The expansion of the omicron variant has begun to alter the awards season in U.S, where the gala of the Grammy was postponed this Wednesday and the Sundance festival organization announced that this year’s edition will be completely online.
The 64 gala of the Grammy awards, scheduled for January 31 in Los Angeles (California), was suspended this Wednesday due to the increase in covid-19 cases due to the omicron expansion and will be set for a new date, yet to be determined.
In a joint statement, the Recording Academy and the CBS channel explained that they made that decision after considering it “carefully” and analyzing it with health officials.
“The health and safety of those in our music community, the live audience and hundreds of people who work tirelessly to produce our show remains our top priority,” they stated in the note.
“Given the uncertainty surrounding the omicron variant,” they added, “holding the gala on January 31 simply involves too many risks.”
The event was expected to take place in Los Angeles, California following the announcement of the award nominations on November 23.
Jon Batiste, a musician unknown to the general public, leads the nominations for the awards with eleven nominations, which as an attraction for the audience will face Taylor Swift and Kanye West, one of the most notorious feuds in pop, for the award. Album of the year.
In March 2021, Grammy, the most important music awards on a global scale, held a gala without all the artists gathered in the same venue because of the pandemic.
In the last edition, many of the guests were not in person at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the usual venue of the great music party For years, and in it the Academy paid tribute to the music venues and the venues of small concerts, very impacted by the pandemic.
SUNDANCE WILL BE 100% VIRTUAL
For its part, the organization of the Sundance independent film festival reported today that it will be held in a completely virtual format given the expansion of omicron.
The organizers of the exhibition detailed in a statement that all the events that they planned to celebrate this year in person in Utah (USA) will be online.
“We were looking forward to our first fully hybrid Sundance Film Festival and our teams have spent a year planning a festival like no other,” lamented the organization.
However, he stressed, “despite the most ambitious protocols, the omicron variant with its unexpectedly high rates of contagion is pushing the limits of health security, travel and other infrastructure in the country.”
In this sense, the festival did not see feasible for thousands of artists, members of the public, workers and volunteers to come together in this event over the course of eleven days, while local authorities have problems offering the most essential services.
“It was a difficult decision to make – they continued – as a non-profit organization, the spirit of Sundance is to make something work even against the elements, but the number of cases is expected to increase in our host community the week of the festival” .
Despite this decision, the date of the festival remains: it will begin on January 20 as planned and will last eleven days.
Sundance was expected to be one of the first festivals on the cinephile circuit to return to a completely face-to-face format and with full capacity, after reduced editions such as the last Berlinale or the most recent Cannes.
THE GOLDEN BALLOONS, WITH A GALA BUT WITHOUT AN AUDIENCE OR JOURNALISTS
In parallel, the first major event on the awards calendar, the Golden Globes, will hold its gala this Sunday, January 9, with no public, no red carpet, and no accredited journalists.
In a statement, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA, in English), said Tuesday that the ceremony will take place at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles, where it is usually held, but with less pomp.
The HPFA said there will be “no public” at its event on Sunday and specified that the select group of association members and guests from its social programs who will be in the room will have to show a complete vaccination certificate with booster doses and a PCR test taken 48 hours before the event.
“There will be no red carpet. Applications for press credentials will not be accepted for this event,” added the HFPA.
For now, it has not been announced if the Golden Globes plan to broadcast that act in any way over the internet.
The HFPA wants this controversial, flamboyant and very lackluster edition of its awards to focus on its philanthropic work in an attempt to wash away its battered image.
The earthquake at the Golden Globes, which sometimes came to compete in impact and echo with the Oscars, came at the beginning of this year when complaints against the HFPA for very dubious ethical practices among its members intensified, which, for example They took advantage of great trips and luxury gifts from studios, television networks and streaming platforms.
It was a group of 87 journalists, many of them retired, among whom there was no black person.
To make up for the lack of diversity, the organization has admitted new members, including several Hispanics and African Americans, although it remains a limited number of people that excludes the vast majority of journalists who work daily covering Hollywood.
After the measures taken before the omicron for these events, it remains the question of what will happen with the ceremony of delivery of the Oscars, the great film party, scheduled for March 27.