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MTV is returning to the Barclays Center for the 2021 edition of its marquee event, the Video Music Awards, which is set to air on Sept. 12, in the first post-Labor Day airing for the show since 2012.
The Barclays Center, which served as the site of the VMAs in 2013, was originally set to be the site of the 2020 edition of the music awards show. But adjustments due to the COVID-19 pandemic forced the team behind the production to pivot to a show that took place in various locations across New York City.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in January, VMAs executive producer Jesse Ignjatovic said that his team didn’t know what it would be like in the Brooklyn arena until they got in there. So it was helpful to have “that backup plan of leaning more into the XR environment, less bodies, less crew, a smaller footprint and a schedule where we could execute the performances leading up instead of everyone coming into one room at one time, which I think everyone felt could have been a little challenging.”
As the country emerges from the pandemic amid ongoing vaccinations, MTV and the Barclays Center are working closely with state and local officials to safely bring together music fans from around the globe.
The 2021 VMAs will air live — in more than 175 countries, MTV says — on Sunday, Sept. 12, the first time the show has aired after Labor Day since 2012. In the 1990s, it was common for the show to air on a Wednesday or Thursday night after the holiday, and indeed the 2012 show aired on a Thursday night.
As part of today’s announcement and ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, MTV is also partnering with 9/11 Day, the nonprofit that began and leads the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, for a series of service-oriented activities in the week leading up to the VMAs and encourages participation in community service activities across the country to honor those affected by the attacks.
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