The announcement Tuesday that the Grammy Awards will probably be moved from January 31 to March 14 took many individuals unexpectedly however didn’t come as a shock: The present is scheduled to happen in Los Angeles, which has seen a dramatic spike in Covid-19 sufferers and is at the moment ranked by FEMA as essentially the most harmful county within the U.S.
“The deteriorating COVID scenario in Los Angeles, with hospital companies being overwhelmed, ICUs having reached capability, and new steerage from state and native governments have all led us to conclude that suspending our present was the fitting factor to do,” stated a press release signed by interim Grammy chief Harvey Mason jr., CBS Government VP Jack Sussman and the present’s government producer, Ben Winston.
Nonetheless, the present, which is hosted by “Day by day Show” host Trevor Noah, is kind of far alongside in its planning, and is being moved up by simply 5 weeks. Mason spoke with Selection on Wednesday — amid pro-Trump rioters wreaking havoc in Washington D.C. — about what led as much as the choice, the place it is going to be held, and the place issues stand.
The Grammy Awards are scheduled to happen on March 14 and will probably be broadcast on CBS. Beyoncé leads the contenders with 9, adopted by six apiece for Taylor Swift, Roddy Ricch and Dua Lipa, and Brittany Howard, of Alabama Shakes fame, with 5.
Postponement was clearly at all times a chance, however when did it change into apparent that it might be obligatory?
It was at all times behind everybody’s minds, however proper round Christmas and the vacation break, after we began seeing numbers climb and predictions that the subsequent couple of weeks are going to worsen and worse, is when these discussions actually started in earnest, and over the past week they took a extra severe flip. But it surely had been ongoing for the reason that Christmas break.
What was the ultimate deciding issue?
It was a mixture of things, together with the studies we have been getting from hospitals, about ICU beds being overloaded and other people getting turned away, the variety of circumstances being reported, studies from folks shutting down productions, all of it impacted our choice that this was not the fitting time to attempt to collect to supply this occasion.
A whole bunch of individuals work to make this present occur — artists, individuals who work with them, the manufacturing groups, there’s so many individuals to think about. And we don’t really feel it might be proper to position any undue burden on hospitals or first responders or well being care employees. Wanting on the well-being and security of all these folks, I feel the postponement makes essentially the most sense. Everyone was actually aligned on this — all of us simply felt it was the fitting factor to do.
Did what occurred to Charley Satisfaction, who died of coronavirus issues lower than a month after showing earlier than a stay viewers on the CMA Awards, weigh into your choice in any respect?
Not Mr. Satisfaction particularly, however folks’s well being performed an enormous half within the choice —artists and our inventive neighborhood and their wellbeing, seeing members of the family and associates and other people we work with get sick, and simply watching the information.
Did you think about doing a less-ambitious manufacturing?
Sure, we talked about doing totally different variations of the present or transferring dates, however we finally felt that this may be most secure and finest. Doing it on January thirty first, with the numbers and what was taking place in L.A., simply didn’t really feel like the fitting transfer.
What makes March 14th that significantly better? It’s simply 5 weeks later.
We felt, from what we’re listening to from authorities places of work and health-care specialists, that the subsequent two weeks are going to be excessive right here in L.A., and after that, we’ll see some enchancment within the numbers. Clearly, we’re not going to be freed from Covid and I don’t assume the vaccine goes to be extensively out there by March 14, however we predict there will probably be higher circumstances as soon as we get previous these subsequent two weeks.
Did you think about holding it some other place? Does it must be in L.A.?
Completely — there was speak about all the things. We went by each state of affairs: different cities, different occasions, different kinds of reveals, and no, it doesn’t must be in L.A. We’ll proceed to judge over the subsequent weeks.
Have any of the scheduled performers pulled out due to the date change?
No, not but, the response has been very supportive and optimistic, everyone thinks it’s the fitting factor to do. We’re all coping with this as regular folks: We’re all nervous, we’re all uncomfortable with sure issues which can be taking place, so I feel taking these further steps to be secure are the fitting factor to do and the artist neighborhood appears to help it.
In current weeks the Grammys’ location moved from its typical venue of the Staples Middle to “in and round Downtown L.A.” The place is that at now?
I don’t thoughts sharing, however bear in mind this has the flexibility to regulate as we get nearer to our date. The plan for January was to be in and across the L.A. Conference Middle, which is correct subsequent door to the Staples Middle — there’s room there for indoor and out of doors exercise. Going ahead, we’re going to stay to that plan, as of now, and we’ll monitor the scenario and alter accordingly. However we simply wish to guarantee that no matter we do, it’s accountable and secure, and that will probably be what determines our inventive.
Ben Winston has stated that there may be some involvement with impartial venues, is it attainable you possibly can have a efficiency on the Troubadour or someplace like that?
It’s arduous to say at this level, truthfully, however I do know there are conversations round supporting impartial venues in some capability. I don’t wish to say what that appears like or what which means as a result of I simply don’t wish to set expectations. We’re attempting to guarantee that the present is secure and the very best we will make for TV.
Have you ever locked in all or almost the entire performers deliberate for the present?
I don’t know the precise quantity, however a big majority of our performances have been secured and confirmed.
And so they’re all or largely nominees?
Sure, historically a big proportion of our performers have been present nominees, however not at all times. There isn’t any arduous and quick rule.
Has there been any speak of the Weeknd being concerned within the present, contemplating the controversy round his being shut out of the nominations?
Not that I’m conscious of.
Do you may have a way of what Grammy Week will appear to be?
As of Jan. 31, all the things was back-timing from that, and I imagine they’ll all comply with on the brand new date, so issues that have been going to occur on Jan. 30 will occur on March 13, and so forth. MusiCares [Person of the Year fundraising ceremony] is having an occasion — it was going to be digital, the Clive [Davis annual pre-Grammy] get together too, so I feel these issues will nonetheless carry on. What type they’ll take will probably be decided by what we’re allowed to do, and as you stated there’s not a ton of time [difference], so we’ll see what we’re capable of pull collectively
Do you assume there nonetheless could possibly be a stay viewers for any of the occasions, together with the primary present?
It’s so arduous for me to foretell. I used to be at all times optimistic that we’d be capable of deliver an viewers to a few of our occasions, so we will proceed to maintain our fingers crossed, however I’m simply unsure if we’re going to get there by March 14th.