Belfast has been awarded the City of Music status by UNESCO. It is the third city in the UK to become a City of Music, with Liverpool having been designated one in 2016 and Glasgow in 2008. It is the first city in Ireland to receive the accolade.

As a holder of the title, and being part of UNESCO’s City of Music programme and the wider Creative Cities Network, Belfast will deliver a series of major music events over the next few years.

Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody and composer Hannah Peel have been appointed official Belfast Music patrons, having supported and committed to the delivery of the Belfast bid, which was led by a City of Music Steering Group.

UK National Commission for UNESCO chief executive and secretary-general James Bridge, said, “Throughout its history, the city has nurtured diverse music scenes and acts, from harpists to counter-culture punks, to rock, ravers and outstanding traditional music. There is more and more talent emerging.

“Belfast’s commitment to creativity as a source and direction for sustainable development will be internationalised through the Global Network of UNESCO Creative Cities and its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals. It’s also timely, with the COP26 UN Climate Change conference currently taking place in a sister City of Music.”