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Coldplay will open this year’s BRIT Awards show on 11 May, the first major indoor music event to welcome back a live audience without social distancing.

The ceremony at The O2 arena is being run as part of the Government’s Events Research Programme (ERP). It will be attended by an audience of 4,500, with 2,500 being key workers and their guests.

Coldplay are among a line-up of artists to perform at the event including Arlo Parks, Dua Lipa, Griff – this year’s Rising Star winner, Headie One, Olivia Rodrigo, Rag’n’Bone Man and P!nk with the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust Choir.

The BRIT Awards will be the first live music show at The O2 arena in more than a year, and the pilot event will play an important role as part of the ERP with findings expected in mid-June ahead of the expected lifting of social distancing on 21 June.

The event, hosted by comedian and actor Jack Whitehall, will be broadcast on ITV and ITV Hub.

Mastercard return as headline partner for the 23rd year, having supported The BRITs for over two decades. Amazon Music is the Official Digital Music Partner for a second year and will host the Official BRIT Awards 2021 playlist as well as sponsor the Male and Female Solo Artist categories.

BPI & BRIT Awards CEO Geoff Taylor told Access, “Live music has been on its knees since the start of the pandemic, and this has had a huge impact on all events, venues, nightclubs and everyone that works in the sector, not least the artists that rely on live performance for their livelihoods.

“This year’s BRIT Awards with Mastercard is arguably one of the most significant in the show’s history. Not only will we be celebrating the brilliant music and artists that have helped us through the pandemic, but being part of the ERP means The BRITs can help to provide a path for the return of live music at scale that fans and artists have so sorely missed.”