaga, and Post Malone).
The 2020 MTV VMA presenters are equally as exciting.
According to Billboard, the presenters at this year’s VMAs include Anthony Ramos, Bebe Rexha, Bella Hadid, Drew Barrymore, Jaden Smith, Joey King, Kelly Clarkson, Machine Gun Kelly, Madison Beer, Nicole Richie, Sofia Carson, and Travis Barker.
The 2020 MTV Video Music Awards air live on Sunday, Aug. 30, at 8 p.m. EST on MTV, BET, BET Her, CMT, The CW, Comedy Central, Logo, MTV2, Nick at Nite, Paramount Network, Pop, TV Land, and VH1.
The 2020 VMAs Pre-Show airs live on Sunday, Aug. 30, at 6:30 p.m. on MTV.