Leeds First Direct Arena to host MOBO Awards

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Leeds has landed a “massive” musical coup after it was announced that one of the country’s most high-profile awards ceremonies will be staged in the city.

A host of famous artists will descend for the 20th MOBO (music of black origin) Awards at the First Direct Arena on November 4.

Stars like Rihanna have been at previous MOBO Awards

Stars like Rihanna have been at previous MOBO Awards

MOBO Awards founder Kanya King made the announcement to delighted crowds at Monday’s West Indian Carnival in Chapeltown.

She said: “There couldn’t have been a better year for Leeds to play host to the MOBOs – 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.”

Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake added: “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.”

The famed awards have previously been held in London and Glasgow, attracting crowds of 100,000 and worldwide television audiences of more than 500 million.

The star-studded annual awards have featured global superstars and celebrities including Rihanna, John Legend, Black Eyed Peas, Sam Smith, Destiny’s Child and Leeds born Corinne Bailey-Rae and Mel B.

Leeds Carnival Founder and Chair, Arthur France commented: “The bank holiday is always a great day for Leeds to showcase the music and heritage of carnival to audiences from near and far.

“Announcing the MOBO Awards are coming to the city is simply the icing on the cake – it’s great for carnival and a fantastic coup for culture and entertainment in Leeds.”

Tickets for the event will go on sale on Thursday, and the urban music spectacular could see thousands of visitors give businesses a major boost.

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 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.”

Tickets will be available on the First Direct Arena website.

The shortlist of nominees and the lineup of artists performing at the awards will be announced at the end of September.

For more information visit www.mobo.com.