Stars at 2020 MTV VMAs granted quarantine exemption in New York, J Balvin and Roddy Ricch cancel performances

New York's Barclays Center, which was originally the proposed venue for the MTV's Video Music Awards, was also previously ruled out due to health and safety concerns

                            Stars at 2020 MTV VMAs granted quarantine exemption in New York, J Balvin and Roddy Ricch cancel performances
Ariana Grande, Roddy Ricch and J Balvin (Getty Images)

The 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, aka the VMAs, will be held on Sunday, August 30, at various outdoor locations in New York City, as well as a soundstage in Los Angeles. The entertainment spectacle, which showcases and honors the best video work in the music industry, will feature a slew of stars who are scheduled to perform at the ceremony, including Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, BTS, Miley Cyrus, DaBaby, Doja Cat, Maluma and CNCO, with a throwback slot being helmed by the Black Eyed Peas. It is now understood that the artistes who travel to New York will be granted a quarantine exemption if they will be leaving soon after the day's ceremony, with more slated performers expected to be announced this coming week by the VMAs. However, it was also recently revealed that two musicians have already pulled out of their scheduled performances, namely the hip-hop star Roddy Ricch and Latin music sensation J Balvin.



The loss of high-profile stars like Roddy Ricch and J Balvin was confirmed by a source close to the VMAs. “Unfortunately, J Balvin and Roddy Ricch are no longer performing,” the unnamed source revealed. “As with every awards show, there are always last-minute talent changes. That said, this year has more logistical hurdles than most, and the health and safety of our employees and partners is of the utmost importance.” 

Roddy Ricch performs at SUMMERSFEST 2019 at The Novo by Microsoft on August 12, 2019, in Los Angeles, California (Getty Images)


There have certainly been plenty of hurdles when it comes to pulling off a high-profile television event of this magnitude, with both logistics and health and safety concerns an ever-present topic of discussion. The proposed venue for the 2020 VMAs, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, had previously been ruled out a couple of weeks ago due to growing fears that an indoor event might be at high risk for infection in the current coronavirus climate. According to a statement released by spokespersons for MTV and the Barclays Center, they announced that an outdoor ceremony looked more likely.

An outside view of the Barclays Center during Samsung Unpacked New York City at Barclays Center on August 07, 2019, in New York City (Getty Images)


The full press release read, "The 2020 VMAs will be held on Sunday, August 30th 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. 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. 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."



It is also understood that the performers who travel to New York for the VMAs will not be subject to the normal two-week isolation period enforced on visitors, but this will lapse if they plan on staying in New York for more than 24 hours. This one-time exemption only extends to the day of the show, according to a spokesperson for Governor Andrew Cuomo. The New York Police Department will also be ensuring that VMA performers and their entourages are wearing masks and observing social distancing guidelines. If the artistes plan to stay in New York after their VMA performances, then they will be expected to quarantine for two weeks like everybody else or risk a fine up to $10,000 or up to 15 days in jail. “The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and Citywide Events is working in close coordination with the production to ensure guidelines are being followed," a City Hall spokesperson revealed.

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