From delays to empty seats: what 2021's awards season will look like as Oscars, Golden Globes and Brits reschedule

The pandemic has affected all industries, including film, television and music

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 04, 2018 Photographers and TV crews get ready on the red carpet a few hours before the "Oscars", the 90th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California.  The 93rd Oscars have been postponed by eight weeks to April 25 after the coronavirus pandemic shuttered movie theaters and wreaked havoc on Hollywood's release calendar, the Academy said June 15, 2020. / AFP / Robyn BECK

The start of a new year usually brings with it the start of awards season, as the great and good from the world of film, television and music gather to celebrate stand-out performances and productions from the year gone by.

But in 2021, things will be a little different.

The Covid-19 crisis has shut down Hollywood alongside film and television studios around the world, bringing many productions to a halt. And the closure of cinemas worldwide has delayed the release of many of 2020's most anticipated films.

Recording artists have also been affected, with many choosing to push back the release of new music amid cancelled tours and festival appearances.

As a result, many of the industries' biggest awards ceremonies have been delayed and adapted to accommodate the effects of the pandemic, as well as ensuring the event will be able to safely take place in light of social distancing measures.

Here is how the biggest ceremonies have been affected ...


General view during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards in New York August 25, 2013.   REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES  - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)  (MTV-SHOW) *** Local Caption ***  NYC82_TELEVISION-MT_0826_11.JPG

The MTV Video Music Awards has announced its plans to go on with its August show at New York’s Barclays Centre, forgoing a live audience. The announcement was made on Monday by Governor Andrew Cuomo and MTV, insisting strict social distancing protocols and safety measures would be in place for the show, set to take place on Sunday, August 30.

"The 2020 MTV VMAs will be the first Barclays Centre event since the Covid-19 pandemic reached New York," said Oliver Weisberg, the chief executive of the Barclays Centre and Brooklyn Nets.

It’s likely the ceremony will take place with limited or no audience, and organisers have promised performers from “all five boroughs” of the city.

Brit Awards

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 18, 2020 US singer-songwriter Billie Eilish poses on the red carpet on arrival for the BRIT Awards 2020 in London on February 18, 2020. British pop's biggest event, the Brit Awards, will take place three months later than usual in 2021, because of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, organisers said on June 29, 2020. - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – NO POSTERS – NO MERCHANDISE– NO USE IN PUBLICATIONS DEVOTED TO ARTISTS

The biggest night in UK music will now take place in May. The Brit Awards has postponed its February ceremony by three months, with a new date slotted for Tuesday, May 11. Organisers say they hope the delay will allow the ceremony to take place as usual, with attendees, a live audience and performances.

“We want to make sure that the Brits delivers the outstanding production levels, superstar performances and live excitement that make it the biggest night in music,” said chief executive Geoff Taylor. The awards’ eligibility period will also be amended.


(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 04, 2018 A general view shows the stage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards show in Hollywood, California. The 93rd Oscars have been postponed by eight weeks to April 25 after the coronavirus pandemic shuttered movie theaters and wreaked havoc on Hollywood's release calendar, the Academy said June 15, 2020. / AFP / Mark RALSTON

The biggest night of awards season will move from its usual slot in February to two months later on Sunday, April 25. Organisers announced the new date earlier this month, alongside the news that the eligibility window for entries would be extended beyond December 31, 2020 to the end of February 2021. It is the fourth time in the award show’s history that it has been delayed; the first due to LA flooding in 1938; in 1968, following the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King Jr; and in 1981 following the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan.

Golden Globes

(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 9, 2019, Golden Globe statues are set by the stage ahead of the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards nominations announcement in Beverly Hills. Next year's Golden Globes will take place on February 28,  said the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in a statement on June 22, 2020, an unusually late date for the glitzy film and television award show as Hollywood scrambles to adjust to the coronavirus pandemic.  The Globes, which are typically held in early January, will take the weekend previously reserved for the Oscars, which last week were delayed by eight weeks to April 25.
 / AFP / Robyn BECK / TO GO WITH AFP STORY by Andrew MARSZAL and Javier TOVAR, "Golden Globes rev up award season with Netflix in pole position"

The Golden Globes has pushed its 2021 ceremony back by one month. Usually taking place in January, next year’s event will happen on Sunday, February 28 – the date the Oscars had originally been scheduled for. In March, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced that due to the pandemic, the Golden Globes will consider entries even if they do not first screen in a cinema. Instead, films may be "released first on a television format (eg subscription streaming service, subscription cable channel, broadcast television, etc) and will still be eligible".


Sama (C) holds the award over her face as (L-R) Hamza al-Kateab and Syrian filmmaker Waad al-Kateab pose during the award for a Documentary for 'For Sama' at the BAFTA British Academy Film Awards at the Royal Albert Hall in London on February 2, 2020.   / AFP / Adrian DENNIS

The Baftas has been delayed from Sunday, February 14 until Sunday, April 11. The ceremony, set to take place in London, has been scheduled in line with the Oscars delay, as it typically takes place two weeks ahead of the Los Angeles event. Like the Oscars, Bafta has also amended its eligibility policy for entries, allowing films with a release date during the pandemic to enter if they have first been released on streaming services.

Marc Samuelson, chair of Bafta's film committee, said: "We have pushed back by two months to give all films the best possible chance to be released and considered properly."

El Gouna Film Festival

HURGHADA, EGYPT - SEPTEMBER 28: Egyptian actress Sarrah Abdelrahman poses for a photo on the red carpet at the closing ceremony of the 2nd El Gouna Film Festival on September 28, 2018 in Hurghada, Egypt. This is the 2nd year of the El Gouna Film Festival held on the Red Sea. It runs from the 20th to the 28th September 2018 (Photo by Jonathan Rashad/Getty Images)

Organisers of El Gouna Film Festival have announced new dates for the returning festival. Now in its fourth year, the event has been pushed back a month and will run from Friday, October 23, to Saturday, October 31.

The annual film festival, which takes place in the Egyptian resort city of El Gouna, was originally scheduled to take place in September.

So far, 800 projects in development and in post-production have been submitted and the festival programme is expected to be revealed by the end of September.

“Several film festivals have been impacted by the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic and their return to the scene will send a positive signal that the world is on its way to normalcy,” said Intishal Al Timimi, the festival director.