The 2021 Grammy awards will be postponed after a steady increase in Covid-19 cases in California.
The ceremony was scheduled to take place on 31 January hosted by Trevor Noah but will now take place on 14 March. A limited show had already been planned without an audience and only performers and presenters allowed on stage with nominees accepting awards remotely.
“The deteriorating Covid situation in Los Angeles, with hospital services being overwhelmed, ICUs having reached capacity, and new guidance from state and local governments have all led us to conclude that postponing our show was the right thing to do,” read a joint statement from the recording academy and CBS. “Nothing is more important than the health and safety of those in our music community and the hundreds of people who work tirelessly on producing the show.”
The Grammys typically attracts an in-person audience of over 18,000 and, in recent years, has mostly been held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Grammys chief, Harvey Mason Jr, had said this year’s plan would be to hold the event “in and around downtown Los Angeles” but the city has continued to see a sustained surge in cases.
The news comes a week after the Los Angeles county department of public health urged the entertainment industry to be cautious with nearly half of LA county’s total cases to date reported in the last month. An increased strain on services has led to oxygen being rationed and ambulances advised not to transfer patients who have no chance of survival.
Numerous film productions have now decided to take a pause while certain shows that had returned to the studio, such as The Late Late Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, have now gone back to remote shooting.
This month would have also traditionally have seen the Golden Globes, which have this year been pushed back to the end of February while the Oscars have moved from early March to late April.
This year’s Grammy nominations are led by Beyoncé with nine.