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BRIT Awards “exploring options” for taking part in government’s full capacity event pilot programme

By | Published on Tuesday 16 March 2021

BRIT Awards 2021

This year’s BRIT Awards in May could be run as a full capacity test event for a wider lifting of COVID-19 restrictions later in the summer. Around twelve upcoming entertainment and sporting events will be allowed to go ahead without restrictions under the UK government’s current Events Research Programme.

The Department For Digital, Culture, Media And Sport is set to run a series of tests ahead of the planned lifting of COVID restrictions in June, aiming to work with events of varying sizes and in different types of venues. Events confirmed to be involved are the FA Cup final at the 90,000 capacity Wembley Stadium in London and the World Snooker Championship final at Sheffield’s 980 seat Crucible Theatre. A nightclub, comedy club and conference venue will also be among those tested.

“These test events will be crucial in finding ways to get fans and audiences back in safely without social distancing”, says culture secretary Oliver Dowden. “We will be guided by the science and medical experts, but will work flat out to make that happen. We want to get the people back to enjoying what they love and ensure some of our most important growth industries get back on their feet. These are important steps towards the safe and special summer we all crave and that I’m fully focused on delivering”.

Speaking to the Sunday Times at the weekend, Dowden confirmed that the BRIT Awards at the 20,000 capacity O2 Arena was one of the shows being considered for the programme of test events.

A spokesperson for BRITs organiser the BPI tells CMU: “We are exploring options with government to see whether this year’s BRIT Awards could be one of their planned pilot events. We’d love to see this to happen, but need to understand more fully how running a pilot would fit with the complex production requirements of the BRITs”.

According to DCMS, the tests taking place at the selected events will use a range of “non-pharmaceutical” methods of preventing the spread of COVID-19 among attendees, which include different types of ventilation and seating layout.

“I’m driven by the conviction that if we don’t get bums on seats this summer, there is a real risk that some of these areas of our economy could go bust”, Dowden told the Sunday Times. “It’s bums on seats or bust. I want the country to have a summer of fun and I am working to achieve that”.

Past efforts by the UK government to get the COVID-hit economy restarted and/or events back up and running have had mixed success, of course. Or were abandoned once the scale of the second surge of the coronavirus last year became clear. Although, obviously, with more data now available and the vaccine roll out proving quite successful, it’s hoped that the next round of economy rebooting and event restarting will have more positive results.