Meet the woman who plans the Brits, the coolest party in music

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Hannah Keegan
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Maggie Crowe, 52, is the event director of the Brit Awards. She lives in south London with her husband, two children and dog, Tucker 

Maggie Crowe, 52, is the event director of the Brit Awards. She lives in south London with her husband, two children and dog, Tucker 

My alarm goes off…

At 5am. The first thing I do is go to a pilates class before dropping the dog off at daycare. Then I wake the children up and eat breakfast, usually porridge. For work, I dress casually in jeans and a blouse – I like bright colours and sequins. Then I’ll get the train to work. On my way in, I check the BBC News app, gossip websites like Popbitch and start answering any overnight emails.

I’m responsible for…

Overseeing the execution of the Brit Awards. My task is to ensure that it’s the most special event our guests have ever been to, but also a really compelling show on TV.

I got the job…

By loving music. I started out as an intern at Windsong Records before becoming secretary to the director at the British Phonographic Industry. When I was on maternity leave, my boss said to me, “Maggie, would you like the opportunity of a lifetime?” He proposed the idea of coming together with our event manager to run the Brit Awards. I said yes please. That was 14 years ago. 

Maggie is also director of charities for the British Phonographic Industry

My typical day…

Sees me arriving at my desk at 9am. Most of the day is taken up with meetings, because the music industry is still very personal. I could be sorting out an artist appearance at the Brit School [the UK’s only free performing arts school, supported by the Brit Trust] or approving food for the awards. This year, everything is British sourced – even the quinoa!

My core team is our event manager and event assistant. We sit together in a huddle, so our only regular meeting is on Thursday with the legal and digital teams. This is to share our progress and to resolve any problems. I stop to eat lunch at my desk around 1pm, usually a salad. Someone will pop out to buy some chocolate for the office’s 4pm sugar fix, too.

In the afternoon, I’m often mopping up the morning that I’ve lost in meetings. This could be anything from catching up with emails to sorting tickets, invites and the show’s brochure. It all depends where we are in the schedule. A lot of conversations in the weeks running up to the show are about money and budgets. In the music industry, you will never work a 9-5. I’m often working until 10pm but I try to leave by 7pm. 

Brit awards decorated by artists including Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst

My most memorable moment…

There have been so many. From watching Adele sing Someone Like You on stage with just a piano to Stormzy singing in the rain at last year’s event.

The worst part of my job…

Is the fact that it’s a live show – it’s an extra pressure.

The best part of my job…

Is when the team is at the after-party in various forms of dishevelment. It’s a huge feeling of pride and relief.

After work…

My husband has usually cooked for the family, something like egg and chips or fish pie. Then, I’ll go and sit on the sofa with the dog and a cup of tea to catch up on the non-urgent emails I haven’t replied to in the day. I go to bed at about 11pm and read – right now it’s Becoming by Michelle Obama – before a quick glance over tomorrow’s to-do list.

My Plan B: First woman on Mars

I’ve always been fascinated by space and I like being the first person to do something, too. So, why not be the first woman to land on Mars? Surely that’s where we’re heading next.

Images: Gemma Day


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Hannah Keegan

Hannah Keegan is the features writer at Stylist magazine.

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