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Major award shows will return “rain or shine” in 2021

The Grammy Awards, one of the earliest dates in the annual calendar for music awards, will be happening in January 2021 “come rain or shine, Covid-19 vaccine or not,” say organisers.

The 63rd edition of the US-based awards show is scheduled to take place on 31 January and will be broadcast on CBS at 8 pm ET.

Organisers say things will be “a little different” at next year’s ceremony but have not yet revealed details about the show’s format.

However, Harvey Mason Jnr, the Recording Academy’s interim president/CEO, offered some insight on what to expect at the 2021 show back in June during an interview with Variety.

“We are simultaneously developing three plans for what the show would look like: One is the traditional show with the full crowd, two is a limited crowd, and three is no crowd, and there’s creative around all three of those ideas: how and where we would film it. But none of them involve changing or postponing the date,” said Mason.

“We are simultaneously developing three plans for what the Grammys would look like, but none involving postponing”

Mason also said the Grammys are looking at hosting the awards at the Staples Centre (cap. 20,000) in LA with a limited audience, though it seems “increasing unlikely”. The one thing he guarantees is “a spectacular show” that, no matter what, the show will be executed fully live, with no pre-recorded segments.

Across the pond, organisers of Britain’s annual music awards show, the Brits, have said the event will return next year on 11 May instead of its usual date in February and will be broadcast on ITV.

Organisers say they consulted with the music industry and show partners Mastercard, ITV and AEG, and made the decision based on safety and logistical considerations.

“We believe that this move will give a fairer opportunity to all artists, as well as ensuring a mix of huge domestic and global superstars that annually attend and perform at the show,” the Brits statement reads.

Speaking about the decision to move the date, Geoff Taylor, chief executive at British Phonographic Industry and Brit Awards said: “We want to make sure that the Brits delivers the outstanding production levels, superstar performances and live excitement that make it the biggest night in music.

“We want to make sure that The Brits delivers the outstanding production levels, superstar performances and live excitement”

“We believe that the best way to achieve this in 2021 is to move the show back a few months to May, and we are already at work planning a spectacular event that will remind us how important music has been in getting us all through these difficult times.”

The awards show held its 40th edition before the pandemic hit in February, which took place at the O2 (cap. 21,000) in London, where it has been held every year since 2011.

Major award shows that have taken place during the pandemic include MTV’s VMAs (August, US), the Country Music Awards (September, US), the Mercury Prize (September, UK) and The Billboard Music Awards (October, US) and have not yet revealed details about 2021 ceremonies.

Still to come this year is the American Music Awards, which will air on 22 November in the US at 8 pm ET on ABC and plans to “bring fans together with surprising musical performances and celebrate the artists who make it happen”. Additional details regarding the production of the show will be announced at a later date.

Also, the UK’s Mobo Awards, which has celebrated music of black origin since 1996, is due to return after two years off. Founder Kanya King told Capital Xtra in an exclusive interview that the ceremony would return in an “exciting and dynamic” way before the end of the year. Further details about the ceremony are yet to be revealed.


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Live music to take centre stage at the Brits 2020

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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