Backstage at the BRIT Awards 2017

By Maria Barham - Associate PR Director and DawBell Events guru!

January, the beginning of the New Year, and a time to ease yourself back into the work flow after several weeks of overindulgence of the Christmas cheer...lovely.  However, January at DawBell signals the start of one of our busiest and most exciting times...Awards season!  

This is actually one of my favourite times of the year in the events department. With The BRIT Awards, the biggest night in the UK music calendar around the corner, it’s pedal to the metal, all systems go from the minute we’re back in the office! 

2017 marks my 19th BRIT Awards - memories of the first are sending 200 fax invites out to all the press with detailed instructions on how to get to The London Arena (I still remember the DLR stop of Island Gardens). Things have changed dramatically since then, with the event now held at The O2 Arena and our press room facilities and red carpet areas catering to over 300 UK and international media. With the red carpet hosting Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, there’s not a fax machine or modem in sight!  

But the basics are still the same - creating good, positive, fun and informative coverage in the lead up to the event and on the night, ensuring the media have everything they need to do their jobs properly. 

Some of our golden ‘event’ rules..

Be prepared - this is a live show and anything can happen

  • React quickly - there’s a very short window of time to avoid a crisis - think quickly, checking with a member of the team for a second opinion 
  • Client communication - keep your client updated regularly throughout the event
  • Brief your team - clear communication guidelines for your team members, ensure they know their roles throughout the night
  • Be on the look-out for potential stories - good and bad!
  • Wear warm clothes - it’s a long time spent outside on the red carpet!

In the past, The BRIT Awards have seen some of the most memorable moments in awards history from stage invasions to water bucket soakings, but thankfully for us, this year was smooth, slick and incident free! A highlight for me was rounding up the lovely, and rather jubilant Little Mix after they had won their award for Best Single.  I think everyone in our media room fell more in love with these lovely ladies at their pure joy of winning their first BRIT Award!

And as a teenager of the ‘80s with Wham! posters covering every spare inch of my bedroom walls, I felt extremely privileged, but also very sad, to be able to witness the wonderfully touching tribute to one of my musical heroes, George Michael. 

The show was a huge success with the winners and performers all seeing uplift in sales, an increase in consolidated TV viewing figures and an increase in coverage in the most impactful areas. 

Next up on the calendar, the first major event of the festival season - Isle Of Wight Festival - the whole team are really excited for the always eclectic line up - from Rod Stewart to Run DMC, Busted to Bastille! Bring it on!