For the second time in its 42-ceremony history, the Grammys are going the arena route.
In 1996, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences took over Madison Square Garden for nine days to play to the largest room of its career. “That was the prototype,” said Michael Greene, CEO and president of NARAS.
The Staples Center will top the Garden in number of seats, but organizers will only have a week to set up. The advantage for NARAS, however, is that the org was one of those consulted on how to construct the building for television use.
“We’ll find a way to maintain the intimacy” of the venues that have hosted the awards, such as the Shrine Auditorium and Radio City Music Hall, Greene said. “What will be different is the way the audio is put together. We’ll be studying different ways of creating an audio presence.”
Whereas most acts get only an afternoon to get the sound right in the arena, Greene said Grammy organizers will be working for a week on the sound system, possibly hanging baffling and other sound reinforcement gear.
The show will still be an industry-only event with no tickets sold to the general public.