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Omicron's Continued Impact on Events
New year, same pandemic. 2022 picks up where 2021 left off, with many events in limbo while others are being canceled.
Organizers of the Grammy Awards have postponed the event for a second year in a row, citing the current COVID-19 surge. It was originally scheduled for Jan. 31 at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
CBS and the Recording Academy announced in a joint statement: "After careful consideration and analysis with city and state officials, health and safety experts, the artist community and our many partners, the Recording Academy and CBS have postponed the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards 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."
Elsewhere in Hollywood, the AFI Awards, the BAFTA Tea Party, and the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s awards gala were canceled. (FYI: The Hollywood Reporter is keeping a running tally of event postponements and cancellations here.)
But one event—CES—stayed the course, despite major companies like BMW, Intel, GM, Google, T-Mobile, Amazon, and Meta bailing on their IRL appearances due to COVID concerns. The annual tech trade show kicked off Wednesday in Las Vegas.
Foot traffic is expected to be anywhere from one-quarter to one-third of pre-pandemic levels, according to EventMB.
“Despite all the cancellations, there are 2,200 exhibitors. A lot of my contacts, partners, and colleagues are going. Bringing everyone together in one place has so much value. Virtual meetings are not as efficient as talking to people face to face. And at least in our industry, we need to see the demo,” Tali Chen, a sales and marketing executive in the semiconductor industry, told the site.
"As much as I'm a cheerleader for the technology industry, I recognize you have to be face-to-face with people. There isn't a CEO I've spoken to around the world who doesn't agree with that statement," said Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Technology Association, about why he was determined to have an in-person event this year.
Organizers attributed the scaled-down event plans to the current COVID-19 surge: "Health and safety remain a top priority for the HFPA. There will not be an audience on January 9th, and the following precautions are being taken for select members and grantees who will be in the room: Proof of vaccination and booster shot, along with a negative PCR test within 48 hours, is required for entry; All guests will be masked and socially distanced at all times while inside the ballroom; There will be no red carpet."
Although studios did not officially submit titles for consideration, nominations were announced in December.
It remains unclear if or how people will be able to watch the ceremony — a live stream is a possibility, but there are presumably legal hurdles to broadcasting something as “the Golden Globe Awards” without the participation of NBC, which owns the broadcasting rights to the awards.