As hundreds of songs have reminded us at this point: Rock and roll will never die, even amid a pandemic. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will be pivoting away from a virtual format for its 2021 ceremony, with USA Today reporting that the induction will take place on October 30 at Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. These plans were announced during a Tuesday press conference, with CEO Greg Harris noting that some logistics couldn’t be confirmed owing to the changing nature of Ohio’s coronavirus regulations. “Ticketing capacity is an important question these days as we move through the health challenges of our nation but also get reopened again,” Harris said. “Ticket on-sale announcement will be in July. Until then, we’re going to monitor best practices and make sure that however we’re seating the event, we’re doing it in a careful and healthy way.” The hall has yet to unveil its official 2021 class, but the shortlist consists of 16 genre-defying nominees: Mary J. Blige, Kate Bush, Devo, Foo Fighters, the Go-Go’s, Iron Maiden, Jay-Z, Chaka Khan, Carole King, Fela Kuti, LL Cool J, New York Dolls, Rage Against the Machine, Todd Rundgren, Tina Turner, and Dionne Warwick.
This ceremony aligns with the vision Rock and Roll Hall of Fame CEO Joel Peresman told Vulture last year, which is that he was “hopeful” the induction would revert to its in-person glitz and glam. However, the coronavirus has permanently affected the Hall in several key ways: The inductions will now always occur in the fall, as opposed to its usual spring fling. The timeline of the nomination process has also been pushed back. “Normally, the nomination process starts in September, we announce the nominees in October, and then we announce the inductees in January,” Peresman told us. “This time, the nomination meetings will happen in January, so we’ll announce the nominees in February and start that voting process then.” We can expect the vaccinated class of 2021 to be announced in May.