From ‘Midsommar’ memes to Squidward-inspired fits — here’s how social media reacted to this year’s Brit Awards

Held on a Saturday night for the first time, the 2023 iteration of the Brits saw dazzling performances from the likes of Lizzo, Stormzy and Wet Leg — but there couldn’t be an awards ceremony without an assortment of viral moments, gaffes, and quirky fashion choices. HUNGER was, of course, in attendance — so here's your low down.

Even if you were nowhere near the o2 arena on Saturday night, chances are you couldn’t escape all the Brits-related discourse. For the first time in its 46-year history, the awards ceremony was held on a Saturday night (11th February) with YouTube Music as its official digital music partner. And perhaps it was the energy of the weekend that imbued the show with some extra spice, because there was certainly no shortage of things to comment on — from the endless memes about Sam Smith’s balloon-like outfit to glittering performances by Lizzo, Stormzy, Harry Styles and more. 

Notably, Styles carried on his winning streak after winning all four categories; Best Album, Best pop/R&B act and Best Artist. During his acceptance speech, the 29-year-old took a moment to thank his former One Direction bandmates, Niall, Liam, Louis and Zayn. 

But for viewers and attendees alike, some of the snubs at this year’s ceremony were glaring. No women or non-binary people were nominated for the Best Artist award after the category went gender-neutral in 2021. Styles tackled this in his acceptance speech stating: “I’m very aware of my privilege up here tonight, so this award is for Rina [Sawayama], Charli [XCX], Florence [Welch], Mabel and Becky [Hill].”

Charli XCX addressed the controversy herself on the red carpet. “I was on album cycle and I had a #1 album… so yeah there’s many of us. We’re doing everything right, I don’t think it’s our fault, I think it might be theirs,” she said in regard to there being no women nominated for the Best Album category. The singer later made a serious statement, and serve, when she rocked up to the Warner Music after party wearing a slogan t-shirt emblazoned with the words ‘Real Winner’. Enough said. 

British indie-rock band Wet Leg had a great night after winning Best New Artist and Best British Group after performing their breakout hit ‘Chaise Longue ’in a cottage-core-inspired set, which was quickly compared to Ari Aster’s ‘Midsommar’. Harking back to Brit Award ceremonies of yore, the Isle of Wight duo’s Rhian Teasdale paid homage to Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkey’s 2014 acceptance speech for Best Album: That rock’n’roll, hey? That rock’n’roll! It just won’t go away! It might hibernate from time to time.”

Other notable guests included Chicken Shop Dates’ Amelia Dimoldenberg. In partnership with YouTube, she brought her signature sardonic sense of humour to the Brits’ red carpet for the second year in a row as she interviewed the likes of Charli XCX, Rina Sawayama,  Stormzy, and Aitch. 

And we can’t forget the reaction to ‘Unholy’ singer Sam Smith’s latex outfit. “Someone put the Squidward walk sound over Sam smith on the red carpet and I can’t breathe,” commented one Twitter user about Smith’s balloon-like fit, which was created in just four days.

Post Brits, Lewis Capaldi made it clear that he wasn’t offended after being mistaken for ‘Sam Capaldi’ by host Mo Gilligan. During the ceremony, the singer took to Instagram to poke fun at the situation. He shared a photo of Sam Smith on the red carpet, who his name was likely mixed up with, but with his face Photoshopped on top. “Sam Capaldi x,” he captioned the post. 

And finally, ITV failed to censor Daisy May Cooper’s controversial joke about what the Sugababes might have been getting up to during the Brits’ ad breaks. As she was giving out the award for Best Alternative or Rock Act to the 1975, she mentioned that she had been in the bathroom with the band earlier — “And they weren’t doing coke – they were lovely.”. “Thoughts and prayers to the “Audio Muted” team failing to mute Daisy May Cooper talking about the Sugababes in the toilets,” commented one Twitter user. Awkward…

If you’re craving even more Brits content, follow #BRITsUnseen on YouTube Shorts for exclusive behind-the-scenes access to this year’s show. Check out BTS content from Sam Smith, here, and Wet Leg, here.