MTV EMA: How was it for you?

It’s slightly off our beat, but it’s hard to ignore the tweets from people David Hasselhoff talking about coming back (on his way to the plane in Dublin), stories of Bruno Mars having curry in Holywood… The fact that local people seem to have had access to the main event itself… But how was it for you?

  • Little James

    MTV is a $7b business, how can they possibly need public money to bring the EMAs to Belfast?

  • thethoughtfulone

    So there was a big bash in McCooey-land last night.

    On a more worthwhile note, the sun seems to be shining throughout the whole of Northern Ireland this morning and it’s doing everybody who’s out and about a pile of good,

    ……………and it’s free!

  • stewart1

    I thought the event was terrific for the city, the place looked brilliant on Tv, especially the City Hall.

    Probably the best value million quid ever spent by BCC & NITB.

  • turnpike

    can’t believe the fuss made over hosting this…. it’s already been hosted in LIVERPOOL for God’s sake. This just goes to show how little goes on in Belfast and NI in General i.e. most touring Acts stick to GB and Dublin, never venturing up North, no world class sport, a pitiful theatre landscape dominated by pantomine and parochial ‘local’ drama…

  • 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.


  • turnpike

    If you look past the first three host cities for these awards Berlin, Paris, London (who were actually ‘selected’ to host the ceremony), the remainder of the list is made up of provincial towns/cities that have paid good money to ‘put themselves on the map’. Unfortunately you’re either ‘on the map’ or you’re not… Belfast is… for negative reasons and this is very unlikely to change with one awards ceremony. If you want to see world class events on a regular basis, your best hope is a good cheap and reliable airline service to London.

  • John Ó Néill

    If you want to measure whether the money was well spent, someone is going to have to calculate the equivalent advertising value of the exposure. If 600m watched it live plus there are re-runs and coverage in a range of other print and broadcast media over the last few weeks, £1m may sound a lot, but would not have bought that much exposure (obviously visitor numbers will be the real metric to keep an eye on). Seems like a job well done.

  • turnpike, here’s a link to the MTV Europe venues. Perhaps a list of the sponsorship money put up by each host city/tourist agency would be illuminating. Do we have figures for the contributions from BCC and NITB?

  • exsdlp

    The 600million homes figure is clearly nonsense, as is the 1.2bn viewers (that’s a 5th of the world’s population for chrissakes). I really think we can live without the hyperbole.

    But, having said all of that, it was easily, easily worth the money and would have been had it cost £10m. It’s great exposure, gerat advertising and for me the highlights was the City Hall element, looked like a proper big city.

    More of the same please.

  • Little James

    Nevin – I think the contributions from BCC & NITB were £600k & £500k respectively.

  • Local hack

    As I was lucky enough to go and the missus got VIP treatment at the Odyssey and Merchant my view may be slanted.

    But as I strolled through the city on Saturday you could not help but be swept away with the euphoria of the crowds as the excitment grew.

    The show was an incredible success and however much money was spent should be seen as excellent value for money.

    It promoted the country yes, but being made to feel like we are part of the ‘normal’ world and not some back-of-beyond parochial backwater, that we are always associated with was a great feeling.
    Maybe there should be a focus on the good elements rather than the face ratepayers money was used.

  • Skinner

    it seems you can actually BUY the world famous Irish Begrudgery now…

  • Local hack

    Mick – you say this is a “little off our beat”

    But is this not a fine example of how politics can work really well on something that -even our- politicians can not find something to disagree on?
    And the end result is a very positive image for Norn Iron ?

  • jthree

    MTV has an audience share of 0.1% in the UK. Its highest viewing figures for any programme in the past year were 327,000. This was not for the EMAs but for “Geordie Shore”. MTV itself has estimated that the worldwide audience for the 2010 EMAs was 22 million which, is somewhat short of 1.2 billion.

    It was a couple of buzzy, feelgood days. The excitement of the groups of kids swarming round the town with autograph books did my heart good. Some hotels and restaurants will have got a much needed boost but I’m extremely dubious about any long term economic benefits.

  • Due to my uncanny resemblance to a certain judge on the X Factor, Mrs FJH was relunctant to let me go to Belfast at weekend.
    Around 4pm on Friday, there were a load of wee lassies running around High Street screaming at each other and nobody in particular.
    According to taxi men on Friday and Saturday, there were no “tourists” and they seemed a bit pissed off. As indeed was I……there was no music (save country rock) after 1970 and I am right out of the groove….(do young trendy people still say “groove”?).
    While I usually make fun of my Victor Meldrew years and play up the fact that I know nothing of Lady GaGa, I actually found myself regretting that…….because I am older than I actually need to be.
    People (my age and slightly younger) at the Ramada in non-political discussions were talking about these “modern bands” quite comfortably.
    A person 35 or so mentioned “Kasabian” and I had no idea who they are. A few months ago I would have been oddly proud of that. To me…”Queen” are actually about the most modern thing I know.
    We can keep ourselves “young” by being up to date with pop music or new technology and its slightly worrying that I considered myself at the cutting edge of everything in 1967. And I actually think that plays into attitudes to general change and maybe even Politics.

    As it turned out nobody in Belfast thought I was a judge from the X Factor.
    Mrs FJH decided that she would watch the Show and normally I would have sauntered into my den to abuse complete strangers on Slugger but I thought what the hell……I will watch it and try and connect with the 21st Century.
    Alas Mrs FJH decided to go Wedding Planning and I was left alone and had no excuse to sit thru the awards. So I didnt bother with it.

    How was it for me?
    Well increasingly I am out of touch with the City I love. There are roads, streets, hotels and all sorts of places and Quarters that I dont know. And part of me resents it. I am a stranger in my own city and events like the MTV Awards emphasise that.
    So why bother commenting on a thread that asks me “how it was for me”when it was a non event? Well in the euphoria of this or even the changing face of Belfast, it might just be some balance in knowing that there are maybe thousands of people like myself who are left behind by the changes.

    Had any tourist asked me on Friday “how do I get to……?” well like so many people from this city my only response would have been “sorry luv……Im a stranger here myself”

  • Scáth Shéamais

    Little James, according to the BBC BCC contributed £520,000 and NITB contributed £550,000.

  • @fitzjameshorse1745 Och you should have went to the Ash/Divinie Comedy/Undertones gig at Ulster Hall last Thursday — or is 1970s punk not your scene 😉

  • hugodecat

    With just a little over a Million spent, by the NIT’s own standards about £9 million has to be recouped from the festival.

    in calculating the figure they have to discount participant activity – so all the staff, journalists, stars and entourage staying in hotels does not count, the discount any spend outside of NI (so all the stage sound light and production costs along with transport, gifts, advertising etc which were all outsourced to places outside of NI) the return has to come from people who came to visit as members of the public for the event.

    As there were no members of the public at the awards (invite only) that basically leaves people who attend the free city hall concert, to between them return a £9million spend .

    Whilst I do believe there may have been some benefit to advertising on a world stage (limited however how many 14 year old Bieber fans choose their own holiday destinations) the chance has been lost to insist on home grown contractors, home grown entertainment and perhaps including people from the events and promotions industry on the guest list rather than DUP councillors,

    There was nothing NornIron showcased at the awards ( except a streaker) we showcased Belfast to Snow patrol (I think they already know what its like) and the ulster Hall to the Chilli peppers (poor them) so basically we are reliant on the after-party smoozing in the Europa by the Belfast hoteliers to generate some long term return on investment from this

    there is much made of the “hard” work put in by many of our elected representatives at city hall and stormont and yet they couldn’t even manage to sort the licencing laws out I feel its more money wasted on a feel good factor for the political class

  • Skinner

    “there are maybe thousands of people like myself who are left behind by the changes”

    Well thank feck for that!

  • hugodecat

    also has anyone called the publicists/BCC/NITB to account on the viewing figures?

    MTV is only available in ten million homes in the UK and Ireland and have a typical market share of .02 to .04 percent given large swathes of the world don’t have TV never mind an English language music channel I’d be very interested in how they got to a figure of one fifth of the worlds population? rather than something less than 1%
    I really doubt that 600million homes have access to MTV let alone watch it, if investment has been based on these figures I really question the competence of the investment.

  • thethoughtfulone

    “if investment has been based on these figures I really question the competence of the investment.”

    Well sure that’s nothing new for this place!

  • Thanks for the sponsorship information, Little James.

  • andnowwhat

    Not that it was planned as such but with the golf success and the MTV awards, the term Northern Ireland should surely be raised somewhat.

  • the wrong side of 40

    I`m delighted that we had it here, however I am equally delighted that the opportunity to get a ticket did not arise.

    It`s a youngsters game, think i`ll wait for Van the Man.

  • streetlegal

    The noise was deafening and could someone please turn those lights out…

  • Jack2

    Bloody nawsayers looking at the small picture.
    This has put NI on the map ahead of the Titanic event next year.

    Young people from all areas descended on Belfast in their thousands mixing peacefully and with smiles on their faces.
    When adults gather in numbers in this Country the cops don their riot gear and cancel overtime.

    Regarding the money spent 1 million for a great event + chance of increased tourism vs 65-100 million completely wasted in EU farming fines, yet no-ones head will roll for this absolute waste.

    Shame shame shame on you (yes I was there!). 😉

  • Laura

    Hello, I am currently conducting research regarding the MTV EMA’s in Belfast and the effect it had on the city. I have created a blog Please feel free to comment and discuss the event. All comments are greatly appreciated 🙂