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The O2 prepped to host first Saturday BRIT Awards

London’s The O2 is gearing up to host this weekend’s BRIT Awards, which are taking place on a Saturday for the first time ever.

Performers at the 11 February ceremony – the biggest night on the British music industry’s calendar – will include Harry Styles, Lizzo, Cat Burns, David Guetta & Becky Hill & Ella Henderson, Sam Smith & Kim Petras, Stormzy, Lewis Capaldi and Wet Leg.

The awards, which have been held at The O2 since 2011, will be hosted by comedian Mo Gilligan and be broadcast live on ITV1 and ITVX from 8.30pm GMT. The night will also see the return of table seating on the arena floor, following two years of Covid restrictions.

“The BRITs is always one of the high points of the year, it’s a weeklong build and it’s a huge occasion for the industry,” The O2’s VP and GM Steve Sayer tells IQ. “We’re very proud to have hosted it for many years now and long may that continue. We’ve got a great relationship with the BPI and we work very closely with them, not on the artistic production, but on every other aspect, and it’s huge.

“They’ve moved it to a Saturday, which was a decision that the [record industry trade association] BPI made to try something a little bit different. We’re really excited about it, it’s a big showpiece for us and I have no doubt it will be as big as ever.”

“We are seeing the usual last-minute scrambles for tickets, and you can see why”

Wasserman Music will also be hosting its annual post-BRITs boat party, which has previously been presented by the likes of Lewis Capaldi, Sampha, Annie Mac, The xx, Disclosure and Rudimental. This year will feature The BRITs Rising Star top 3 – FLO, Cat Burns and Nia Archives.

“We are seeing the usual last-minute scrambles for tickets, and you can see why,” says Tom Schroeder, EVP of Wasserman Music. “We’ve been doing this in one guise or another since 2014, and have had the pleasure of hosting some of the biggest acts in the industry. This year, it’s all about the future with FLO, Cat Burns and Nia Archives presenting. And that’s what we are all about – supporting rising talent.”

The BRIT Awards is preceded by the annual BRITs Week charity concert series, presented by AEG, which gives fans the opportunity to see leading UK artists in intimate music venues across the country. Shows have included The 1975 at the 550-cap Gorilla in Manchester, and Sugababes at the 600-cap Garage and Kojey Radical at the 800-cap XOYO, both in London.

BRITs Week, which concludes tonight with Rina Sawayama at Lafayette (cap. 600) and Bob Vylan at Omeara (320), has raised millions of pounds for War Child since its inception in 2014, thanks to underplay shows by artists such as Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Take That, Florence & The Machine, Biffy Clyro , Foals, Royal Blood, Wolf Alice and The 1975, raising millions of pounds for War Child.


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