Amid Protest Concerns, Latin Grammys Shift To L.A.
After a weekend of heated discussions among show organizers, city officials, and the local host committee, the second annual Latin Grammy awards, slated for Sept. 11, have been moved from Miami's AmerAfter a weekend of heated discussions among show organizers, city officials, and the local host committee, the second annual Latin Grammy awards, slated for Sept. 11, have been moved from Miami's AmericanAirlines Arena to Los Angeles' Great Western Forum. Recording Academy/Latin Recording Academy president/CEO Michael Greene made the announcement last night (Aug. 20).
The decision was reached after Grammy officials failed to find a location at the Miami venue for nearly 100 Cuban exile organizations, which wanted to protest the presence of artists from the island at the awards. Worried that if protesters were too close to the arena, the safety of attendees would be compromised, Greene decided to shift the event to L.A.; he had previously considered moving the show north to Broward County's National Car Rental Center. Greene's worries stem from 1999 protests that turned rowdy when Cuban group Los Van Van performed at the Miami Arena.
This latest turn in the Latin Grammys is part of an ongoing saga to bring the show to Miami, home to most major Latin labels. The first Latin Grammys were staged in L.A. partly due to an ordinance that prohibited Miami/Dade County from doing business with Cuba. This year, with the ordinance struck down and the purported goodwill of city officials and community leaders in place, the awards show was deemed ready to take place in downtown Miami.
News of the move has sent labels into emergency mode as they scramble to find appropriate locations for Grammy-related events and parties.