The hotel La Plaza in Brussels will host the fifth IFPI Platinum Europe Awards on July 12, 2005.

The hotel La Plaza in Brussels will host the fifth IFPI Platinum Europe Awards on July 12, 2005.

A biennial event, the gala recognizes artists whose shipments in Europe have exceeded 1 million units. A total of 736 albums have qualified for platinum status since certifications began in 1996. For the first time, the IFPI has opened up the qualification process for the 2005 event to non-member companies and their artists.

"It's very different from the other parties. It's appealing to a different audience; it's a different format and a different atmosphere," incoming IFPI chairman/CEO John Kennedy tells Billboard.biz. "Politicians enjoy coming; they have a good evening, and it's good for us that they see what we do."

The awards committee includes newly appointed chairman Jean-Francois Cecillon, who is also chairman/CEO of EMI Music continental Europe; former Brit Awards executive producer Lisa Anderson, who has been in charge of production of the Platinum show since its inception; Universal Music International executive VP marketing and A&R Max Hole; Warner Music International executive VP of marketing John Reid and head of Sony BMG's continental Europe operations Maarten Steinkamp.

The most recent gala, held July 2002 in Brussels, was hosted by electronic music pioneer and former IFPI Europe artists spokesperson Jean-Michel Jarre. At that event, former European Commission VP Neil Kinnock delivered special awards to Band Aid founder Bob Geldof and tenor Luciano Pavarotti.