Belfast to Host MTV EMAs

Northern Irish capital chosen as host city for its 'vibrant nightlife and compelling music scene'

Viacom International Media Networks have announced that Belfast will play host to the 2011 MTV EMAs, to be broadcast live from the Odyssey Arena in early November.

The EMAs regularly attract the world's most popular acts and are broadcast to a television audience of millions. Rival bids to host the 2011 awards came from London, Paris and Warsaw.

According to VIMN executive vice-president, Antonio Campo Dall'Orto, however, Belfast was chosen as this year's host city because of its 'vibrant nightlife and compelling music scene'.

'Belfast is known for fostering emerging artists and turning out international chart toppers, and provides the perfect backdrop for one of the world’s biggest nights in music,' added Campo Dall'Orto. 'The spirit of Belfast, combined with our expertise, is the perfect foundation for an unforgettable event.'

Tourism Minister, Arlene Foster welcomed MTV to Northern Ireland and 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.'

Although no acts have yet been confirmed for the awards, it is safe to assume that some well-known faces will perform on the Odyssey stage during the ceremony.

The 2010 event, hosted by Madrid, featured performances by Kanye West, Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry, amongst others, and was presented by Desperate Housewives star, Eva Longoria. Justin Beiber was the 2010 'digital host'.

The big winner at the 2010 EMAs was, of course, Lady Gaga, who picked up three awards. Bon Jovi received the 'global icon' award and closed the ceremony with a performance of their hit songs, including 'You Give Love a Bad Name'.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Pat Convery, concluded that 'it is fitting that the EMAs are coming to Belfast - one of Europe's most exciting and vibrant cities and with around 35 per cent of our population below the age of 25'.

He continued: 'Belfast has a rich musical history and has produced artists such as 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.'

MTV also announced plans to host a series of local events around Belfast in the lead up to the EMAs.

Watch this space for further information.