Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Brits lose their French appeal

Has the main after-party at the Brits become another victim of recessionary times or has designer Bruce French simply run out of ideas?

Last night the Brit Awards celebrated its 30th anniversary at Earls Court with a star-studded ceremony, elaborate set and stage designs and the obligatory rock ‘n’ roll moment, which saw organisers having to plead with the pit full of baying teens to hand back Liam Gallagher’s microphone during commercial break.

But once the cameras stopped rolling and sing-a-long with Robbie was finally over, it was time to head next door for what should have been another year of Tim Burton-esque party theming.

Down the years, Bruce French has produced some spectacular backdrops, which would regularly make it onto the covers of my former magazine RSVP.

In 2005, the Brits celebrated its 25th anniversary with a Silver Jubilee Cockney Street-party, complete with East-end pub, whilst on Valentines Day 2007, revellers partied on Love Street complete with its own Elvis Chapel.

I first heard about his work from those that remember the fully blossomed pink and white trees he once installed at the Brits. So in 2004, when looking for a cover story to launch RSVP, I headed to his two-tier Heaven and Hell themed extravaganza.

Being the 30th anniversary, this year should have been special so I was shocked to discover that Lady Ga Ga was better dressed than the 2010 after-party.

Earls Court’s Brompton Hall looked looked liked the Brompton Hall with dodgems, an out-of-place over-sized crazy golf course and a Rockeoke stage inviting wrist-band holders to screech out their favourite song whilst a band tried desperately to keep them in time.

It was achingly bad and budgetary issues aside, I know a hundred different events agencies that could have done a better job. Maybe it’s time that the Brits organisers put this annual party contract out to tender. Let theatre designer Bruce French be remembered for his legendary Brits work and next year, give this after-party contract to the UK’s creative events industry.