The BRIT Awards 2021 with Mastercard celebrated the return of live music at London’s O2 Arena on May 11. Broadcast live on ITV, the event welcomed a live audience as part of the Government’s scientific Events Research Programme. With it came a brand-new colourful stage, designed by Es Devlin, along with set specialist Diagon, which worked in collaboration with the designer to create and build it.

The design of this year’s presenter stage combined the use of maze architecture, which expressed the paths that many of those working within the creative industries have had to navigate to overcome the challenges the pandemic brought during the past year. Incorporated within the design of the stage was the stunning use of colour by multidisciplinary artist Yinka Ilori. The colours of the rainbow symbolised a message of hope and something to look forward to during these difficult times.

Having worked with the BRITs since 1998 on various builds, Diagon, the set and installation specialist, returned as the team responsible for creating and building the presenter stage. Fabricated at its London studio, Diagon worked with Devlin to bring her extraordinary vision to life. The 2021 BRITs mark the third time Diagon has worked with the British designer, with previous projects including Es Delvin’s 2016 “Mirror Maze” and 2019’s “Memory Palace” at Pitzhanger Manor.


Devlin said: “The BRITs has always celebrated more than pop music – it has always been a meeting point between various aspects of pop culture: art, fashion, film and architecture as well as music. The overall spirit of the BRITs this year is characterised using Yinka’s stunning use of colour – which for me embodies hope, combined with my use of maze architecture which expresses the paths that many of those working within the creative industries have had to tread in order to progress through this challenging year: sometimes feeling lost en route.”

Liam Ownsworth, director of Diagon, said: “It was great to be back working with the BRITs and to once again collaborate with the brilliant Es Devlin. It was a huge privilege to bring Es’ vision to life for the biggest night in UK music. Heralding the return of live music events, it was a special moment for everyone working within the creative industry, who have been especially hit hard by the pandemic.”

Images: JM Enternational