Belfast Telegraph

MTV Europe Music awards generated £22m for Belfast

By Chris Kilpatrick

The MTV Europe Music Awards generated £22m for Belfast, new figures show.

Belfast City Council claims £25 was generated for every £1 of public money spent on the extravaganza which rocked Northern Ireland last November.

The council says £10m was generated in additional tourism revenue by the event.

Superstars including Lady Gaga and Jessie J travelled to the province for the show which is said to have pulled in a worldwide audience of 1.2bn. It cost the council and the NI Tourist Board £840,000 to stage the event hosted by US actress and singer Selena Gomez, the highlight of Belfast Music Week.

The £22m figure was reached by estimating items such as the PR value of media coverage and other hotel sales.

Around 130 media organisations from around the world covered the awards.

The statistics are contained in a brochure prepared for the council's development committee.

According to the literature, 8,000 room nights were booked by MTV across 40 hotels for guests, crew and artists.

It states 2,399 media articles were released in relation to the awards, 33,500 attended Belfast Music Week, and that there were more than 170 gigs across 45 venues over the course of the week.

British rockers Kasabian also played at the Ulster Hall ahead of the MTV Awards.

It is not known, however, how many tourists came to Northern Ireland solely to take in the event.

Lady Gaga dominated the awards with a show-stopping performance in Belfast's Odyssey Arena.

Other international acts who came to Belfast included Bruno Mars, Coldplay, Queen and Justin Bieber.

The event took place at three venues across Northern Ireland's capital, with local band Snow Patrol playing a free gig to 15,000 people outside the City Hall.

The awards, which took place alongside Belfast Music Week, were described by the council as “truly a landmark event for Belfast, placing the city firmly on the world musical stage”.

It added: “As is only fitting for a world class event, the figures are pretty impressive.”

At the time of the awards, then Lord Mayor of Belfast Niall |O Donnghaile said: “For many of us, the MTV awards are an indication that we really and truly have arrived.

“We have to capture that flame that MTV ignites.

“We have to show them the talent and the creativity that we have here in the city.”

The council plans to run Belfast Music Week again this November, with a number of new venues expected to be announced.

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