The Grammy Awards have been postponed weeks before the scheduled ceremony in Los Angeles, signaling what could be the start of another year of pandemic upheaval for awards season.
A decorative Grammy is seen before the start of the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday, March 14, 2021 | (AP Photo / Chris Pizzello, File)
The Grammy Awards were postponed Wednesday weeks before the scheduled ceremony in Los Angeles for what organizers called “too much risk” of the omicron variant, signaling what could be the start of another year of pandemic upheaval for awards season.
The return to normalcy attempt was slated for January 31 at the newly renamed Crypto.com Arena with live audiences and performances, but no new dates are scheduled. The Recording Academy said it made the decision to postpone the ceremony “after extensive review and analysis with city and state officials, health and safety experts, the artist community and our many partners.”
“Given the uncertainty surrounding the omicron variant, holding the show on Jan. 31 is just too risky,” the academy said in a statement.
Last year, like most major awards shows in early 2021, the Grammys were postponed due to coronavirus concerns. The show was moved from late January to mid-March and took place with a spare audience consisting mostly of nominees and their guests in and around the Los Angeles Convention Center, next to its usual home, the then arena. known as Staples Center.
It was a big night for BeyoncÃ© and Taylor Swift, but the live performances that set the Grammys apart from other awards shows were held separately without large crowds, most of them pre-recorded.
“We look forward to celebrating music’s biggest night at a future date, which will be announced soon,” the academy statement read.
Finding that date could be tricky, with two professional basketball teams and a hockey team occupying the arena. The Recording Academy made no mention of a possible change of venue in its statement.
The all-rounder Jon Batiste is this year’s main nominee for honors, earning 11 nods in a variety of genres including R&B, jazz, American roots, classical and music video.
Justin Bieber, Doja Cat and HER are tied for second most nominations with eight each.
The Grammys move could be the start of another round of awards after another wave of winter coronavirus, with the Screen Actors Guild Awards slated for February and the Oscars for March.
The move was announced around the same time that the Sundance Film Festival canceled its in-person programming which was set to begin Jan. 20 and switched to an online format.
The festival had been designed as a hybrid, with screenings both in Park City and online. Last year’s Sundance also took place virtually due to the pandemic.
“It was a difficult decision to make,” the festival said in a statement. âAs a non-profit organization, our Sundance spirit is to make something work against the odds. But with the number of cases expected to peak in our host community during festival week, we cannot knowingly put our staff and community at risk. The undue stress on Summit County Health Services and our more than 1,500 staff and volunteers would be irresponsible in this climate. “
The cancellation of an in-person Sundance is a blow to an independent film industry that has struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic. Last year’s Virtual Sundance, where movies like Summer of the soul (Where The revolution will not be televised) and CODA caused a sensation, proved that a digital festival can still lead to resounding successes. But filmmakers, executives, audiences and journalists had hoped that Sundance – America’s premier film festival and a launching pad for young filmmakers – could once again kick off a new film year with full premieres in the mountains of the United States. ‘Utah.
The Sundance Institute, which hosts the festival, held out as long as possible to make the decision. At the end of December, when the highly infectious omicron variant of COVID-19 spiked cases nationwide, the festival announced that vaccination boosters would be needed for attendees, audience capacity would be reduced and no food or drink. would only be allowed in theaters. This was in addition to previous protocols which imposed proof of vaccination, indoor masking and other requirements.
But with omicron sending the number of cases to record highs, organizers have finally put an end to the crowds returning to Park City.
“We don’t think it’s safe or feasible to bring together thousands of artists, audiences, staff, volunteers and partners from around the world for an 11-day festival when overwhelmed communities are already struggling. to provide essential services, âthe festival said.
Sundance, which runs Jan. 20-30, earlier announced a slate of 82 feature films selected from more than 3,700 entries.
Kim Yutani, director of programming for Sundance, said at the time that “this year’s program reflects the troubling and uncertain times in which we have lived for the past year and a half.”
(With contributions from The Associated Press)