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Virus Tears Through Events

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The global events industry has predictably been hit hard by the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic with incalculable repercussions. Sat Bal

Foot and mouth disease all but decimated outdoor events back in 2001 but Covid-19 is already attacking indoor and outdoor fixtures. At the time of writing we're alerted that the latest casualty is Samuel Beckett's production of 'Endgame' at the Old Vic, starring Daniel Radcliffe.

The theatre's digital pages said '... given the new travel and other restrictions in place it is nevertheless becoming increasingly impractical to sustain business as usual at our theatre.'

In the film world Disney’s blockbuster remake of 'Mulan' is the latest big major release to be pulled, as Hollywood joins the anxiety, questioning the film's scheduled opening on March 27 in UK cinemas. Disney is to revert with a new date.

James Bond has fared little better with the push back of 'No Time To Die' to November, from its expected April release.

Fresh from her Brit Awards success, teen pop sensation Billie Eilish (above) has apologised for postponement of her US tour dates as health officials warn against mass gatherings of people.

Eilish said: 'I am so sad to do this but we need to postpone these dates to keep everyone safe. We’ll let you know when they can be rescheduled. Please keep yourselves healthy. I love you.”

The Who and Pearl Jam have postponed their tours but Glastonbury Festival has held fast, announcing rapper Kendrick Lamar as its third headliner, alongside Sir Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift.

Organisers said they were “working hard” to ensure the event goes ahead in June.

Coachella, one of the world’s biggest music festivals, attracted around 250,000 attendees over its two weekends last year and was set to take place in the Colorado desert in April but has now been moved to October.

Industry giants Live Nation Entertainment and AEG Presents (the corporate behind Coachella) have suspended all tours in North America in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, say sources.

The loss of the cash generating power of live performances is likely to affect the musical community in different ways, with the spectre of loss of earnings all round.

Allen Kovac, manager of Mötley Crüe, summed up: “It’s chaotic and stressful, from agents and managers to artists, their families and their support teams.”

See you at Glastonbury, Taylor?

PwC has predicted the global market for ticket sales and sponsorship for live music at nearly $29 billion in 2020, with the lion's share of revenue going straight to performing artists. Yet recorded music is estimated at $22 billion in sales, with artists’ royalties at far slimmer pickings.

Insurance providers are already facing public opprobrium for excluding coverage of Covid-19 in new travel policies. So-called force majeure clauses guard promoters and artists against 'acts of God' to cover cancellations but coronavirus's serious risk status is seeing insurers exclude it from new policies.

This was the plight of South by Southwest. The Texan festival was cancelled and, with no insurance coverage for coronavirus, was forced to dismiss around one-third of its full-time employees last week.

BRIT Awards

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LONDON The BRIT Awards 2020 with Mastercard hit the O2 Arena with its 40th show last night with three stages and a carousel of lively performances. Sat Bal

Broadcast exclusively on ITV and YouTube worldwide, host Jack Whitehall took us through nine awards presentations and nine performances.

Mabel got the show off to a lively start and went on to win Best Female Solo Artist - for her gold-certified hit single ‘Don’t Call Me Up’ performed alongside 100 dancers.

The exclusive live debut of ‘No Time To Die’, the new James Bond official theme song, performed by Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas, Hans Zimmer and Johnny Marr. She later picked up International Female Solo Artist.

In a first, The BRITs gave the artists performing on the night creative control over their performances leading to some memorable performances.

The Mastercard Album of the Year award went to Dave, for his critically acclaimed and chart-topping debut Psychodrama. He performed the album’s first single ‘Black’ earlier in the show, a politically-charged, stripped down version accompanied by just a pianist.

Lewis Capaldi - who performed his breakout No. 1 single ‘Someone You Loved’ - followed last year’s Critics’ Choice nomination with a double win, for Best New Artist and Song of the Year. Ahead of the main show, the Scottish singer-songwriter was the first artist to ever perform on The BRITs’ red carpet with an exclusive performance for the ITV2 Red Carpet show broadcast and as part of TikTok’s exclusive red carpet live-stream.

Head of music operations UK, Paul Hourican, said it was about ‘taking advantage of TikTok's unique creativity to engage with their fans and connect with a new global audience to get their music discovered and build a strong, highly engaged fanbase.'

The Rising Star award (formerly Critics’ Choice) was presented as part of the main show, which also saw winner Celeste perform her single ‘Strange’ - both BRITs firsts.

Stormzy was honoured with Male Solo Artist, following his win in the same category in 2018, ahead of a show-stopping medley performance featuring hundreds of dancers, a choir and guest appearance from Burna Boy.

The show also saw spirited performances from Lizzo, and Sir Rod Stewart was back to perform solo as well as being joined by Faces bandmates Ronnie Wood and Kenny Jones to close the show with their hit song ’Stay With Me’.

Towards the start of the show, Whitehall addressed the audience to pay tribute to presenter and broadcaster Caroline Flack whose tragic suicide, again, raises issues of stress and mental health in the industry and at large.

Earlier in the day, Fred again.. was presented with Producer of the Year on the red carpet; the youngest ever recipient of the award.

On the event production side, Neptunus provided the temporary overlay and MD Ben Keast said: 'We're delighted to once again have been asked to provide the support facilities to The BRIT awards which is always one of the great nights for the British music industry.'

Amazon Music were digital music partner and event hosts of the Official BRIT Awards 2020 playlist, making music available to stream post-event on Amazon Music Unlimited.

The Winners (in order presented on the night)...

BEST NEW ARTIST - Lewis Capaldi

Presented by Clara Amfo and Niall Horan

FEMALE SOLO ARTIST - Mabel

Presented by Jorja Smith and Ellie Goulding

MALE SOLO ARTIST - Stormzy

Presented by Ronnie Wood

INTERNATIONAL MALE SOLO ARTIST - Tyler the Creator

Presented by Kiefer Sutherland and Paloma Faith

GROUP OF THE YEAR - Foals

Presented by Hailee Steinfeld, Courtney Love and Anne-Marie

RISING STAR - Celeste

Presented by Sam Fender and Adwoa Aboah

INTERNATIONAL FEMALE SOLO ARTIST - Billie Eilish

Presented by Melanie C

SONG OF THE YEAR - Lewis Capaldi ‘Someone You Loved’

Presented by Sir Tom Jones

MASTERCARD ALBUM OF THE YEAR - Dave ‘Psychodrama’

Presented by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell

Screen Actors Guild Awards

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LOS ANGELES It was all smiles at the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards with a roll call of Hollywood names in attendance at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020. Laura Booth

Brad Pitt and former wife Jennifer Aniston (below) crossed paths, and smiles, backstage after winning awards. He: best supporting actor for his part as a stuntman in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood. She: best actress in The Morning Show.

Wifey opts for vintage Dior by John Galliano

Briton, Phobe Waller-Bridge also toasted success in LA with best actress in for Fleabag.

But it was South Korean film Parasite that happily confounded pundits by winning the best ensemble cast award, ahead of Hollywood's biggest stars. Its SAG award sets it up as a big prospect for the Oscars next month.

(L-R) Meryl Streep (standing), Zoë Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Laura Dern (standing)

Picking up his statuette, Brad Pitt joshed that he would have to update his Tinder profile with news of his SAG Award. Of his role as Cliff Booth he joked: 'It was a difficult part - a guy who takes his shirt off, gets high and doesn't get on with his wife. It was a big stretch...'

(L-R) Margot Robbie, Zoë Kravitz, Meryl Streep, and Charlize Theron

Best supporting actress went to Laura Dern for Marriage Story putting her in pole position for an Oscar. Scarlett Johansson (below) shimmered in a teal Armani Privé gown for her outstanding female actor in a leading role award in Marriage Story.

Elsewhere, Peter Dinklage was crowned best actor in a drama series for Game of Thrones, while Tony Shalhoub won best actor in a comedy series for The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.

The Irishman star Robert De Niro picked up lifetime achievement award and picked up the rhetoric on Donald Trump's 'blatant misuse of power' adding, 'But we're in such a dire situation and it's so deeply concerning to me and so many others, I have to say something. '

Robert De Niro accepts the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award from Leonardo DiCaprio

... and gets congratulated by old pal Al Pacino

Renée Zellweger (best actress) wears Maison Margiela with Jennifer Lopez in a Georges Hobeika black gown - and $9 million of Harry Winston jewellery inc 73.55 carat (count 'em!) diamond necklace set in platinum

Cliff Booth and Leonardo DiCaprio, maybe

Charlize Theron and Quentin Tarantino. Definitely

Pics : Getty Images

MTV AWARDS EMA

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SEVILLE The Spanish connection was strengthened in Seville which hosted the  2019 MTV EMAs following last year’s event in Bilbao. Last night’s EMA was opened by  omnipresent superstar Dua Lipa who led the way for a roll call of female award winners. Sat Bal

A huge yellow wall of dancers accompanied Dua Lipa in her debut global stage performance of “Don’t Start Now” at the show venue - the FIBES Conference & Exhibition Centre

Global Icons Green Day earlier played to thousands of hardcore fans in the legendary Plaza de España on Saturday night with an epic performance of their new single “Father of All” and punk classic “Basket Case.”

Dua Lipa opens the show

 “Best New” and “Best Push” nominee Mabel singing “Don’t Call Me Up.” The daughter of Neneh Cherry performed from atop a huge purple phone, complete with a solo dance break, lasers and violet lighting.

Surrounded by a cascade of lights, Niall Horan performed a dynamic version of “Nice to Meet Ya.”

MTV EMA Host Becky G teamed up with Akon for the first global performance of their  smash “Como No.” The duo rolled down the runway-like stage on gliding carnival floats.

Halsey's horseplay at EMA

Show host Becky G performed a medley of her hits surrounded by flames including “24/7,” “Sin Pijama” and “Mayores” on the stage, illuminated by glistening lasers and UV lighting.

Ariana Grande and Lil Nas X came away empty-handed, despite a clutch of  nominations.

Halsey lit up the EMA stage in her own “Halsey World” setting for an intimate version of “Graveyard,” setting fire to her carousel horse.

Local hero and global sensation Rosalía, accompanied by 52 dancers against a pyramid of red chairs, gave a powerful flamenco/hip-hop hybrid dance number to “Di Mi Nombre.”

Liam G gets Rock Icon

NCT 127, the first K-Pop group to perform on the global MTV stage, delivered an electrifying performance of their hit “Highway to Heaven.”

The first-ever MTV EMA Rock Icon winner Liam Gallagher closed the show with a breathtaking performance of his new single “Once” and anthemic hit “Wonderwall” complete with string instruments and a band.

Backed by an all-female orchestra, pop phenomenon Ava Max delivered a unique rendition of her global hits “Torn” leading into “Sweet but Psycho” that ran the length of the EMAs’ runway-style stage. 

FULL LIST OF “2019 MTV EMA” WINNERS

BEST VIDEO

Taylor Swift                                   

BEST ARTIST

*Shawn Mendes

BEST SONG

*Billie Eilish                                      

BEST COLLABORATION

*Rosalía, J Balvin                             

BEST NEW

*Billie Eilish

BEST POP

*Halsey

BEST LIVE

*BTS

BEST ROCK

*Green Day

BEST HIP-HOP

*Nicki Minaj

BEST ALTERNATIVE

*FKA Twigs

BEST ELECTRONIC

*Martin Garrix

BEST PUSH

*Ava Max

BEST WORLD STAGE

*Muse               Bilbao, Spain 2018

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