The morning after MTV in Belfast


Ah, the morning after MTV in Belfast. So are these props local or imported by the artists’ crews, which we saw in abundance during our Monday morning coffee meeting?

I viewed the highlights of the MTV European Music Awards (EMA) on Euronews this morning. Looks like it was a good show. A little surprised Katy Perry won Best Live Act for 2011, considering how much effort Lady Gaga puts into her shows, but what the hell do I know about any of this?

Madame Oui commented that one of her friends said they felt old because they didn’t know many of the nominated artists. I confess I only became more aware of the phenomenon of Katy Perry thanks to my 9-year-old niece (thought I don’t think she should be listening to the track, “I Want To See Your Peacock”).

Perhaps the cynics in use will ponder whether Belfast City Council (and Northern Irish Tourism Board and Tourism Ireland) was right to contribute ratepayers’ money towards a global pop machine. But for me, the fact that however many millions (I suspect less than the stated 600m) would have heard the word “Belfast” mentioned during the whole successful spectacle is a type of PR that only a commercial media behemoth such as MTV can provide.

Here’s hoping Belfast can keep attracting big, global events and attention.

About Allan Leonard

Working for a cohesive Northern Ireland society My special interest is Northern Ireland affairs, arriving from America at the time of the 1994 ceasefires. Currently serve as Director, Northern Ireland Foundation, an independent non-profit organisation based in Belfast. Previous posts include Policy Officer at the Northern Ireland Assembly, General Secretary of the Alliance Party, and Operations Manager at the Ulster Historical Foundation. Previously, I was responsible for the development and launch of the Troubled Images project at the Northern Ireland Political Collection, Linen Hall Library; this exhibit travelled worldwide. My professional background includes marketing, communications, exhibition and event management, policy development, and senior management. Received a MA degree in Irish Political Studies from University College Dublin, and a BA degree (with Distinction) in International Relations from Boston University. Views expressed here may not represent those of current or previous employers or associations.

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