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St Patrick’s Day all rapped up for Belfast celebrations

MOBO award-winning rapper Chipmunk will headline this year’s St Patrick’s Day concert in Belfast.

The London-based grime artist, who was snapped up by Sony while finishing his A-levels last year, will perform some of his top 10 hits from his debut album, I Am Chipmunk, as part of the March festivities.

The 19-year-old, whose real name is Jahmaal Noel Fyffe, was named Best UK Newcomer at the 2008 MOBO Awards and was crowned Best Hip-Hop Act last year beating the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye West and Eminem for the title.

The rising star will be joined on stage by former X Factor finalist Ruth Lorenzo who returns to Belfast for the festival for a second successive year.

Besides the free concert, the St Patrick’s Day event will also feature a carnival procession which will makes its way from City Hall into Chichester Street and then into Victoria Street and on to Custom House Square.

Belfast Lord Mayor Naomi Long said staff at Belfast City Council in conjunction with performing arts group The Beat had been working with community groups from across the city to create a range of colourful carnival pieces for the parade.

“Over the past number of years, St Patrick’s Day has become one of the undoubted highlights of Belfast City Council’s events calendar and this year will see the event continue to grow,” she said.

“The council has worked extremely hard to make the event fully inclusive, so that it appeals to all sections of the community, and this work definitely has paid off, to make St Patrick’s Day an occasion which can be enjoyed by all the people of Belfast and visitors alike.”

The parade kicks off at City Hall at 12pm on Wednesday, March 17.

The main concert, which will be compered by Cool FM DJ Pete Snodden, starts at 1pm.

Kicking off the free musical event will be traditional artists Flook and Session Beats, followed by Romania’s chart-topping band K1.

Ruth Lorenzo and Chipmunk will wrap up the proceedings.

Free tickets for the concert are available from the Belfast Welcome Centre in Donegall Place from today.

Tickets are limited to four per person, and are only available to people over the age of 16. Anyone under 16 attending the concert must be accompanied by an adult.

The Ulster Orchestra will also hold its annual St Patrick’s Day concert at the Waterfront Hall later that evening. Special guest will be internationally acclaimed traditional Irish musician Sharon Shannon.

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