Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony to Stream Live for First Time, Via Disney+; Elton John, Brandi Carlile, Dave Matthews Set as Performers
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony will be streamed live for the first time in November, as Disney+ has picked up rights to let viewers see the event as it happens, a marked change from the years in which music fans had to wait weeks to see an edited broadcast. The Disney+ livestream will go out coast-to-coast from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Nov. 3 at 8 p.m.. ET/5 PT and be available for streaming on demand following the ceremony.
In 2022, the last year of HBO’s long-running contract with the Hall, the ceremony took place in Los Angeles Nov. 5 but was not available for viewing on HBO and HBO Max until an edited special premiered two weeks later, on Nov. 19 — actually a shorter gap than the three-week-or-greater delay of previous years. Real-time social media interest in recent years had made putting off the broadcast seem increasingly archaic, however much edited versions of the lengthy ceremonies may have benefitted from nips and tucks.
There will be a delayed and condensed version put together for traditional broadcast, with ABC set to air a three-hour special of highlights on Jan. 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
A first round of performers was announced at the same time Disney+ and ABC revealed acquiring broadcast and streaming rights. Brandi Carlile, Dave Matthews, Chris Stapleton, H.E.R., St. Vincent and New Edition will be among the artists saluting this year’s honorees with tribute numbers or collaborations. Among the inductees themselves, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Missy Elliott and Chaka Khan have been locked in as performers.
“This historic live stream on Disney+ and special on ABC is a testament to the diverse sounds and enduring power of rock ‘and’n’ roll,” said John Sykes, chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, in a statement. Added Rob Mills, executive VP of unscripted and alternative entertainment for Walt Disney Television: “We are so excited to offer audiences a front-row seat when they tune in to Disney+ and ABC.”
Producers are not yet revealing which of the non-inductee performers will be saluting which members of the incoming class of ’23, so the guessing games can begin on who best aligns with who.
Curiosity remains about whether Rage Against the Machine could perform, since the group has been back on hiatus since the 2023 leg of a reunion tour was canceled after singer Zack de la Rocha suffered an injury. The Spinners remain a question mark as well; the current touring lineup does not include any of the original members being inducted, most — but not all — of whom have died. Inductee George Michael died in 2016, but there’s little doubt a tribute will be a centerpiece of the show. A performance by Kate Bush would be the longest shot among living inductees; she has not performed publicly since a 2014 residency. But given the resurgence of “Running Up That Hill,” guest performers would be lining up to be the one selected to cover that song.
It’s possible some of the inductees in non-performer categories could be the beneficiary of musical salutes. Lyricist Bernie Taupin, producer-sideman Al Kooper, rock guitar pioneer Link Wray, hip-hop founding force DJ Kool Herc and TV host Don Cornelius are also on the docket to be inducted.
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