BRIT boss Geoff Taylor explains how this year’s show can help bring live music’s long-awaited return | Media


BRITs are back at the O2 this week with an audience of 4,000 frontline and key workers who will not be subjected to social distancing measures or masks. The London venue’s first show in over a year is part of the government’s events research program.

Besides being a big night out for the music industry and nominated artists, the BRITs will play a crucial role in providing the scientific evidence to bring back live music after a year without concerts due to Covid restrictions. A date later in the calendar than the usual February slot opened up the possibility of a live performance, so expect hard-hitting performances from artists who have been eager to play their hits in front of a crowd for a year.

As revealed in Music week Exclusive digital coverage with showrunners Rebecca Allen and Selina Webb, it was a huge effort from the BRIT team to get everything ready for 8pm on Tuesday, May 11th.

As usual, the BRITs air on ITV and will again be hosted by Jack Whitehall. The show will feature a line-up of artists including Dua Lipa, Olivia Rodrigo, Coldplay, The Weeknd, Headie One, Griff and Rag’N’Bone Man & Pink with the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust Choir. You can find all the nominations here, including three each for Dua Lipa, Celeste, Arlo Parks, Young T & Bugsey and Joel Corry.

“We are getting ready to leave – we are delighted,” said Geoff Taylor, Managing Director of the BPI & BRIT Awards. While many of the past year’s awards have relied on pre-recorded material, viewers and audience members of BRIT can look forward to a full live performance in the O2 Arena.

Here, Geoff Taylor sets the scene, discusses this year’s challenges and anticipates the impact these unique BRITs can have on artists and labels …

How are you working with the government on finding this event live with an audience?

“It’s a very important driver for us. When the government announced the Events Research Agenda, we saw it as an opportunity to support the return of live music through a science experiment, which will provide absolutely essential data for the government to reopen music. live. But it’s also an opportunity to thank the people who helped us get through the lockdown. It has been complex. I think we’ve probably underestimated the amount of extra work and planning it takes to make a BRIT show, which is already a complex thing, and then layering on all the science and oversight needed as part of the research program on them. events.

“But I’m really happy we’re doing it. It will create a really special atmosphere at night to have these key workers there, hopefully having fun and getting a little reward for what they have done. This should create an incredible atmosphere and hopefully data that will demonstrate to the government that it is safe to have crowds of people listening to live music, as long as reasonable precautions are in place.

What conditions will be in place?

“Everyone who comes to the show will have to demonstrate a negative test result within the previous 36 hours. There will be masks worn when people are out of place, there will be full monitoring of air flow and movement of people around the site. This should provide the government with a really important data set for indoor shows that will hopefully get us back to live music.

BRITs should provide the government with a really important data set that will get us back to live music

Geoff taylor

Is there a big investment this year in terms of television production?

“It’s huge. It’s still a massive investment, and obviously more difficult this year because we don’t sell tickets in the usual way. The labels therefore bear the costs of distributing tickets to the main workers. is a multi-million pound directing company. BRIT’s interest is to have the highest production values ​​of any TV show. And I can tell you that with the performances that we have predicted, it will be really spectacular.

How important are partnerships on social networks?

“TikTok will be live streaming the red carpet, as will YouTube and others, so it will be widely available on social media. Our approach to social media is to build as many partnerships as possible. We want BRITs to be accessible everywhere. We see the impact this has as a global trend on Twitter, it still gets huge engagement on Instagram, Facebook and other platforms. We are therefore optimistic that this will happen again. We believe there will be great stories overnight. All we can do is just put on the loudest show possible, and hope that people will come and enjoy it.

Olivia Rodrigo is a new great American artist part of the line-up. Is it a big deal for the BRITs this year?

“To have an American artist come to the UK to perform right now is fantastic, because obviously there are travel restrictions and a certain nervousness for many artists to travel. So bringing Olivia Rodrigo here is a coup, we are really delighted with her performance. The fact that American artists appreciate the BRITs, I think, says a lot about its global importance. Everyone always keeps a close eye on the Grammys, but the BRITs are up in this business. American artists want to get involved. In recent years, Lizzo and Billie Eilish have shown how attractive we are and that British audiences really matter to American artists. They see it as a home away from home.

And former BRIT winner Dua Lupa returns this year as a world star …

“She’s an absolute world superstar, who set an absolutely exceptional record that got us all through the lockdown. I’m sure she will do an amazing performance. I can tell you that Dua Lipa’s performance will be truly epic. I am really excited about this. Definitely worth listening to to see, she really does go. And I think that’s what you’re hoping for from the BRITs. She’s an absolutely fantastic global icon now and she’s a big booking for the show. ”

Are you now convinced that the BRIT voting academy offers a diverse and representative roster of nominees, alongside performers?

“Of course, we want the industry to be diverse and inclusive, and the BRITs have a role to play in that regard. When we make reservations, we want to create a balanced show across different genres that reflects the last year of music, but also reflects the diversity that there is in the music industry. So, absolutely, it’s a consideration. There are always opportunities to showcase talent from different genres of music, different ages, etc. to hopefully create an entertaining show for everyone who watches it and feels relevant to everyone who watches it. . So these are considerations that we have in mind. President Rebecca Allen and Selina Webb did an outstanding job putting the show together and helping the committee lead the booking process. And the fact that we have a very diverse Academy means that we now tend to get a diverse and inclusive set of nominations. “

Dua Lipa’s performance is going to be truly epic

Geoff taylor

It’s a different date and a different kind of BRIT this year. Can it have the same impact?

“It’s obviously an experience to have him at a different time of the year. But we saw a really good impact last year, in terms of chart positions and views of all clips – we had tens of millions of views of all performances. So we hope for the same. People have been denied live entertainment, and certainly a live audience, for so long that we really hope everyone gets excited. We hope it will be a little while. We’re trying to make a BRIT show that reflects the past year, that celebrates all of the wonderful people who helped us through the past year, and that also provides amazing musical entertainment. We are delighted with the line-up, and the directing allows us to go further this year. We’re ready, hopefully, for a show that really makes an impact. “

Can the show give a significant boost to BRIT artists?

“Obviously, we hope for that. But I think you have to look at the long term impact, and you have to look at it on a broader basis than just the immediate position on the chart. Performing on the BRITs, and in particular earning a BRIT, is something that stays with an artist for a long time. We have seen the impact this has in terms of both the reach of the artists who have really broken through and the prestige that comes with it. This is our job, to create a platform that allows the artist to give the best of himself and to be celebrated for the incredible work he has done. That’s what we’re hoping for – the impact is cultural, as well as in the numbers. We believe BRITs play an important role in raising awareness and appreciation for artists, and this is what we hope to achieve.

Subscribers can click here to read our exclusive digital coverage feature featuring 2021 BRITs showrunners Selina Webb and Rebecca Allen.


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