04/11/2011

Belfast Set For Global MTV Audience

As the global MTV European Music Awards bandwagon rolled into the city this week, Northern Ireland's capital was preparing for the influx of some 20,000 music fans for the prestigious awards in the Odyssey Complex (pictured) on Sunday.

It will attract a host of major stars and it is expected that some 500 million people worldwide will watch live across the world as Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Coldplay join the other artists set to perform at the awards ceremony.

Snow Patrol and Jason Derulo are set to take the stage at Belfast City Hall while Red Hot Chili Peppers will play the Ulster Hall as the warm-up, the Belfast Music Week also reaches its climax this weekend.

Yesterday, there was cross-party support too as the NI Culture Minister, Sinn Fein's Carál Ní Chuilín and the DUP Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster even gave their backing to the local music industry to help them compete on the world stage and grow the economy.

The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) and Invest Northern Ireland published a strategy document, which outlines the key priority areas to encourage the growth of a vibrant and sustainable music industry.

The strategy highlights the importance of building capacity and in the local music industry and reinforces the vital role of talent development, innovation, entrepreneurship and the opportunities offered by diverse digital platforms.

Speaking during Belfast Music Week, both Ministers praised the role of the local music industry and their contribution to the economy.
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Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín highlighted the benefits of music to the economy including the tourism sector. She said: "Music is a key driver of cultural tourism.

"Our traditional and contemporary musical strengths can be a global calling card for the region as the star-studded MTV EMA Awards clearly demonstrate."

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: "With the world's attention turning to Belfast and our region as we eagerly await the MTV EMA Awards, we have an unprecedented opportunity to showcase our own local talent and the potential of our music industry.

"Music is a crucial component of our creative industries and convergence of technologies and consumer trends offer significant opportunities for music businesses in the digital age," she added.

Invest NI and DCAL were supported by the Arts Council and Belfast City Council in seeking a coherent strategy for the development of the local music industry.

The primary purpose of the strategy is to increase the economic contribution of the sector by establishing more businesses that are sustainable, international, innovative and profitable. This will be aided by the development of successful music businesses with a strong catalogue of talent and intellectual property retained within the region.

The strategy recommends establishing a Music Industry Support Programme to develop the sector and build effective partnerships across the private and public sectors to extend the reach of available support, particularly around marketing, business support and skills development.

(BMcC)

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