Music, Pop Culture

What really happens at award shows when cameras aren’t rolling

I've been lucky enough to attend the BRIT Awards for five years now.

Awards season is slowly coming to an end, but not before what feels like nearly every media outlet has had their say on it. Most of the coverage that you read about or see on television is pretty much the same, as it has all been taken and interpreted from the same live broadcast. However, what you don’t often hear about is what it’s like to be a member of the audience, and how what you watch on your TV might not fully portray what is actually happening in the arena.

I was lucky enough to attend the BRIT Awards in London two weeks ago. I’ve attended the BRITs every year since 2014 and every year is just as brilliant as the last. However, this year after watching the coverage back on television, I noticed something. Obviously, the cameras can’t pick up and film everything that is happening all over the arena all night, but there were some heartwarming parts of the evening that were not shown.

For example, when George Ezra was on stage performing his hit single “Shotgun”, we in the audience could see his friends and family at their table singing and dancing along to his performance. Witnessing something as simple as that was really lovely. It really makes you realize that all of the celebrities you see on TV and hear on the radio are all still human.

Another moment that stood out to me was seeing singer-songwriter Anne-Marie singing and dancing to her song that was being played in the arena during the ad break. The fact that it’s an ad break obviously means the cameras aren’t rolling, yet I still think if it had been filmed as a behind the scenes moment, it would humanize the BRITs a bit more.

During another ad break, the Little Mix girls came on stage before their performance. As they were getting in position, they started dancing to the music that was playing in the arena. The girls were clearly having a lot of fun and even from my seat (quite far away from the stage) you could see the massive smiles on their faces. However, what I loved the most about this was how professional they came across. The music suddenly paused as the show was about to go live again, and as it went silent, the girls stopped what they were doing and got into position as though nothing had just happened.

To see Little Mix go from being four young women having fun with each other to serious artists about to perform, all within 10 seconds, really highlighted what great professional performers they are. The stage was quite dark as this was happening, so I don’t think many people actually got to witness this, but I really wish they had.

After realizing that sweet moments like these were not captured and shown to the audience back home, it really got me thinking. Award shows are highly prestigious and I doubt the producers want that to change any time soon. But I really don’t understand why cute little moments that completely humanize the artists aren’t shown to the audience at home. From my own experience, seeing the genuine love and support towards George as he was performing, actually made me like him as an artist even more. The same with Little Mix. Seeing them quickly go into performance mode was nothing short of inspiring and I think if the people at home got to see that, there would be a lot more love towards the artists. There is something about seeing celebrities in a more human way that makes them more relatable and arguably attracts a larger audience.

Being at the BRITs in person, you can feel a sense of community and love that just isn’t communicated as much from watching it on TV. As previously mentioned, I’ve attended the BRITs for six years in a row now and I have genuinely loved every second of all of them. Without being there in person, I don’t think people realize just how amazing the atmosphere feels when you’re in the audience. I can’t speak for other award shows around the world (I haven’t yet been to the Grammys or the Oscars!), but I can imagine this sense of unity is felt everywhere.

More people need to know about this side of award shows, because while watching it on the TV you might think it looks fancy and not at all relatable, in reality it is also a bunch of talented people in one room celebrating their success with their loved ones, and I think that is truly beautiful.

  • Ella Cotton

    Ella Cotton is a student journalist from London. In her spare time, she is either reading about current affairs or listening to the latest music. She also enjoys going to as many concerts as her bank account will allow!