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Live music to take centre stage at the Brits 2020

The 2020 Brit Awards will reduce prize categories to nine, include live music agents in the new-look critics’ choice panel and give more creative freedom to artists

By Anna Grace on 05 Nov 2019

Live music to take centre stage at 2020 Brit Awards

Dua Lipa and Calvin Harris pick up their awards at the 2019 Brits

image © BPI/Brit Awards 2019

Organisers of the 2020 Brit Awards have announced changes to the format and content of next year’s ceremony, which will include fewer awards and more live performances to mark the event’s 40th year.

The 2020 Brit Awards, which take place on Tuesday 18 February at London’s 20,000-capacity O2 Arena, will impose no creative limitations on artists performing at the ceremony.

Last year’s Brits saw performances from Hugh Jackman, Calvin Harris, Sam Smith, Dua Lipa, Pink, Jorja Smith, the 1975 and Jess Glynne, among others.

The number of awards handed out on the night will be reduced from 14 to 9, with the removal of the international group, Brits global success, British artist video, best British producer and outstanding contribution to music categories.

All winners will be decided by the 2020 official voting academy, comprised of 1,200 individuals, including artists, promoters, agents, publishers and label representatives. There will be no element of fan vote.

Several categories will also be renamed, with the critics’ choice becoming rising star, best British single restyled as song of the year and British breakthrough act now known as best new artist. All categories will refer to solely British artists, unless otherwise stated.

“We will be putting creativity, British culture and exceptional performances at the heart of the show”

The panel of judges for the new-look critics’ choice category will include live music bookers, songwriters and producers, as well as the traditional music editors, critics and radio station heads.

The recipient of the Rising Star Award will receive a performance slot during the show. The award is open to British artists who have not yet achieved either a recording in the Official Charts UK Top 20 Artist Album Chart, or two recordings in the Top 20 Singles Chart.

“We have had a fresh look at the Brit Awards this year. Most importantly we will be putting creativity, British culture and exceptional performances at the heart of the show to make Brits night a world class celebration,” comments David Joseph, chairman of the Brits Committee for 2020 and chairman and CEO of Universal Music UK.

“The awards should be a global platform for the artists of the year to create moments that live beyond the night itself. We are looking at everything to put on the best possible show.”

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of BPI and Brit Awards Ltd adds that: “The Brits Committee will endeavour to make the 2020 Brits a truly landmark event, highlighting not only another remarkable 12 months in the British music year to a growing global audience, but also paying tribute to many unforgettable Brits moments that are now part of a rich and much loved heritage.”

Winners of last year’s Brit Awards include Little Mix, George Ezra, Jorja Smith, the 1975, Tom Walker, the Carters, Drake, Ariana Grande Ed Sheeran, Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa, Pink and Sam Fender.


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