Five Reasons to Be Glad the Grammys Are Back in L.A.
After a one-year sojourn in NYC, the ceremony returns to the West Coast -- and there are at least five reasons to celebrate that.
“Anybody on the East Coast who has experienced the music business in dead winter is so happy to fly to Los Angeles in mid-February,” says Laura Swanson, Warner Bros. Records executive vp media and strategic development. “It’s hard to do red carpets and walk through New York, in heels, in a snowstorm.”
A three-hour time difference means earlier to the afterparties, earlier to bed. In L.A., the show kicks off at 5 p.m., which “gives you more time,” says one L.A.-based label executive. “You can plan an afterparty and an after-afterparty” without staying out until 3 a.m.
Portugal. The Man manager Rick Holtzman says the band’s guitarist Eric Howk, who uses a wheelchair, found New York’s older buildings hard to navigate: “It would have been a heck of a lot easier in Los Angeles,” he says. And L.A. parties tend to be closer to the ceremony, even walkable.
Recording Academy president/CEO Neil Portnow noted this past year that union labor’s prevalence in New York made producing the show more expensive than in Los Angeles. Costs for Grammy attendees -- party spaces and hotels, for instance -- skew lower in L.A. too.
In January, Grammy attendees hiring personal drivers to avoid the subway and cab waits made already congested city traffic even worse. At midnight on a Sunday, cars glide through L.A. “With Uber and Lyft and car services, it doesn’t feel like a problem,” says Swanson.