Update (Jan. 18, 2022): About two weeks after the Omicron variant of COVID-19 forced changes to the Grammy Awards, Sundance Film Festival and CES gadget show, the Recording Academy announced a new date and time for the Grammys Tuesday. Instead of happening on Jan. 3 in downtown Los Angeles, the show is now set to happen on April 3 in Las Vegas.
“We are excited to take the Grammys to Las Vegas for the very first time, and to put on a world-class show,” Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said in a statement. “From the moment we announced the postponement of the original show date, we have been inundated with heartfelt messages of support and solidarity from the artist community. We are humbled by their generosity and grateful for their unwavering commitment to the Grammy Awards and the Academy’s mission.”
Original Story (Jan. 5, 2022): The Omicron-feuled surge in COVID-19 cases affected several major events Wednesday, as the in-person portion of the Sundance Film Festival was canceled, the Grammy Awards were postponed, and a scaled-back version of the CES gadget show started. The cancellation of Sundance’s in-person festivities comes just two weeks before they were set to be held in Park City, Utah. The festival will switch to a fully virtual format.
“While it is a deep loss to not have the in-person experience in Utah, we do not believe it is safe nor feasible to gather thousands of artists, audiences, employees, volunteers, and partners from around the world for an eleven-day festival while overwhelmed communities are already struggling to provide essential services,” the Sundance Institute said in its announcement. “With case numbers forecasted to peak in our host community the week of the festival we cannot knowingly put our staff and community at risk.”
The Recording Academy expressed a similar sentiment in its announcement that the Grammy Awards will not happen on Jan. 31 as previously planned. The academy did not specify a new date for the show.
“The health and safety of those in our music community, the live audience, and the hundreds of people who work tirelessly to produce our show remains our top priority,” the Recording Academy said. “We look forward to celebrating Music’s Biggest Night on a future date, which will be announced soon.”
CES was not as affected as the Grammy Awards or Sundance, with the in-person event kicking off in Las Vegas Wednesday. The video above includes scenes from the media preview earlier in the week. Despite still happening in-person, the event isn’t immune to COVID-19-related restrictions.
“Here in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada, we have a mask wearing mandate that’s currently in place,” Lori Nelson-Kraft with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said earlier this week. “CES has gone even over and beyond that, and they have requested that this is a vaccinated-mandatory show for attendees and exhibitors.”
CES organizers haven’t disclosed attendance numbers but said they expect tens of thousands of people to show up to the event. Attendance is expected to pale in comparison to the 170,000 who showed up for the last in-person CES in 2020.