Oh em gee. I went to the 60th Grammy awards!
My husband is a professional jazz musician and tours internationally and locally for a living. He’s currently a member of the group, Joey Defrancesco and The People and their remarkable work on the album Project Freedom was nominated for a Grammy this year. I am so proud of his hard work and feel fortunate to have been able to tag along as a plus one. Many of you watched our adventure on Instagram stories (you can still watch them on my profile) but I thought I’d recap of the big weekend here as well.
Traveling to New York (36 weeks pregnant)
I was cutting it really close and just made it before the pregnancy travel cut off. I knew going into it traveling wouldn’t be fun but I didn’t want to miss out on this incredible opportunity, especially if they won a Grammy! I did a ton of research beforehand, got my doc’s stamp of approval, and off we went. My absolute worst nightmare was a) going into labor on the plane and /or b) going into labor in New York. Luckily, neither one happened and traveling was actually somewhat of a breeze. The plane was practically empty, I got to board first (yay!) and walking in the airport was kept to a minimum. Not to mention, TSA Pre-Check is an absolute dream! I drank tons of water, made sure to wear comfy clothes and slide-on sneakers.
I’m so happy that the Grammys were held in New York for the first time in fifteen years! If they were in LA again this year, I honestly don’t think I would have gone at that stage in my pregnancy.
Once we arrived in New York, we picked up our tickets and car passes from the Stewart Hotel. It didn’t really hit us what was happening until we held the fancy tickets in our hands!
Sunday was the big day and I knew it was going to be long. I started my morning with a hair appointment (which did absolutely nothing; my waves fell 15 minutes later). So I scrambled to do my hair on my own, did my makeup, got dressed and we headed out to meet the rest of the band. Traffic was out of control; picture New York traffic on steroids. At one point we had to get out of our Uber and walk because it would have taken us at least an hour to move a block.
The Premiere Ceremony was first on the list. This is the portion of the Grammys that does not get televised and where about 90% of the Grammys are awarded. Food and drinks were served before the Ceremony and they were delicious! There were over 80 categories to get through and we were number 38. It was open seating and somewhat relaxed. A few performances were mixed in and there was a red carpet walk through beforehand, which we somehow missed by entering through a different door. Such a bummer!
This portion was about three hours long. With anything that long, it started off really exciting and then a bit draining from sitting for so long. The cool thing though was that since it was somewhat of a relaxed atmosphere, we were able to get up and use the restroom and stretch in the hallway if we wanted. Unfortunately, the band didn’t win but it was an honor to be nominated and to even be there! Tony Bennett was sitting in front of us and we got to see Neil deGrasse Tyson, Anthony Hamilton, and Reba McIntyre.
The Televised Event
After the Premiere Ceremony, everyone was herded like cattle from the theater to Madison Square Garden for the televised portion. Honestly, this part was so overwhelming I hardly even remember how we got from point A to point B. Most of the security guards were unhelpful and short with us anytime we asked a question. We had full red carpet access and I was really looking forward to experiencing that portion of the event but nobody would tell us how to get there. We just kept getting pushed and moved around with the herd from one escalator to another.
Once we arrived at the arena for the televised portion, there was no getting out. We were told multiple times if we left the building for the red carpet or any other reason, there’s no reentry. I guess the system is different when the Grammys are held in LA; people can come and go as they please but New York’s policies were different and we were never given an explanation why. I’m guessing for security reasons. Fast food was available at the arena and the lines were bonkers! I’ve read a lot of complaints about the lack of food available at the Grammys so I was glad to see that although not the best options, there was something to eat, especially for this pregnant mama!
We had to be in our seats by 7:15 for the televised portion. This part was fun! We had great seats fairly close to the stage. I loved experiencing the behind the scenes on commercial breaks and being able to see the musicians up close and personal. I would describe this portion as one big concert with a few awards sprinkled in. I spotted several celebrities from our seats, including Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Common, and Ice T. I counted a minimum of six security guards surrounding Beyonce, Jay Z and Blue Ivy during commercial breaks. There were so.many.people. in that arena. The cool thing was that it’s also somewhat relaxed. You can get up to leave your seat during commercial breaks, people were pretty chatty in their seats, and you could use your phone to take photos. I’m pretty sure everyone was on their phone because my signal was shot!
This was another long event. We were in there for four hours. Things move very quickly though. When you’re watching at home it seems like everything moves slowly, including the commercials. Everything moves much faster in person. We left the arena during the last award (we all knew Bruno Mars was going to win, no surprise there) so we wanted to get a head start on the after party.
The After Party
We were so happy to find out that shuttles were available to transport us to the after party at a nearby hotel. The after party was four floors and each floor offered all you can eat food and drinks with different musical themes. We mostly hung out on the jazz floor because the vibe on the floor with the DJ was weird. The food was great and we had a great time! I can’t believe my pregnant self was out past 2 am.
All in all, it was an incredible experience and I am grateful for the opportunity!
Want to know more about the $16 outfit I wore to the Grammys? Click here!