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'Effective use' of Las Vegas in Grammys, despite hiccups. Could they happen there again?

64th Annual Grammy Awards - Press Room
AP Photo/John Locher

Olivia Rodrigo, winner of the awards for best pop vocal album for "Sour," best new artist and best pop solo performance for "drivers license," poses in the press room at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas didn’t get any gold trophies Sunday night, but it nonetheless scored a huge win.

The 64th Grammy Awards took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the first time the show was broadcast from Las Vegas.

There were huge performances, some of them by artists very familiar to Las Vegas audiences. Some of those artists won big, as well.

Now that the dust is settling on the big night, the question remains: Will we ever host the ceremony again?

What makes the Grammys different, compared to other award show ceremonies held in Las Vegas, is in part “the quantity of superstars,” said John Katsilometes, the entertainment columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He covered the event on Sunday night.

Because of that, he said operational needs were a focus for organizers. “Until you run a show like the Grammys once, you don’t know the minutiae of what that means. That’s why, folks, we have rehearsals, okay?” he said.

COVID-19 policies were “no small consideration.” When you throw that into the mix, he said “it wasn’t going to be smooth, just simply from the blueprint coming in.”

At the time of the awards, there were already several other large events happening in town. In Los Angeles, parties for the Grammys start a week earlier, but it’s difficult to plan those alongside everything else in Las Vegas.

Variety and Page Six slammed the awards, with Variety reporting discontent about the setting from those involved, and Page Six using the phrase “gross ass Vegas” in its headline.

“Some loose journalism going on there,” Katsilometes said. “You have to put that in some kind of context, to say ‘gross ass’ and throw it into the headline, you know, I've gone to New York and had ‘gross ass’ experiences myself. Doesn't mean the city's a bad experience overall.”

If the awards are to happen in Las Vegas again, he said they’ll need some kind of post-mortem on the event: What worked, what didn’t work.

“We have huge events, routinely in Las Vegas, and those services [that were complained about in other media reports] are part of our infrastructure, and you can find them, but you got to do a little work,” he said.

Within the show, he said the awards did a good job highlighting Las Vegas – Silk Sonic performing “777,” Carrie Underwood who currently has a Las Vegas residency and Lady Gaga with trumpet player Brian Newman, who plays at Nomad regularly, as well as the rest of the band, Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns, who play at Bootlegger.

BTS surprised Katsilometes. “I was really impressed by the showmanship of those guys.”

The global sensation is playing four sold-out shows at Allegiant Stadium this month.

“I think BTS is on a very short list of artists worldwide who could do this in Las Vegas, could sell these shows out in Las Vegas,” he said. “BTS is no question a worldwide phenomenon.”


John Katsilometes, entertainment columnist, Las Vegas Review-Journal

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Mike has been a producer for State of Nevada since 2019. He produces — and occasionally hosts — segments covering entertainment, gaming & tourism, sports, health, Nevada’s marijuana industry, and other areas of Nevada life.
Kristen DeSilva (she/her) is the audience engagement specialist for Nevada Public Radio. She curates and creates content for, our weekly newsletter and social media for Nevada Public Radio and Desert Companion.