The BET Experience May Be Cancelled but the 2020 BET Awards Show Must Go On...Virtually!

Johnny Gill performs onstage at the 2019 BET Awards on June 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Johnny Gill performs onstage at the 2019 BET Awards on June 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: Paras Griffin (Getty Images)

BET Week is a key part of enjoying a black-ass summer.

However, the annual free (unless you drop some change for the V.I.P. package) event where swarms of eager young black folks enjoy concerts, swag, food and trade shows doesn’t bode too well in an era where social distancing is essential. So, unfortunately, the 2020 BET Experience has been postponed until 2021.


As for the 2020 BET Awards? Well, Da Rona don’t stop no show!

Your favorite celebs and influencers won’t be gathering in their blackest and showiest fashions at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, but rather…in the comfort of their own homes. According to a press release sent to The Root, the 2020 BET Awards production will still take place “Using an array of innovative techniques and artist-generated content.”


OK, I can’t help but wonder if T.I. scratched out the word “virtually” and wrote the above phrase instead.

“The BET Awards are a seminal event—the biggest celebration of Black culture, Black accomplishment, Black excellence, and Black potential,” Scott Mills, President of BET, said in a statement. “Our community, and the many millions who love Black culture, look to the BET Awards for signature moments of enrichment, entertainment and empowerment. Recognizing the unique role the BET Awards plays for so many, and the challenging times we find ourselves in, we know it was more important than ever to deliver the BET Awards in 2020.”

“At BET, we place the health and safety of attendees, staff, vendors, and partners first, which is why the biggest night in black entertainment will go on implementing this innovative production direction,“ Connie Orlando, EVP Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy at BET, added in a statement. “For the past twenty years, The BET Awards have paid homage to all things now and relevant. Despite the challenges of today, we will deliver a show filled with larger than life, inspiring, empowering and entertaining moments, which have shown the magic of our culture for over two decades.”


All purchases of VIP Packages for the now-canceled BET Experience will be refunded and you can find more information at The 2020 BET Awards will take place on Sunday, June 28 at 8 p.m. ET. Keep an eye out for the list of nominations, to be announced at a later date!

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

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