The 1st Peter Rosser Composition Award 2016

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Peter Rosser (1970-2014)

Peter Rosser (1970-2014)

Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble, in conjunction with the Peter Rosser Foundation, announce the first ever Peter Rosser Composition Award, in memory of their esteemed colleague and friend.

The award is open to composers born or domicile in N. Ireland or the Republic of Ireland, regardless of age  Submissions from emerging composers are particularly welcome.

Composers are invited to write a piece for Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble of 5-8 minutes duration.
All shortlisted works will be workshopped, performed and recorded (as well as video streamed) by HRSE at a special event in Red Box Recording Studio, Belfast on Friday 27th May 2016.

DEADLINE: 4pm Friday 29th April 2016

1st Prize: £1000
2nd Prize: £500
3rd Prize: £250

For full competition rules and submission guidelines, please click here


Le Crunch Apple of My Eye Song Contest returns with

Written by Admin. Posted in Industry News

Launch-4The search for Ireland’s greatest cover version begins afresh on January 17 with the return of the hugely popular Le Crunch Apple of My Eye Song Contest. Super healthy apple brand Le Crunch from France have teamed up with to launch a nationwide search for Ireland’s best undiscovered musical talent.

Thousands of aspiring musicians and singers have entered the competition to date, showcasing an immense depth of talent from the four corners of Ireland. Amazing interpretations of well-known songs have wowed past judges, and now Le Crunch from France and are asking the public to record their favourite cover version (on video or MP3) and enter it to be in with a chance of winning €2,500 in cash prizes.


 Conference for Musicians takes place in Cork as part of Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal Weekend

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Violin (1)On Friday 5 February, 15 traditional flute and whistle players will compete for the Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal in a final to be broadcast live on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, and this year for the first time a Musicians’ Convention will be held on Saturday as part of the weekend’s events, intended to help and advise traditional musicians on a host of subjects.   The events will take place in the Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork.

Munster musicians are to the fore in this year’s final, with four competitors from Cork, two from Clare, one from Kerry and one from Tipperary.  The youngest competitor is Eimhear Flannery from Rockchapel in Mallow, Co. Cork, who is just 11 years old, and Seán Gavin will be the musician who will travel the furthest to compete, all the way from Chicago.

This year’s judges are esteemed musicians Mary Bergin, Patsy Hanly and Mick O’Connor, and the final will be broadcast live on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta from 7 pm on Friday 5 February.

The Musicians’ Convention on Saturday will run from 2 pm to 5 pm, with speakers from the music industry giving talks on funding opportunities, publicity, insurance, copyright, marketing and publishing, amongst other topics.  Speakers will include representatives from IMRO, the Arts Council and Gael Linn, and entry is €5.  Musicians interested should register by emailing .

There is a full schedule of speakers for the Convention at

Saturday evening’s events will be completed by a free concert at 8 pm with several of the past winners of the Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal, as well as this year’s winner.

The weekend’s event have been sponsored by RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Iontaobhas Fódhla, Gael Linn, Rochestown Park Hotel, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, IMRO, Ealaín na Gaeltachta and GaelTaca.


Best Practice Session for Composers

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save the dateMusic Generation and The Contemporary Music Centre  are working together to develop a mutual understanding of best practice in relation to composers engaging with children and young people in a Performance Music Education context within Music Generation.

Composers and Music Generation musicians/coordinators are invited to attend a session to learn more about the residency-type composition projects which Music Education Partnerships around the country are developing and the work opportunities these present for composers.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016, 10.00am – 12.30pm in the Contemporary Music Centre Library, 19 Fishamble Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 8. Booking required. To book tel: 01-673 1922 or email Leanne on


The Hot Press Music Industry MIX course starts next week,register now!

Written by Admin. Posted in Industry News

MIXWant to find out how to get ahead in the music industry? Are you a singer ? Musician? Manager? Then MIX ’16 might be for you. The Music Industry Xplained course is the essential how-to guide for anyone seeking a career in music.

Brought to you by Hot Press, MIX ‘16 is a 13 week series of exclusive lectures by top industry experts and distinguished professionals from the Irish and international music industry. Spanning a wide range of subjects including Music Marketing, Publicity, Image Development, Record Production, Music Publishing, Radio, Finance, Touring and Distribution, Mix ’16 will run one for day a week for 13 weeks in Dublin City Centre.

The course kicks off on the 2nd February and places are limited and in extremely high demand so head over to now for more details on how to secure your place. Alternatively you can email Louise Zayed – or call 01 2411500.


2016 Unsigned Only Music Competition Judges Announced

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unsigned onlyGrand Prize Has Been Increased To $20,000 Cash (US)

January 26, 2016 – Unsigned Only Music Competition announced today its judging panel for the 2016 competition, which is now accepting entries. The panel consists of high-profile recording artists and journalists who will select the winners in 13 categories representing a wide variety of genres of music.

Unsigned Only is open to solo artists, bands, and singers who are not signed to a major label record company. Unsigned Only is looking for outstanding, talented artists, newcomers or veterans, and accepts both original and cover songs.

This year, Unsigned Only has increased its Grand Prize to $20,000 in cash (US) this year – plus additional merchandise. The Grand Prize winner will also receive one-on-one mentoring from a group of music industry executives, ranging from label presidents to heads of A&R. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to directly network with the top record company professionals and get advice, guidance, feedback, and networking opportunities. A First, Second, and Third Place winner will also be selected in each category.

Artists may enter into any of the following categories: Adult Album Alternative (AAA) Adult Contemporary (AC); Americana; Christian; Country; EDM (Electronic Dance Music); Folk/Singer-Songwriter; R&B/Hip-Hop; Rock; Pop/Top 40; Screen Shot; Teen; and Vocal Performance.

“We are thrilled to be able to give away $20,000 this year to our Grand Prize winner,” say Founders/Directors Candace Avery and Jim Morgan. “What all artists need the most is cash, and $20,000 can go a long way toward helping them with a new CD, a tour, a van, or whatever they might need.”

Judges include: Aimee Mann; R. City; The Killers; Bone Thugs N Harmony; The Struts; Dustin Lynch; Kelly Price; Darryl McDaniels (Run DMC); Aaron Shust; Rapsody; Hayes Carll; Kool and the Gang; David Crowder; Lucero; Colt Ford; The Turnpike Troubadours; Frank Foster; Kyle Anderson (Senior Writer, Entertainment Weekly); Josh Jackson (Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Paste Magazine); Anthony DeCurtis (Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone); Zach Long (Associate Editor, Time Out Chicago); Michael Molenda (Editor-In-Chief, Guitar Player); Jim Farber (Music Critic); Lyndsey Parker (Managing Editor, Yahoo Music); Jed Gottlieb (Music & Theater Writer, Boston Herald); Matthew Meadow (Editor-In-Chief, Your EDM); Kevin McNeese (President, NewReleaseToday); Andy Herman (Music Editor, LA Weekly); Sarah Jones (Editor, Electronic Musician Magazine); Chelsea Perry; Sasha Geffen (Consequence of Sound); and more.

For entry and general information, please go to


Spotify introduce ‘story behind the song’ with Genius

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Spotify have recently teamed up with Genius to add annotations to songs featuring in their ‘Behind The Lyrics’ playlists.

Genius currently has the world’s largest collection of song lyrics and crowdsourced musical knowledge, which will add a new dimension to the Spotify experience and change the service from that of a passive experience to something much more immersive.

At the moment the service is restricted to the above playlist subset but it is thought that future collaboration with Genius will result in lyric writers being able to annotate their works and give fans of the songs an insight into the creative process, fun facts or the story behind the song across all licensed catalogue on the platform.

IMRO members can access the Genius website to see what the service has to offer in the meantime.




IMRO Live MUSIC VENUE OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2015 | Shortlist Announced

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crowd 12IMRO Music Festival of the Year Award 2015

IMRO Outstanding Contribution to Live Music 2015

Best Venue / Festival Technical Crew 2015

The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) is delighted to announce that the eighth IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year Awards will take place on Tuesday 16th February 2016 at IMRO HQ in Dublin.

The shortlist (below) was announced this morning via the IMRO building by Victor Finn (IMRO Chief Executive).

This year, two new awards have been added to the proceedings – IMRO Outstanding Contribution to Live Music 2015 and Best Venue / Technical Crew 2015.

The annual awards celebrate the dedication and passion of those who work in Ireland’s live music venues, providing the public with an exceptional live music experience on a weekly basis.

More than 11,000 IMRO members considered hundreds of venues across the country for the shortlist. Venues were judged on their commitment to providing the core elements that make for a great live music venue – atmosphere, sound and lighting, staging, diversity of programming and importantly, the staff and management of each venue. IMRO members also voted on Ireland’s music festivals, delivering a shortlist of their top ten festivals.

Live music venues and festivals play a vital role in the music industry in Ireland, giving international and homegrown artists a platform to engage with fans and build new audiences. They also play a central role in urban and rural communities across the country, providing a social gathering space for varied audiences, and contributing hugely to the domestic economy.

Of the Awards, Victor Finn, IMRO Chief Executive said, “Over the years these Awards have become a much sought after industry accolade and they clearly highlight the pivotal contribution that venues and festivals make to local economies and the significant role they play in providing a public platform for Irish songwriters and performers”.

At the ceremony in IMRO HQ in Dublin on February 16th, awards will be presented to the leading live music venue in each of the following regions: Dublin, Leinster (excluding Dublin), Connacht, Munster and Ulster (Donegal, Monaghan, Cavan).  The IMRO Live Music Festival of the Year will also be presented on the night. Performances on the night will come from The Academic, Rocstrong and Saint Sister.

One overall award will be presented to the IMRO National Live Music Venue of the Year. This award is decided upon by the public, who vote for their live music venue of the year from the combined shortlist of all the regions.

Live music fans should simply log on to choose their favourite from the shortlist provided, by February 15th.  One lucky voter will win a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3.

The Hot Press Live Music Venue of the Year Readers Poll will also be part of the awards and Hot Press fans can view this at:

“Ireland has a wonderfully vibrant music scene right now,” Niall Stokes, editor of Hot Press said, “with a fresh wave of talent coming through and making impressive waves internationally. After all of the upheaval in the industry over the past few years, live music has become even more important than ever. It is the lifeblood of the industry – which makes it vital that we have great venues all over Ireland in which our songwriters, artists and bands can find their voices, acquire essential experience and develop a fan base.”


IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year 2015 Shortlist

IMRO Dublin Live Music Venue of the Year 2015

Whelans, Wexford Street, Dublin 2
Vicar Street, Thomas Street, Dublin 8
The Olympia Theatre, Dame Street, Dublin 2
The Grand Social, Dublin 1
3Arena, Dublin 1


IMRO Rest of Leinster Live Music Venue of the Year 2015

The Spirit Store, Dundalk, Co. Louth
Sky and the Ground, Wexford
Cleeres, Kilkenny
The Set Theatre, Kilkenny
Wexford Arts Centre, Cornmarket, Wexford


IMRO Connacht Live Music Venue of the Year 2015

Roisin Dubh, Lower Dominick Street, Galway
Monroes, Dominick Street Upper, Galway
Matt Molloys, Westport, Co. Mayo
The Dock Theatre, Leitrim
Hawks Well Theatre, Sligo


IMRO Munster Live Music Venue of the Year 2015

The Greyhound, Killkee, Co. Clare
Crane Lane Theatre, Cork
Levis, Ballydehob, Co. Cork
Dolans, Dock Road, Limerick
Coughlans, Cork


IMRO Ulster Live Music Venue of the Year 2015

Iontas Theatre, Castleblayney Co. Monaghan
An Poc Fada, Monaghan
Ramor Theatre, Virginia, Co. Cavan
Allingham Arms Hotel, Bundoran, Co. Donegal
Hotel Kilmore, Cavan


IMRO Music Festival of the Year 2015

Body & Soul
Electric Picnic
Dublin Fringe Festival
NYE StreetFest
Forbidden Fruit
Galway Arts Festival
Other Voices
Temple Bar Tradfest
Fleadh Ceoil


Kilkenny Tradfest 2016 blooms with ​Hothouse Flowers ​heading the bill

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Hothouse FlowersKilkenny Tradfest 2016 blooms in it’s 4th year with Hothouse Flowers heading the bill, along with many more acts joining the impressive music line up.

The 4th annual Kilkenny Tradfest returns to the marble city from 16 to 20 March 2016,  with a jam-packed programme filled with free and ticketed events for all ages.

The first round of acts announced include Damien Dempsey, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Kila, Hothouse Flowers, Duke Special, The Gloaming’s Iarla O’ Lionard & Steve Cooney with many more to be announced next week.

Kilkenny Tradfest organisers are delighted to have Bulmers as the main festival sponsors for the second year and the hugely successful Bulmers Music Trail will be announced very soon.

The stellar music lineup kicks off on St Patrick’s Day with Kíla who will bring their hip-shaking, smile-making, funky, groovy brand of trad to Kilkenny Tradfest for a free outdoor concert in the magical grounds of Kilkenny’s castle park.

The 6-piece have been celebrating the continued success of their recent album Suas Síos, the remarkable film Song of the Sea by Kilkenny’s Cartoon Saloon which they co-wrote the score for and the most recent news that the music they wrote for the documentary about the Shannon Ireland’s Secret River was nominated for an Emmy award.

An exciting addition to the festival programme is Choice music prize nominated musician Colm Mac Con Iomaire who will perform an intimate full band show at St. John’s Priory.

Colm book-ended 2015 with a headline show with his eleven-piece band in Vicar Street in December. His new Album ‘And Now The Weather’ has been critically acclaimed (album of the week in The Irish Times).

Magical duo Iarla Ó Lionáird and Steve Cooney play Set Theatre on Saturday 19 March. Ó Lionáird is known for his involvement with Afro Celt System and The Gloaming. He is one of Ireland’s leading Sean Nos singers, along with collaborating across a range of genres, and has released four solo albums through Real World Records.

Joined on stage by Australian born guitarist, Steve Cooney who makes a welcome return to Tradfest 2016 having opened for Sharon Shannon at last year’s St Patrick’s Day concert at the Castle Park.

Duke Special plays an intimate show at Cleere’s Theatre on Saturday, 19 March. This will be a magical show exploring forgotten old dusty manuscripts along with songs from his most recent and well-received album, ‘Look out machines!’, not to mention many of the usual live favourites.

Billy Byrnes on John Street hosts a very special show with Hothouse Flowers on Sunday, 20 March with support act to be announced. With a career spanning over 30 years, the group continue to wow crowds at home and abroad with their lively shows.

Dublin’s Damien Dempsey closes the festival on Sunday 20th March with a performance at Set Theatre. For this special performance Damien will draw upon the repertoire that will reflect the occasion the entire country is marking, in tribute to the men and women of the Easter Rising.

The 5 day festival will host events for all ages, including workshops, the Bulmers music trail, Ceili’s, St Patrick’s Day festival and more.

For full details please visit Tickets for all events go on sale Monday 25 March from



Written by admin. Posted in Industry News

Folk Alliance International (FAI) have announced details of their educational panels and professional development workshops being presented at the 28th annual Folk Alliance International conference February 18-21 at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, MO.

Presented to the world’s largest gathering of the folk music industry and community over three days, the innovative panels and workshops aim to educate and inspire musicians and professionals alike through professional development and knowledge sharing.

Featuring notable industry leaders, expert speakers, and timely, on-trend topics presented in four tracks—Artists, Industry, Presenters and Community—FAI’s annual conference offers unparalleled access to ideas and global viewpoints on an increasingly borderless industry to over 2,500 registrants and showcasing artists.

Some of the highlighted topics for the daytime panels and workshops sessions include: Musicians’ Health, Audience Development, Redefining Diversity, Archiving, The Retail Revival, Navigating DC Music Policy, Studio Tips, Technology Updates, Agent and Management Best Practices, Legal and Publishing Issues, and market-specific panels about touring in the U.S., Canada, Scandinavia, Australia and New Zealand, Ireland and the UK.

Subject to change, the full schedule of panels with descriptions and participants to date is available here.

Bringing together musicians, educators and music industry professionals from throughout the world to share ideas, network, and promote folk music; Folk Alliance International is a unique and one-of-a-kind annual conference. This year’s conference features over 195 official artist showcases, 2,000 private showcases, and delegates from over 20 countries.

With a multi-industry trade show exhibition, panels and workshops during the day, evenings are devoted to the artists, with showcases from acts ranging from the unsigned to the iconic.

The 28th annual event takes places February 17-21, 2016. To register for the event, please visit:

For more information, please