The 2021 Grammy Awards have been postponed until March 14 amid a spike in coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County, according to a joint statement Tuesday from the Recording Academy, CBS and show producers. The awards ceremony, which celebrates the best in music, was originally scheduled to take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 31, with The Daily Show host Trevor Noah acting as emcee.
"After thoughtful conversations with health experts, our host and artists scheduled to appear, we are rescheduling the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards to be broadcast Sunday, March 14, 2021," the joint statement reads, citing the COVID situation in Los Angeles and "overwhelmed" hospital services. Los Angeles County currently has 0% ICU capacity remaining and the regional stay-at-home order for Southern California was extended last week to Jan. 16.
"The deteriorating COVID situation in Los Angeles, with hospital services being overwhelmed, ICUs having reached capacity, and new guidance from state and local governments have all led us to conclude that postponing our show was the right thing to do," the statement continued. "Nothing is more important than the health and safety of those in our music community and the hundreds of people who work tirelessly on producing the show. We want to thank all of the talented artists, the staff, our vendors and especially this year’s nominees for their understanding, patience and willingness to work with us as we navigate these unprecedented times."
The statement was signed by Harvey Mason Jr., Chair & Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy; Jack Sussman, Executive Vice President, Specials, Music, Live Events and Alternative Programming, CBS; and Ben Winston, Grammy Awards Executive Producer, Fulwell 73 Productions.
The Grammys' postponement came just one day after SAG-AFTRA called for a production shutdown in Southern California amid rising caseloads. "Southern California hospitals are facing a crisis the likes of which we have never seen before. Patients are dying in ambulances waiting for treatment because hospital emergency rooms are overwhelmed. This is not a safe environment for in-person production right now," SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said in a statement Sunday.
SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White added that the union was encouraging members to stay home and decline on-set employment, despite film and TV production being exempt from the stay-at-home order. "Even putting aside the risk of acquiring COVID on set — a risk that we have done a great deal to mitigate through our safety protocols — on-set production always poses some risk of injury, whether because of a stunt gone wrong, an equipment failure or a garden-variety fall," he said. "Right now, with few if any hospital beds available, it is hard to understand how a worker injured on set is supposed to seek treatment."