Major award shows will return “rain or shine” in 2021
The Grammy Awards, one of the earliest dates in the annual calendar for music awards, will be happening in January 2021 “come rain or shine, Covid-19 vaccine or not,” say organisers.
The 63rd edition of the US-based awards show is scheduled to take place on 31 January and will be broadcast on CBS at 8 pm ET.
Organisers say things will be “a little different” at next year’s ceremony but have not yet revealed details about the show’s format.
However, Harvey Mason Jnr, the Recording Academy’s interim president/CEO, offered some insight on what to expect at the 2021 show back in June during an interview with Variety.
“We are simultaneously developing three plans for what the show would look like: One is the traditional show with the full crowd, two is a limited crowd, and three is no crowd, and there’s creative around all three of those ideas: how and where we would film it. But none of them involve changing or postponing the date,” said Mason.
“We are simultaneously developing three plans for what the Grammys would look like, but none involving postponing”
Mason also said the Grammys are looking at hosting the awards at the Staples Centre (cap. 20,000) in LA with a limited audience, though it seems “increasing unlikely”. The one thing he guarantees is “a spectacular show” that, no matter what, the show will be executed fully live, with no pre-recorded segments.
Across the pond, organisers of Britain’s annual music awards show, the Brits, have said the event will return next year on 11 May instead of its usual date in February and will be broadcast on ITV.
Organisers say they consulted with the music industry and show partners Mastercard, ITV and AEG, and made the decision based on safety and logistical considerations.
“We believe that this move will give a fairer opportunity to all artists, as well as ensuring a mix of huge domestic and global superstars that annually attend and perform at the show,” the Brits statement reads.
Speaking about the decision to move the date, Geoff Taylor, chief executive at British Phonographic Industry and Brit Awards said: “We want to make sure that the Brits delivers the outstanding production levels, superstar performances and live excitement that make it the biggest night in music.
“We want to make sure that The Brits delivers the outstanding production levels, superstar performances and live excitement”
“We believe that the best way to achieve this in 2021 is to move the show back a few months to May, and we are already at work planning a spectacular event that will remind us how important music has been in getting us all through these difficult times.”
The awards show held its 40th edition before the pandemic hit in February, which took place at the O2 (cap. 21,000) in London, where it has been held every year since 2011.
Major award shows that have taken place during the pandemic include MTV’s VMAs (August, US), the Country Music Awards (September, US), the Mercury Prize (September, UK) and The Billboard Music Awards (October, US) and have not yet revealed details about 2021 ceremonies.
Still to come this year is the American Music Awards, which will air on 22 November in the US at 8 pm ET on ABC and plans to “bring fans together with surprising musical performances and celebrate the artists who make it happen”. Additional details regarding the production of the show will be announced at a later date.
Also, the UK’s Mobo Awards, which has celebrated music of black origin since 1996, is due to return after two years off. Founder Kanya King told Capital Xtra in an exclusive interview that the ceremony would return in an “exciting and dynamic” way before the end of the year. Further details about the ceremony are yet to be revealed.
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.
More artists added to Grammy concert series
The Recording Academy has announced a fresh batch of artists who will perform at its 5–8 May Grammy Park concerts, the first live events to bear the name of its famous music awards.
The Commodores (pictured) will play the Jazz All-Stars concert, while The X Factor USA winners Alex & Sierra and up-and-coming singer-songwriter Chelsea Chris will perform at the Emerging Artists show and vloggers and social media stars Jake Foushee, Kenny Holland, Carson Lueders, Russ and Sammy Wilk the Social Stages concert.
A joint venture with venue operator Upsilon Ventures, the 10 concerts will take place in Brooklyn, New York, and feature the talents of more than 30 artists collectively honoured with over 40 Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards, including seven-time winner Toni Braxton, three-time winner Ne-Yo and Grammy nominees Robin Thicke and Aloe Blacc.
In addition to the paid events (which range between US$35 and, for VIP packages, $175) there are free gigs open to the public, such as a concert featuring emerging artists and jazz ensembles on Saturday 7 May and a gospel concert celebrating the US Mother’s Day the following day.
The concerts will take place in the Kings Theatre, The LeFrak Center at Lakeside and Prospect Park Bandshell.