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Brit Awards 2021 confirms pilot event in May

Featuring a headline performance from Dua Lipa, the Brits will welcome 4,000 people to the O2 Arena with no social distancing or masks

By IQ on 22 Apr 2021

The Brit Awards 2021 will be the UK's biggest indoor pilot show

The Brit Awards 2021 will be the UK's biggest indoor pilot show

The 2021 Brit Awards ceremony will go ahead with a live audience of 4,000 people as part of the UK government’s Events Research Programme (ERP), organisers have announced.

IQ reported last month that the Brits, the UK music industry’s main annual awards ceremony, was being considered as a pilot show alongside events such as the FA Cup final and the World Snooker Championship. The 2021 awards, which take place at the 20,000-capacity O2 Arena in London on Tuesday 11 March, will be the biggest indoor ERP show and feature live performances from Dua Lipa, Headie One, Arlo Parks and Griff, among others.

As with other ERP events, including the recently announced Sefton Park Pilot concert in Liverpool, audience members will not be socially distanced or required to wear face coverings once seated in the arena. All attendees must, however, have proof of a negative lateral-flow test result to enter the venue.

As part of the wider scientific research on the ERP’s events, attendees will also be asked to take a test after the event to gather further evidence on the safety of indoor settings, reduced social distancing and the removal of non-pharmaceutical interventions like face coverings. They will also be requirement to provide contact details for National Health Service’s contact-tracing system.

“The BRITs are always a big night in the music calendar, but this year’s awards will be particularly special. They will reunite live audiences with the best of British talent for the first time in a year, while providing a vital opportunity to see how we can get large crowds back safely as soon as possible,” says British culture secretary Oliver Dowden.

“This scientific trial is an important step on the path to recovery for the live entertainment industry”

“Music connected us when we were separated by this pandemic, and now it’s going to help bring us back together again.”

The majority of tickets for the event (2,500) will be donated to key workers from London via a ballot system in recognition of their work during the pandemic.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of Brits organiser the BPI, comments: “The Brit Awards team are excited to confirm our plans to host a live audience at our ceremony on 11 May. There could be no better way to celebrate music’s biggest night than with an audience present for the first live performances at the O2 in over a year. Most importantly, this is also a key moment in the return of live music, which we all want to see back at scale as quickly as possible.

“We will be working closely with the government, the O2 and all our partners to finalise details and ensure all safety measures and guidelines are adhered to. More exciting performance announcements will be made in the coming days.”

“We’re proud that the O2 has been selected to host the largest-indoor-capacity pilot event with the Brits” says the O2’s deputy GM, Danielle Kennedy-Clark. “This scientific trial is an important step on the path to recovery for the live entertainment industry, and our operational teams are making the final preparations to be able to welcome people into the O2 again for the first time in more than a year”.


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