Update: On Monday (Jan. 31), the Brits announced that Sam Fender has been added to the performance line-up. Fender won the rising star award in 2019 and this year is nominated for Mastercard album of the year, artist of the year and rock/alternative act.
The first group of performers for the upcoming 2022 Brit Awards was revealed on Friday (Jan. 21), with Ed Sheeran, Doja Cat, Dave, Holly Humberstone, Liam Gallagher and Little Simz booked to play at the Feb. 8 event at London’s O2 Arena. The show will be broadcast on ITV and ITV Hub and streamed outside of the U.K. through the Brits’ YouTube channel.
Because of the continued spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19, organizers said in a statement that they are working “around the clock” to put together a show that will meet all relevant safety standards. Artists, nominees and all guests will be asked to show a negative LFT (lateral flow) test on arrival to the venue, with fans offered stall seats on the arena floor and nominated artists seated in an exclusive, distanced area.
And though audience members will not be socially distanced, they will be asked to wear masks when not eating, drinking or sitting in their seats. The livestream will also allow non-U.K. viewers to watch the performances as they happen, as well as view red carpet and backstage footage.
Though COVID numbers have slowly begun to fall after spiking again during the Omicron surge, the country is still experiencing around 100,000 new cases a day as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced earlier this week that face masks will no longer be mandatory in public places and schools, with COVID passports no longer required for large events.
Simz has four nominations this year, while Doja — whose performance will mark her first U.K. show — snagged two nods; other nominees include Adele, Olivia Rodrigo, ABBA, Måneskin, Coldplay, Billie Eilish, Central Cee and Little Mix. British comedian Mo Gilligan is set to host the awards, which are presented by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).
This year marked the first time that the Brits combined separate male and female categories in both artist of the year and international artist. That resulted in female artists taking two of the five spots for artist of the year (Adele and Little Simz) and four of the five spots for international artist (Billie Eilish, Doja Cat, Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift). Eilish won a Brit Award as female international artist in each of the last two years. Swift won a global icon award last year.