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It's all systems go for Belfast's newest awards

By Victoria O'Hara

Ulster star James Nesbitt will host the first GO Belfast Awards ceremony this week.

The gala event, which will showcase the best of Belfast's retail, tourism, hospitality and entertainment sectors, will be held at the Europa Hotel on Friday.

Joining the acclaimed actor to mark the event will be a high profile line-up of top musical acts and DJs, including Ivor Novello award winning singer/songwriter and ex-Snow Patrol member Iain Archer.

The Bangor man will be performing songs from his latest solo album Magnetic North.

Other VIP guests set to attend the evening bash include Samantha Mumba, Hollyoaks star Gerard McCarthy and Brian Dowling, star of Big Brother and Hell's Kitchen.

Artist Terry Bradley, property guru Gary McCausland and musician Jim Corr will also attend the evening.

The 7UP GO Belfast Awards, have been voted for by the public with nominations rolling in via the website

Overall, 18,000 votes have been received covering all 12 categories.

Short-listed finalists range from high profile names such as Debenhams, Belfast Zoo, The Merchant and Belfast Festival at Queen's to niche market businesses including east Belfast restaurant Rouge Café, city centre venture Citigolf and cutting edge retailer Liberty Blue.

The winners of each individual category will be put forward for the main award of the evening - The Golden Gong.

GO Belfast managing director Bill Penton said: "Our 7UP GO Belfast event will be an awards ceremony with attitude as we plan to create a dynamic and glamorous event in the spirit of the Brit, MTV or Oscars awards.

"While the awards ceremony takes place in the main suite and Library Bar area of the Europa Hotel, the after show action will all happen in the hotel's top floor Penthouse Suite.

"We believe guests will be bowled over by the eclectic mix of music and entertainment on November 2 coupled with our high profile MC, James Nesbitt."

Tickets for 7UP GO Belfast Awards cost £875 for a table of 10 people or £95 per ticket. Dress is formal and the package includes champagne reception, dinner, wine and entertainment.

Tickets for the after show party, which begins at midnight, cost £20 per person.

All profits go to Barnardo's.

For more information log onto .

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