Since opening in September 2012 with a series of Jay-Z concerts, Brooklyn’s Barclays Center has hosted such music visionaries as Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and Israeli violinist Itzhak Perlman. In August, Barclays Center will continue its dedication to the aural arts when it hosts its first major cultural awards show.
M.T.V. announced today that The Black House will host the 30th installment of the MTV Video Music Awards (or VMAs) on August 25th, because Jay-Z. The music network revealed the news via Instagram, posting pictures of “the Moonman” travelling from LA, his “home for the past three years,” to New York. The Moonman refers to the astronaut holding an M.T.V. flag whose likeness has appeared on VMA statues since the award show’s inception in 1984. After arriving in NY, the astronaut traveled to cultural landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge and “graffiti artist Cern One’s “Comandante Biggie” mural commemorating the Notorious B.I.G., on the side of the Not Ray’s Pizza Building in the Fort Greene neighborhood” before arriving at Barclays around 1:30 P.M.
ed. Note: the “Not Ray’s Pizza Building” is better known as the “Brooklyn Love Building,” to those of us that aren’t M.T.V.
After spending the past three years in L.A., this will be the first VMAs in New York — and the first ever in Brooklyn — since 2009, when Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” won the coveted “Video of the Year” award. The vast majority of VMAs have been in Los Angeles and New York, with the exceptions of the 2004 and 2005 awards when the moonman took his talents to South Beach and 2007, when the VMAs joined the NBA All-Star game being held in Las Vegas.
MTV will hope that Brooklyn’s significant pop cultural capital will help the network rebound from last year’s 6.1 million viewership, a stark decrease from 2011’s 12.4 million viewers. Part of the decreased viewership was due to the awards being moved to a Thursday, the same night as President Barack Obama’s nomination speech at the Democratic National Convention. This year’s show will return to its normal Sunday night slot.
The Brooklyn Game fan and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz had this to say about the awards show coming to his turf:
“From hip-hop to hipsters, Jay-Z to MGMT, Brooklyn musicians have a long history of dominating the ‘spotlight’ on MTV. Brooklyn is a cultural Mecca — the hippest, coolest place for young people across the country, and has played a crucial role in the careers of some of 2013’s biggest bands, like Fun. and the Lumineers.
Now, it is only fitting that the first time Brooklyn will ever host a major awards show, we are welcoming the most exciting and talked about spectacle in the music industry … I’m so thrilled that I’ll probably get ‘no sleep till Brooklyn’ hosts the VMAs!”
Comedian and owner of the PBA’s Philadelphia Hitmen Kevin Hart hosted last year’s awards. No host has been announced for this year’s show, but again, Jay-Z.