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How I Plan a Brit Awards After-Celebration Attended by Celebrities

  • Claire Haffenden is the director of artist relations and occasions at Common Music.
  • She organizes its Brit Awards after-party, attended by among the greatest names in music.
  • She mentioned she liked one among her favourite venues as a result of it had no VIP areas.

This as-told-to essay relies on a dialog with Claire Haffenden, the director of artist relations and occasions at Common Music, about planning occasions together with her Brit Awards after-party. It has been edited for size and readability.

I did not know what I wished to be after I left faculty, and I did not go to school. However I’ve all the time liked music. I grew up in Tub, within the west of England, however moved to London within the late ’80s. I had a flatmate who labored at Island Information, and I used to be working for a recruitment company on the time.

I’ve opened my eyes to the music business. As a result of I got here from a small city, and my dad and mom weren’t from a inventive background, it simply wasn’t in my ideas earlier than I met him.

One in all my first jobs in music within the ’90s was in artist relations for Polydor creating comfy areas for artists who have been visiting. I used to be the individual telling them the place they wanted to be and organizing their resorts and vehicles.

That planning expertise helped me in my present function, director of artist relations and occasions at Common Music, the place I lead a group of 5. I grew to become head of artist relations and occasions in 2008 and director of artist relations and occasions in 2013.

Claire Haffenden, the director of artist relations and events at Universal Music

Claire Haffenden, the director of artist relations and occasions at Common Music.

Claire Haffenden

One of many occasions we handle is our Brit Awards after-party

The planning for it begins the day after the earlier one as a result of it is contemporary in our minds.

We discuss what went effectively, what did not, and what we may do higher. We sometimes begin on the lookout for a venue round autumn.

However it may be finalized anytime between the day after the prior occasion and 4 months earlier than it is set to happen.

I can not give an excessive amount of away concerning the subsequent one, nevertheless it’s occurring in February. It is also the primary one since 2020 due to COVID-19, and it is the primary time it is going to be on a Saturday. So individuals are keen.

We do not usually have a theme. The music and individuals are the theme. We have began working with visible artists — we have labored with Yinka Ilori and Ashton Attzs. We take them all the way down to the venue in order that they will visualize what they’d wish to put collectively.

Yinka Ilori and Ashton Attzs at the Universal BRITs after-party in 2020

Yinka Ilori and Ashton Attzs on the occasion in 2020.

The Exterior Group

We do not have a celeb booker. All of the nominees are invited. I do not create the visitor listing and say who can and might’t come. I ensure each artist’s group has an allocation of visitor tickets, for the artist’s household, mates, and contacts. That is why it has an authenticity about it, as a result of it is everybody’s celebration.

The invitations are despatched out a couple of month upfront, after the award nominations are despatched out.

We have had good venues and dangerous. One in all my favorites was The Ned in London as a result of there have been no VIP areas.

Magical moments are created when all people can see what’s occurring. Events and occasions work effectively when that dynamic power is harnessed in a single area and all people is having fun with it.

If an occasion is cut up into pockets or rooms, there turns into this want for friends to get out and in, like at a pageant. Folks assume, “The place is it occurring?” and there is this want to see what’s occurring within the VIP areas. That may create an issue. Stairs, small doorways, and completely different flooring in a venue make my pores and skin itch as a result of there isn’t any circulation of individuals.

But when the occasion is targeted in a single massive area, it is occurring throughout you — you are immersed in it.

My favourite second at one of many after-parties was when Ellie Goulding, Katy Perry, and Lorde bought up and DJed collectively

I assumed, “I can not imagine that is occurring.” It was a second that was good and felt so particular.

My recommendation to individuals organizing occasions is do not attempt to be a one-person band. You’ll be able to’t do every little thing, as there are loads of transferring elements to an occasion. There ought to be an individual on every group centered on a component, whether or not it is the meals, the drinks, taking care of the artists, or the visitor expertise.

You are able to do this by having common conferences and empowering your group to concentrate on their very own half and make it good.

Planning an occasion means having loads of noise coming at you, so it is also vital to stay calm and ensure individuals are clear on their roles. Being a individuals individual and having a very good humorousness in occasions of adversity assist, too.

Issues are sometimes fairly final minute, and typically there are issues. The explanation I believe I have been doing it so long as I’ve is that I’ve a can-do angle.

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