Leeds wins MOBO Awards with £145,000 sponsorship

A city is spending £145,000 to host a major music awards ceremony.

The international MOBO Awards (Music of Black Origin) will be held at the Leeds First Direct Arena thanks to backing worth £95,000 from Leeds City Council and £50,000 from Leeds Business Improvement District.

The MOBO Awards are screened around the world and attract leading international music and creative artists. The awards have previously been held in London and Glasgow attracting crowds of over 100,000 and TV audiences of more than 500 million viewers. The annual awards have featured celebrities including Rihanna, John Legend, Black Eyed Peas, Sam Smith, and Destiny’s Child.

A spokeswoman for the BID told CN it is getting joint branding for the next two months on all media releases as well as branding at the event on November.

She said the announcement that the 20th MOBO Awards are set for the city was made to a surprised crowd at Europe’s longest running Caribbean Carnival by their founder and CEO, Kanya King on Bank Holiday Monday.

Ms King said: “There couldn’t have been a better year for Leeds to play host to the MOBO’s, the year they bid for their city to become the European Capital of Culture. We are thrilled to announce that our 20th show will be in this great city in its beautiful arena and we look forward to delivering a spectacular and very dynamic show that will be remembered for years to come to inspire the next generation of upcoming talent.”

Andrew Cooper, chief executive for Leeds Business Improvement District, said: “Supporting business and tourism were key priorities for Leeds BID and successfully persuading MOBO to choose Leeds for its 2015 Award ceremony demonstrates that already organisers of major international events appreciate the calibre, diversity and volume of our hospitality offer. At the same time as hosting a major musical event it will allow audiences worldwide to sample across a variety of channels both real and virtual the variety and quality of the hospitality and cultural offer we have here in the city.

“Leeds Business Improvement District is committed to raising awareness and diversity. What better way to achieve that than by sponsoring the MOBO Awards in its 20th year?”

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said: “It’s a massive coup for Leeds to be hosting the MOBO awards and a huge endorsement of our status as a city that celebrates culture and diversity.

“I can’t think of a better way to make this prestigious announcement than at the carnival, which for so long has been one of the most dynamic and exciting events on our cultural calendar and a passionate celebration of both community and heritage.

“As we prepare our bid to be named European Capital of Culture 2023, events like the MOBO awards and the carnival will be an integral part of our efforts to showcase the very best that Leeds has to offer.”

John Keenan

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John Keenan

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