No Classic BRITs for 2019, event will return in 2020

Geoff Taylor

Classical music might be booming – but there won’t be a Classic BRIT Awards ceremony this year, Music Week can reveal.

The ceremony made its return for the first time in five years last year with wins for the likes of Michael Ball & Alfie Boe and Sheku Kanneh-Mason, while Dame Vera Lynn picked up the Lifetime Achievement Award.

But, despite that success, BPI and BRIT Awards chief executive Geoff Taylor confirmed that the awards will not be staged again until 2020.

“We had a great reaction to the Classic BRITs 2018, both from the audience and among our label members,” he said. “However, given the challenges of the sponsorship market and the desire to ensure a fresh look and line-up for each show, we have been looking at making this a biennial event. So we are now planning for 2020, which, coincidentally, would also chime with the 40th anniversary of the first televised BRITs.”

Music Week sources indicate the awards are seeking a regular headline sponsor for the event. The main BRIT Awards are sponsored by Mastercard. Other sources suggest the difficulty in breaking new classical artists makes an annual event with fresh faces each time a challenge.

Classical music has been under-going a revival of late, with BPI figures showing sales and streams of the genre rose 10.2% in 2018, outperforming the overall market’s 5.7% rise. Even classical CD sales rose, up 6.9%, while Andrea Bocelli’s Si (Decca) became the first classical album to pass 200,000 sales since 2012.

To read Music Week's report on the Classic BRITs' 2018 return, click here. To subscribe and never miss a vital music biz story, click here.

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