by Jeff Robbins on January 20, 2010 // Short URL

Drupal Wins

Lullabot is proud to announce that, the official site of the GRAMMY Awards, is now a Drupal site. The GRAMMY Awards is the music business' largest and most prestigious awards ceremony. This year's telecast, happening January 31st, will be the 52nd annual awards ceremony held by the The Recording Academy. has run on several platforms over the years, but The Recording Academy decided to move to Drupal for its flexibility, speedy build-out, scalability, and performance under pressure. The website sees a huge traffic spike around the telecast and the Academy needed a content management system which could be both resource efficient throughout the year and provide high-performance and high-availability around the dates of the awards ceremony.

Lullabot, whose portfolio includes Lifetime Television,, and the Sony Music artist platform (running over 100 Sony artist websites), brought in developers from Santex to help get the site built in about eight weeks. The site features extensive photo and video galleries, a live video feed, blogs and news, and of course listings of all the nominees. The site also features integration with Twitter and the GRAMMYs' active Facebook community. The project was assembled using mostly existing free add-on modules from Drupal's vast contributions repository.

In the past, a website like this would have cost millions of dollars to build. But Drupal allowed The Recording Academy to assemble the site quickly at a fraction of the cost.

Site Modules and Architecture:

This PressFlow-based Drupal 6 site makes heavy use of CCK and Views. Other modules of note are Views Slideshow on the home page; Fivestar for ratings throughout the site; ImageCache, ImageField, and ImageField Extended for image handling and galleries, Poll module (part of Drupal core) on the home page, and Views Cloud for sidebar tag clouds throughout. The site also uses the Custom Page module to provide the custom home page layout.

New modules to come out of the project include Gallery Summary and iFrame Filter which improves page load performance for remote javascript-based content. Many module patches and improvements were also contributed including work on Flag, NodeQueue, ShareThis, and the Ooyala video module, which handles all of the video on the site.

Design and Theming:

The site design theme is based on the We're All Fans GRAMMY marketing campaign by TBWA Chiat Day. The site also makes extensive use of the Cufón javascript-based font rendering engine to implement standards-compliant custom header fonts. The site also uses a custom base theme and sub-themes to allow for easy design changes from year to year.


Knowing that the site would need very flexible hosting to handle the traffic spike around the telecast, Lullabot did a lot of research to find a company who could pay close attention to the site and scale up and down quickly to handle the load while minimizing costs.

The final solution has 2 MySQL servers in a database cluster and 8 load balanced Apache servers, each running Memcache and acting as a MySQL slave server. The entire setup is hosted with NeoSpire. "We chose NeoSpire Managed Hosting for their interest in helping us come up with a custom solution and their willingness to monitor the site closely throughout the GRAMMY Awards event," says Lullabot co-founder, Matt Westgate. "We're also using Akamai and Varnish reverse proxy caching to offload most of the anonymous traffic – a trick we picked up from Alec Hendry at MTV UK."

This year's GRAMMY Awards airs on the CBS television network January 31st at 8pm. Look carefully for members of the Lullabot team in the audience.




Circles of Eight

Our 25th Anniversary features creating your own Circle of Eight see facebook profile of Donald Whitcomb



Probably not

From the "Design and Theming" section:

The site also uses a custom base theme and sub-themes to allow for easy design changes from year to year.

It certainly would have boosted Zen's street cred, though I think the Vital Signs project also helped with that nicely.



Loosely zen-based

We started with Zen, but then removed Zen's enormous amount of cruft. We didn't need the roll-over edit links, theme settings, a lot of the preprocessing, etc. I don't think you could consider the final base theme to be Zen-based. Zen's a great theme if you're learning, but now it's got way more options and stubbed-out CSS classes than I'll usually want to deal with.




Lullabot & Drupal Rock!!!




thanks alot my dear
i liked that

I want to say, your blog is very informative and useful

thanks again

my name ,
ahmed elbana



Jeff, this is fantastic - as

Jeff, this is fantastic - as always.

In the past, a website like this would have cost millions of dollars to build. But Drupal allowed The Recording Academy to assemble the site quickly at a fraction of the cost.

I wonder if people appreciate how true that statement is. As usual, Lullabot is leading the way, demonstrating once again how and why Drupal is so amazing. I gave a (Drupal oriented) workshop yesterday in a neighboring town, and I couldn't say enough about Lullabot - including a strong recommendation to all participants to get a copy of Pro Drupal Development and Using Drupal, among others.

Seems most often, the greatest difficulty with Drupal is communicating the value its power brings. Your post validates that value. Imagine - six-figure savings! And yet, too often it seems that value is lost or minimized somewhere in translation. In fact, at yesterday's workshop I tried to reinforce this point by saying, "Realize that with the purchase of 2-4 books, about 30 days of homework, and a little practice, you can each have a site that could easily have cost well in to the tens of thousands of dollars." I hope the point sunk in and resonated.

Thanks Jeff, for all your fantastic work - and once again for sharing so generously. May we all respond in kind.




well done lullabot. great work

the designing and themeing are cool with the Cufón javascript-based font rendering engine. looks great



broken hearted ...

please make a video on how to do a site like!!!!!

lullabot should make a video on how to do a site like well something with lots of photos and some video y bought the lulabot package but i think it falls short when it comes to media intense websites i wish you guys make a video for eye catching websites




What a great appreciation for the Drupal official website of Grammy Awards to choose Drupal. Congratulations