LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) – This year’s Grammy Awards for best musical performance has been postponed indefinitely due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, organizers said on Wednesday (January 5th).
The show was scheduled to take place in an arena in downtown Los Angeles and air live on the CBS network on January 31.
“Given the uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant, holding the show on Jan. 31 is just too risky,” CBS and the Recording Academy said in a joint statement, adding that a new date would be announced soon. .
Nominations for the awards were announced in November.
Pianist and conductor Jon Batiste has led an area ranging from rap to jazz music and has welcomed newcomers from teenage pop sensation Olivia Rodrigo to veteran crooner Tony Bennett, 95, who won his first Grammy in 1963.
The 2021 Grammy Awards have also been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The ceremony took place in March instead of January and featured a mix of pre-recorded and live segments in front of a small, socially distant crowd.
Organizers had hoped to return this year to something closer to the traditional celebration with large audiences inside the former Staples Center, now called Crypto.com Arena. Late night TV host Trevor Noah was chosen to host the event.
CBS and the Recording Academy said they consulted with local officials, health experts and artists before deciding to remove the January date.
“The health and safety of members of our music community, the live audience and the hundreds of people who work tirelessly to produce our show remain our top priority,” they said.
Other events in the entertainment industry have been delayed or curtailed.
Organizers of this month’s Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, said on Tuesday they had canceled the events in person and would move them online.
The Critics Choice Awards, which had been set for Sunday, have been postponed without a new date.