Since the Grammy Awards were moved from Jan. 31 to March 14, updates have been few and far between, but a number of details have begun to emerge about how the show will be run, sources tell Variety, although as with everything during a pandemic, it’s all subject to change. A rep for the show declined Variety‘s requests for comment.
The ceremony will be held in the outdoor portion of the Los Angeles Convention Center, with the show’s traditional home of the Staples Center — which is located essentially next door — as the backdrop.
There will be no audience, although a small number of media will be attending, and plans call for a live red carpet broadcast featuring performers and presenters. Most members of the media have already registered for virtual screenings.
A number of live performances are planned, but many are likely to be pre-recorded, possibly at venues other than the Convention Center.
The reports are an evolution of the most recent comments from Grammy chief Harvey Mason jr., who told Variety on Jan. 7 that the show will be held “in and around” the Convention Center, where “there’s room there for indoor and outdoor activity.” While the postponing of the show from Jan. 31 to March 14 was in response to the dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases in Southern California late last year, the date move also increases the likelihood of warmer weather for an outdoor ceremony. Events around the 2019 show were marred by unusually low temperatures, in the low to mid 50s, which is cold for the area, even in January.
The precise location is unclear, but it’s possible that L.A. Live, the open plaza surrounding the two buildings, will be an option; likewise the roof of the venue, where performers often enter and equipment is loaded in and out, could be under consideration, or Gilbert Lindsay Plaza, red carpets often take place. It’s also possible that segments could be staged from any two, or all three.
Also, in an interview in December, first-time Grammy executive producer Ben Winston said, “I’m looking to do something quite exciting with the independent venues — supporting them and putting a spotlight on them in what has been a really tough year for them,” referencing the hundreds of independent concert rooms that have been devastated by the pandemic, and will be receiving $10 billion in aid due to the Save Our Stages act. While Mason was hesitant to address that issue when speaking with Variety last month — “It’s hard to say at this point, honestly, but I know there are conversations around supporting independent venues in some capacity,” he said — it seems possible that a remote or prerecorded performance could take place at an iconic venue like the Troubadour in Los Angeles or Tipitina’s in New Orleans.