One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the Grammy Awards are going to look a lot different than they did in 2020.
The 2021 awards show was originally supposed to take place on January 31, but the Recording Academy postponed it to March 14 due to a spike in coronavirus cases. Now that the biggest night in music is finally on the horizon, the academy has come up with a safe way for all of the performers and nominees to get together (six feet apart, of course) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles to celebrate one another.
“The performers and nominees are each other’s audience, so it’s a room of incredible musicians, all safely distanced from each other, and every 45 minutes a new four groups come in and the [previous] four go out,” Grammys executive producer Ben Winston told Variety on Monday, March 8.
Winston, who also works on The Late Late Show With James Corden, confirmed that a handful of performances will be prerecorded, but he and his team hope that viewers will not even notice a difference.
“One of our mandates was that [performers] have to come to us and be part of our team and film in L.A.,” coexecutive producer Raj Kapoor told the magazine. “We’re not interested in doing a show that is disconnected. There’s a physical presence to it, of people performing live for the camera and being in a single location. Other shows may have used music videos and virtual reality and stuff, but ours is actually based in Los Angeles, where we usually celebrate the Grammys. It may be done in a different way, but it definitely feels like people are coming together to make this show.”
In addition to hearing tunes from artists including Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion, Harry Styles and Taylor Swift, the 63rd annual ceremony is set to pay tribute to some of the many independent music venues that have faced hardship due to the ongoing pandemic.
“Venues are such an integral part of the music community,” Winston told Variety.
Scroll through the gallery below for everything you need to know ahead of the 2021 Grammy Awards!