The UK's biggest music event, The Brit Awards, took place on Tuesday, February 17, in London, England, and for the fifth year running Earls Court 2 was the venue for the glitz and glamour. Sponsored by MasterCard, the sold-out evening was shown on ITV1 on the same night and transmitted ‘as live’ at 8pm with an audience of over 6 million viewers. The awards will also be shown in Belgium, South Africa, Norway, Finland and Hungary throughout the remaining weeks of February.

Stars on the program included Black Eyed Peas, who opened the show, The Darkness, and 50 Cent. Newcomer Katie Melua and new-jazz pioneer Jamie Cullum performed a sensational duet of the Cure’s ‘Lovecats’ and Busted, who got the Pop Act and British Breakthrough Act, also performed . Beyoncé, who won International Female Sole Artist, joined the stage performing ‘Crazy in Love’ after the bizarre OutKast performed the hip-hop tune ‘Hey Ya’ with all the dancers dressed in skeleton outfits.

Black Eyed Peas at The Brit Awards

The multi-talents of Missy Elliott, Alicia Keys, and No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani joined forces and performed their own rendition of the classic eighties song ‘Kiss.’ Presenter for the evening was Cat Deeley, who entered the stage riding on a huge champagne bottle to make a statement about the booze being back at the Brits!! Other winners were The Darkness, who scooped up three awards for MasterCard British Album, British Rock Act, British Group. The two artists who were not there to collect their awards were Daniel Beddingfield, wining British Male Solo Artist, and winner of two awards for British Female Solo Artist and British Single. Fame Academy’s Lemar got British Urban Act with Basement Jaxx scooping up British Dance Act. While 50 Cent won for International Breakthrough Artist, it was White Strips who picked up the International Group Award.

The very deserving Duran Duran, a group in the business for 25 years, scooped the 2004 ‘Outstanding Contribution To Music’ award and finished the evening with an array of some of their greatest hits. Justin Timberlake was there to present the award after winning two for himself.

Duran Duran, winner of Outstanding Contribution to Music Award

VLPS Lighting Services was the lighting supplier, for the eighth year running, with over 400 moving lights in the rig. Equipment included 26 VL2C™ spot luminaires, 36 VL6C™, 8 VL1000™ AI and 12 VL1000™ AS luminaires. Plus 85 VL2416™, 24 VL5™, 92 VL5arc™, 12 VL5b™ wash luminaires along with 68 of the new VL3000 spot luminaires.

VLPS also supplied the conventional equipment including: 88 Pixel Line Battens, 62 four cell groundrows, 96 Par 36 DWE’s, six four-light Moles, 24 Par 64 ACL’s, six 19 degree ETC Source Fours, four 10 degree Source Fours, four 5 degree Source Fours, 40 Single Cans, 24 AF1000’s, two 70k Hungaro Flash, 10 Minuette Fresnels, 46 Howie Battens, 22 off 20 cell Altman Battens, 10 Single CP87 and two Birdie Kits. Seven Gladiators, seven Longthrow Starklites, 12 off SkyArts and 10 Syncrolites. 154 Black ACL Bars, five 40K and two 70K lighting strikes plus 17 Giga Strobes. Plus well over 1,000 feet of truss, and miles and miles of cable.

The lighting designer was Al Gurdon, with Mike ‘Oz’ Owen operating a Virtuoso™ control console and second console operator Peter Canning on an Avo Diamond 4. The crew included Aiden McCabe, Jon Hetherton, Chris Henry, Dave Hallet, Simon Cox, Andy Beller, Phil Sharp and Gordon Torrington; Crew chief was Rich Gorrod.

Mick Healey, senior account manager said “Here we are again! Another year and what a show. It really is the biggest music calendar event of the year, and VLPS are proud to be part of it.”

Newcomer Katie Melua and new-jazz pioneer Jamie Cullum

The Brits After-Show Party

After the evening’s fun, the celebrities and members of the record industry partied the night away at The Brits after-show party. The theme was ‘Heaven and Hell’ in a lavish set designed by Bruce French. VLPS Lighting Services supplied the equipment specified by lighting designer Theo Cox.

Theo wanted 6 VL3000 spot, 24 VL6C™ spot and 8 VL6C™ spot luminaires in silver. Conventional equipment included 6 Minuette zoom profile, 20 ETC Source 4’s, 42 Minuette Fresnels, 10 Coda Flood 1 Kw, 26 Coda Floods 500W, 5 Howie Battens, 8 Altman MR16 Battens, 36 Par 16 black Birdies and 24 Par 16 white Birdies. Plus truss and cabling.

Mark England was crew chief, working with Dave Prior and Lars Kristiansen.

Photos by: John Marshall © 2004 JM Enternational Ltd