After days of waiting in anticipation, the Recording Academy announced yesterday that they will be postponing the 2022 Grammy Awards "indefinitely".
Unlike the precedent set in 2021--when the ceremony was moved from the end of January to mid March--this year's awards do not yet have a set replacement date. Due to rising Omicron cases, institutions claim this is the best course of action, but it is not without disappointment from fans and artists alike.
Also in the midst of reworking is the Sundance Film Festival, which announced its decision to have a completely remote program. The showcase will still be from January 20 to January 30, but will not have any in-person events or screenings. A spokesperson stated yesterday,
"As a nonprofit, our Sundance spirit is in making something work against the odds. But 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."
Sundance had originally planned to require booster shots as well as a negative test result, and had banned all food and drink at screenings, but going forward in-person still proved to be too big of a risk. Both the Recording Academy and Sundance Institute cite Omicron as the primary reason for their changes. Despite their determination, officials claim that there are no protocols strong enough to fully protect staff or attendees from infection.
Omicron, though less deadly than the Delta or even original Covid-19 strain, is much more infectious, and more easily transmitted. While its symptoms are more mild, they also allow for it to be less detectable without a test. Events all across the country are being cancelled or postponed, including the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the annual Governors Awards of the film academy, and the broadcast of the Critics Choice Awards.
As the Recording Academy is yet to announce the new date of the Grammy Awards, it is unclear whether or not it will be held remotely. The 2021 Awards were held in-person despite their postponement, but with Covid cases on the rise, nothing is guaranteed. The Academy will release new information as it become available.