BRIT AWARDS TO HONOUR BEST LIVE ACT

The ceremony celebrates its 25th anniversary by unveiling a new category...

A new awards category has been added to next year’s BRIT AWARDS, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

The Best British Live Act will be chosen by promoters, journalists and venue owners. Judges include Feargal Sharkey, Chairman of the Live Music Forum.

“Tickets for live shows have been hot property this year – Glastonbury, Reading and T in the Park are among the hundreds of music events that sold out in record time, proving how important live music is to each and every one of us,” Sharkey commented.

“I am very excited that the Brits will, for the first time, be celebrating live performances, and I look forward to long and heated discussions with my fellow judges.”

Lucian Grainge, co-chairman of the Brit Awards and Chairman & CEO of Universal Music, said: “There’s currently more excitement about music, and British music in particular, than for many years. The 2005 Brits will be a fantastic celebration of a vintage year.”

However, the new award is to take the place of the British Dance Act Award, dropped from next year’s celebrations. The award was introduced in 1994.

The show, which takes place at London’s Earls Court on February 9, will feature an extended 30 minutes of live performances to honour the anniversary.

BPI chairman Peter Jamieson said: “The Brits is more than just a music show. It’s a national celebration of the best in popular music. We are taking the opportunity of our 25th show both to take stock of our history and to further develop the profile of the Brits, which is the only event of this scale which devotes all of its proceeds to charity.”

The music event has to date raised £6 million for charity since its introduction in 1977.

Nominations for the event, which will be broadcast on ITV on February 10, will be announced on January 10. Already announced is the Outstanding Contribution to Music Award, which will go to Sir Bob Geldof.