London’s O2 Arena played host to another eventful Brit Awards ceremony as the annual spectacle returns for its 39th year
As with most awards events in music and film, the focus was around gender equality with this year’s Brits boasting a 50/50 split in the nominees for the first time. The 1975’s Matt Healy used his acceptance speech, for the band’s first Brit award, to quote from an article by the Guardian’s Laura Snapes about misogyny in the music industry.
Host and comedian Jack Whitehall did his best to balance out the heavy topics, but at times failed to impress, especially with Little Mix. His joke about their online spat with journalist Piers Morgan was met with blank expressions. Another big topic behind the scenes was that of funding, or the lack of, within the arts.
The Brit Awards raises money for the Brit Trust which is the sponsor for the Brit School. Since 2016 government funding for the school has been cut by more than 20%, reducing staffing levels and classroom sizes. The Trust has donated £9.5m in the 28 years since the school opened and continues to do so at around £500,000 per year.
However, the Trust has reported that the donations aren’t sufficient enough to support the school going forward. Viewers of the Brit Awards on Wednesday evening would have noticed YouTube’s high-profile sponsorship of the event. YouTube Music was the official app and international live stream partner. The money raised from the sponsorship will go towards funding new studios at the Brit School.
The YouTube Music Studios will open later this year and will include industry standard equipment including a 16-channel audio desk. Students will also have the opportunity to learn from YouTube’s mentoring and masterclasses.
“One of the challenges of running The Brit School is ensuring that the students have access to the latest equipment and technology,” said chairman of The Brit Trust, John Craig OBE. “This incredible support from YouTube ensures that our TV studios and radio suites on the School’s site in Croydon can now replicate the professional world as this is critical for them if they are to succeed when they leave and go onto jobs in the industry.”
The Brit Awards 2019 winners in full:
Best Male Solo Artist
British Female Solo Artist
One Kiss by Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa
British Breakthrough Act
British Album of the Year
A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships by The 1975
British Artist Video Of The Year
Women Like Me by Little Mix ft Nicki Minaj
International Male Solo Artist
International Female Solo Artist
British Producer of the Year
Outstanding Contribution To Music