COVID Pushes 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame To HBO

The show must go on !

by Isabella Bridie DeLeo

The 35th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame live induction ceremony didn’t pan out as originally planned, namely, as a live event. However, rock and roll lovers will still have something to look forward to that at least kind of resembles what the ceremony was supposed to be. The Rock Hall has announced that the 2020 edition of the live induction ceremony—which was scheduled for May 2 in Cleveland but was ultimately canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic—will be replaced by a special event on November 7. It will be available to watch exclusively on HBO and the streaming site HBO Max at 8 p.m. ET.

This class of star-studded inductees, including Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Whitney Houston, the Doobie Brothers, T-Rex, and The Notorious B.I.G., plus the Ahmet Ertegun Award winners celebrating rock and roll record producers Jon Landau and Irving Azoff will be honored for the world to see, virtually. The date for the 36th edition of the live ceremony in Cleveland is currently TBD—and hey, time does sort of feeling illusory these days—but the Rock Hall anticipates that a live ceremony will take place sometime in the fall of 2021, instead of spring, presumably to account for the unpredictability of the pandemic.

In a press release, John Sykes, Chairman of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, said, “To protect the health and safety of our Inductees, their families, crews and our attendees, we’ve made the decision that the scheduled live event is not possible.” He added, “Together with HBO and executive producer Joel Gallen, we will still create an exciting program honoring our 2020 inductees, by telling the stories of their incredible contributions to music and impact on a generation of artists that followed them.”

But stay tuned because the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the museum and actual hall that immortalizes some of music’s biggest stars, has opened its doors to visitors and is unveiling an exhibit honoring this year’s inductees starting on August 14.