Violence won’t stop MTV bringing awards to Belfast
MTV says it has “no concerns” about coming to Belfast or the Odyssey for the Europe Music Awards later this year following sustained violence in the east of the city.
A spokeswoman for the network said that MTV remains “thrilled” with the prospect of holding the glittering event in Belfast.
Kate Laverge, from MTV, added that work is progressing full steam ahead to bring the awards to Northern Ireland in November.
It has also emerged that MTV staff have been in Belfast this week to firm up details and logistics surrounding the musical extravaganza.
The violence has been taking place along the Short Strand and Lower Newtownards Road areas, not far from the venue for the event.
Last year’s awards in Madrid were hosted by Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria and featured superstars Rihanna, Plan B and Bon Jovi.
Artists like Lady Gaga, Madonna, Beyoncé, Muse, U2, Kanye West and Coldplay have all attended previous ceremonies.
Commentators have expressed concern that images beamed all over the world, of youths lobbing petrol bombs, attacking police and firing shots within the shadow of the vibrant Titanic Quarter during so-called peace times, could be hugely detrimental for the tourism industry here and could deter foreign investors.
But MTV has strongly reiterated its commitment to Belfast and said that nothing would make it reconsider choosing the city as the home of the 2011 awards.
“We are thrilled with Belfast, Northern Ireland and the Odyssey,” said MTV spokesperson Kate Laverge.
“We are concerned for the people, but we are not concerned about the violence and preparations are going really well.”