Awards shows—like most things—look a little different this year. After witnessing the virtual BET Awards earlier this summer, we’ve been anticipating what MTV had up its sleeve for the Video Music Awards, especially after it announced Keke Palmer as the host of the upcoming event.

Initially the annual awards show was to be held at the Barclays Center in New York City, but the VMAs will now take place outdoors as a safety precaution amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

“In close consultation with state and local health officials‎, it became clear at this time that outdoor performances with limited or no audience would be more feasible and safer than an indoor event,” said an MTV statement

“The VMAs will highlight the boroughs in an exciting show and return to Barclays Center in 2021. MTV will continue to work closely with the Department of Health, state and local officials, the medical community and key stakeholders to ensure the safety of all involved.”

Earlier this summer, the network pledged to host a “socially distanced” ceremony inside the Barclays Center, but upon reviewing safety protocols amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it became clear that an outdoor event was a better choice. 

Governor Andrew Cuomo originally confirmed the date and venue Monday during one of his regular briefings about the pandemic. “The event will follow all safety guidance, including limited or no audience,” he declared.

Along with Palmer, who’s hosting, artists to take the stage include Doja Cat, J Balvin and BTS.

MTV’s Video Music Awards airs live on Sunday, August 30, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

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