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Grammys Leave LA For Vegas, Move From January To April

A neon sign in the foreground reads "WELCOME TO Fabulous LAS VEGAS NEVADA" in various fonts and sizes of red and blue letters. Cars and palm trees can be seen in the background, with several hotels visible on the skyline and a dark blue sky above.
The famous sign welcoming motorists on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip.
(Ethan Miller
Getty Images)
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The 64th Annual Grammy Awards were originally set for the end of this month, but the trophies and the star-studded performances were postponed thanks to the omicron variant-driven COVID-19 surge. Now the show’s back on with a new date — April 3 — and in a new city. The music industry’s big awards are leaving L.A.’s Arena (formerly known as Staples Center) for Las Vegas and the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

The Recording Academy cited omicron as the reason for the delay, but did not explain why it was changing venues. The Arena currently has two NBA games scheduled on the date of the new Grammys ceremony, with both the Lakers and the Clippers playing games that day.

There are still openings both before and after that date on the arena’s calendar, though an event with the scale of the Grammys also includes rehearsals and setup that can require use of the venue for days in advance. Las Vegas currently has fewer COVID-19 restrictions for indoor events than L.A. — as the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority notes on its website: “Las Vegas is open and ready to welcome you back, without restrictions involving capacity limits and large gatherings.”

The ripple effect of the Grammys moving to April 3 also means the CMT Music Awards, set to be broadcast by CBS, will instead air later in April.

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This is the first time the Grammys are being held in Las Vegas. The ceremony has bounced back and forth primarily between L.A. and New York City over the years, but had held its last several shows from L.A. The Latin Grammys are usually held in Vegas, though they were in Miami in 2020 amid the pandemic and were in L.A. in the event’s early years.

Las Vegas’s MGM Grand Garden Arena has a history of playing host to music awards shows — it hosted the Billboard Music Awards starting in 1997 and almost every year since, until the show moved in 2020 to L.A.

Other Grammy-related events scheduled for the week of the ceremony are still awaiting official announcements, with both dates and locations to come, according to the Recording Academy.

Last year’s Grammys were also delayed due to COVID-19, then went ahead with a socially distanced ceremony. The Recording Academy continues to plan an in-person return this year — just a little later than it had thought.

Late Show bandleader Jon Batiste leads this year’s Grammy nominees with 11 nominations, followed by Justin Bieber, Doja Cat, and H.E.R. with eight nominations each, and Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo with seven apiece.

The Grammys will air April 3 on CBS, starting at 5 p.m. Pacific Time on CBS and streaming on Paramount+, hosted by The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah.

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