Belfast has entered a new era of peace and prosperity. As though to underline the point this year MTV's 2011 European Music Awards (EMAs) will be broadcast from the city in early November. It's a sign of progress and renewed optimism that would have been unthinkable during the Troubles.
"It is fitting that the EMAs are coming to Belfast, one of Europe's most exciting and vibrant cities and with around 35% of our population below the age of 25," Lord Mayor Pat Convery told thew press this week.
Previous attendees at the European awards ceremony have included Katy Perry, Rihanna and Shakira.
"Belfast has a rich musical history and has produced artists such as Snow Patrol and 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," Convery added.
Northern Ireland tourism minister Arlene Foster added: "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."
Happy Earth Day! Ireland sure looks gorgeous from outer space