Covid: Omicron's impact on cultural events

  • From the Grammys to the Golden Globes, from Carnival to Oktoberfest: Many organizers are rethinking, postponing or even canceling large events due to the highly contagious covid variant. Here's a list.
It's going to be a quiet New Year in China(Florence Lo/REUTERS )
It's going to be a quiet New Year in China(Florence Lo/REUTERS )
Published on Jan 08, 2022 07:44 AM IST
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From the Grammys to the Golden Globes, from Carnival to Oktoberfest: Many organizers are rethinking, postponing or even canceling large events due to the highly contagious covid variant. Here's a list.

ALSO READ: Home quarantine now for all international arrivals

With covid infection rates soaring around the world, several big events have been called off or rescheduled. Here is a list:

Grammys: Preparations for the popular music awards ceremony, originally planned for January 31 in Los Angeles, were in full swing until a surge in covid cases in the United States forced organizers to reschedule the event. New dates have yet to be announced.

Golden Globes: The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which organizes the awards, recently announced a very stripped-down version of the ceremony. The prizes will be announced on Sunday, January 9, in Beverly Hills. There will be no audience, other than select members and grantees, who will have to show proof of vaccination and a negative test to be able to attend the event. The guests will be masked and socially distanced, and there will be no red carpet. The event will not be livestreamed and the winners will be posted on the association's social media accounts and on its website as they are announced.

Sundance Film Festival: Initially planned as a hybrid of both virtual and in-person screenings in Park City, Utah, the largest independent film festival in the US has decided to hold the entire event online only. It runs from January 20 to 30.

Berlinale: Rising Omicron cases in Germany have not yet prompted the festival's organizers to move the event online. The festival is set to take place from February 10-20 with on-site screenings — but no parties.

Cologne Carnival: The 2022 Carnival — one of the largest street festivals in Europe — begins on February 22 with the Weiberfastnacht (Carnival's "women's day") and ends on Rose Monday, which falls on February 28 this year. Following last year's scaled-down version, organizers are looking into how they can let the parades take place safely despite growing infection rates.

Düsseldorf Carnival: The capital of North Rhine Westfalia and Cologne's "arch rival" when it comes to Carnival customs and traditions, Düsseldorf plans to organize the traditional Rose Monday parade on May 29, instead of February 25, 2022.

Rio Carnival: This year's festivities, set from February 25 to March 5, will be rather muted following rising cases of the Omicron variant. The Brazilian city's mayor announced that some major Carnival events would take place, but organized street parties, or "blocos," will be canceled. The Sapucai Carnival, a parade performed by Rio's Carnival schools, will still go ahead.

Chinese New Year: Festivities for China's biggest holiday marking the beginning of the Lunar New Year on February 1 have been massively restricted amid surging infections. The event is traditionally known as the world's largest annual human migration, as millions of people head home, but residents have been urged to restrain from traveling during the upcoming spring holiday season. The Beijing Winter Olympics follow soon after, posing a health challenge for China as many foreign visitors, including the athletes traveling to the country.

Max Ophüls Festival: Considered the most important newcomer film festival in the German-speaking world, the event is held for the 43rd time this year. According to current information, will take place with online and in-person events from January 16-26 in the western German city of Saarbrücken and selected cinemas in the state of Saarland.

Oktoberfest : It's still a long way away, but Germany's largest and perhaps most popular beer festival may take place in the summer this year instead of at the end of September. The idea is still being discussed, with critics skeptical of the festivities clashing with the summer holidays.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2022