Belfast Telegraph

Belfast hails music awards 'coup'

Plans for Belfast to host MTV's European Music Awards (EMAs) have been hailed as a major boost for the city.

Northern Ireland political leaders welcomed the announcement as further proof that the once troubled location had entered a new era.

Belfast's Odyssey Arena, which regularly plays host to international stars, will now be the platform for the major awards ceremony scheduled for early November.

The 2011 MTV EMAs will be broadcast live from the venue and will feature A-listers who will perform to a global audience stretching across 160 countries.

"It is fitting that the EMAs are coming to Belfast - one of Europe's most exciting and vibrant cities and with around 35% of our population below the age of 25," said Lord Mayor Pat Convery.

"Belfast has a rich musical history and has produced artists such as Snow Patrol and the legendary Van Morrison, and we now have an unprecedented opportunity to shine a spotlight on our musical heritage while also providing a major boost to our economy.

"I am delighted that MTV has chosen Belfast. The decision to host such a world-class event in our city is an endorsement of what we have been saying for some time now - Belfast is a happening place."

The event has previously been held in Barcelona, Rome, Munich, Copenhagen, Dublin, London, Liverpool and Edinburgh, with Scottish authorities calculating that they brought in nearly £12 for every £1 spent on the awards.

Last year's ceremony in Madrid attracted Katy Perry, Rihanna and Shakira.

Northern Ireland tourism minister Arlene Foster said: "Playing host city for the MTV EMAs is a huge coup, not only for Belfast, but for the whole of Northern Ireland. We are thrilled that Belfast will join the elite club of other leading European cities which have hosted these prestigious music awards."

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