4,000 guests will attend London’s O2 Arena on May 11th, when it hosts the Brit Awards as its first live show in over a year. People in attendance will not be required to wear a mask, or social distance, as part of the UK government’s Events Research Program.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced on that the ceremony will join other events as a pilot for the research. The Brit Awards ceremony will be joined on the program by the current world snooker championships at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre.
Enhanced testing approaches are used in the Events Research Program to examine how events can take place, without the need for social distancing. Audience members will not have to social distance or wear face coverings in the arena. However, they will be required to follow existing government guidance while travelling to the venue and adhere to rules set out by the event organizers. Attendees must have proof of a negative test result to enter the arena.
To recognise the efforts of frontline workers during the pandemic, record labels and the recorded music industry will donate 2,500 tickets. Through an online ballot system, frontline workers living in the London area have the chance to attend the Brit Awards with a guest of their choice. The remaining 1,500 places will be allocated for purchase to the nominated and performing artists and their teams, supporting record labels, management and show partners and sponsors.
Guests will also be asked to take a test after the event to gather further evidence from the documented research. The trial events will hopefully provide information on the safety of indoor settings, reduced social distancing and the removal of non-pharmaceutical interventions like face coverings. Attendees will also have to provide contact details for the NHS’s Test and Trace program, ensuring everyone can be traced in the event of an audience member receiving a positive test after the event.
Brit-nominated artist Dua Lipa, who will be performing on the night, said, “This has been a long, tough year for everyone, and I’m delighted the night will honour the key worker heroes who have cared for us so well during that time and continue to do so. They are quite simply an inspiration. The Brit Awards are always special, and this will truly make it a night to remember.”
The awards are organized by the BPI – the U.K. record labels association that promotes British music. Geoff Taylor, chief executive of BPI & Brit Awards, said, “This year’s Brit Awards with Mastercard is one of the most significant in the show’s history. Not only will we be celebrating the brilliant music and artists that have helped us through the pandemic, but we hope it will provide a path for the return of live music that fans and artists have so sorely missed”.
Taylor added that organisers are “buzzing” about the upcoming Brit Awards and are “working closely with government, the O2 and all our partners to ensure all safety measures and guidelines are adhered to”.
Dublin band, Fontaines D.C. has been nominated for Best International Group at this year’s Brit Awards. Nominated alongside Foo Fighters, HAIM, BTS and Run The Jewels, the band will be hoping for better luck after recently missing out on a Grammy.
The 2021 Brit Awards on will be broadcast live on ITV on May 11th and is set to be hosted by comedian, Jack Whitehall.