Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Will MTV’s glitzy Music Awards be staged in Belfast?

Gene Simmons, member of Kiss, gestures as two women kiss at the 2008 MTV Awards
Gene Simmons, member of Kiss, gestures as two women kiss at the 2008 MTV Awards
Singer Britney Spears wins Best Pop Video for 'Piece of Me' at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards

It is one of the biggest events in the global music calender, attracting iconic performers such as Bono, Jay-Z and Madonna — and it could be staged in Belfast.

The MTV European Music Awards have been hosted in Berlin, Paris, London and Milan and now an ambitious campaign to have it brought to Northern Ireland for 2012 has been launched, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.

The bid to have the glittering ceremony in the city is part of a major three year strategy to put Belfast on the map as a “world class music destination” by the City Council and tourism chiefs.

And if successful, a range of A-list stars would arrive in the city for the EMAs in November 2012 to help mark a major year for the city.

Celebrations would already be under way to mark the centenary of the Titanic.

The award ceremony is known to attract the biggest and most successful names in the charts that year and is beamed into 212 million homes across Europe.

In 2009, US singer Katy Perry — fiancee of comedian Russell Brand— hosted a star-studded show which featured Beyonce, Lady GaGa, Greenday, Eminem and U2. Back in 1999, Boyzone singer Ronan Keating hosted the EMAs in Dublin.

MTV have already confirmed they will secure £250,000 through sponsorship towards an ‘MTV Belfast Music Week’ later this year.

The council will provide £80,000 and a budget of £170,000 has been sought from the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure.

If given the green light, the event will see mini gigs held in venues across the city and end with a massive free concert outside the City Hall on September 18.

The plans have been discussed by the council and have been given the go ahead by its development committee. A decision on whether to proceed with the proposal will be made later tonight.

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