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Bank of Ireland Launches €1 Million Begin Together Arts Fund in partnership with Business to Arts

The Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund, in partnership with Business to Arts is open for applications. The Fund will distribute a total of €1 million between 2020 and 2022 and is designed to support artists and arts projects across the island of Ireland. This announcement brings the Bank of Ireland’s Begin Together community investment to €3 million.

The Arts Fund will support or commission artists and arts organisations to develop arts projects, enhancing the wellbeing of the participants, audiences and communities involved. All art forms are eligible and the aim is for the projects to benefit a range of audiences. The Fund will also support arts projects that have been adapted due to COVID-19, or are inspired by / respond to COVID-19

Francesca McDonagh, Group Chief Executive, Bank of Ireland said, “Our wellbeing as a country depends on our rich culture and heritage continuing to thrive. Through this Fund we are building on Bank of Ireland’s long history of supporting the arts. There is no better time than when artists, like communities across the island, are struggling in the face of the pandemic. This programme is part of our wider contribution to helping the recovery of communities and businesses across Ireland.”

Catherine Martin, TD, Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht said, “The arts sector has been severely impacted by COVID-19 and the Government has been working to support artists over the past six months. The Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund, in the great tradition of business supporting creative communities, is a very welcome programme that will be embraced by artists and their local communities.”

Andrew Hetherington, CEO, Business to Arts said, “We are acutely aware of the impact that COVID-19 is having on the revenue sources for the arts sector. The establishment of this fund with Bank of Ireland sets a new way for businesses to support arts projects in their local communities. We look forward to partnering with Bank of Ireland and seeing the arts projects that have been supported by the fund realised throughout 2021.”

The Begin Together Arts Fund is a new strand of the Bank of Ireland Begin Together programme and brings the Bank’s community investment to €3 million. Launched in February 2020, the Begin Together programme originally had three strands – the Begin Together Fund, the Begin Together Awards and Begin Together Colleagues, all contributing to community initiatives across the Island. In April, Bank of Ireland also donated a further €1 million in emergency funding to communities with urgent needs arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

About the Bank of Ireland Begin Together Arts Fund:

The Fund will provide fees to artists or groups of artists to create new work and help maximise the budgets of partner organisations (e.g. arts organisations, community/voluntary organisations, etc.) for their programme of activity.

Artists or groups of artists applying must work with a partner organisation (e.g. a venue or event, arts organisation, community/voluntary organisation or another funding agency/organisation). Applicants can request funds between €3,000 – €10,000 / c. GBP£2,500 – £8,400, and average grants will be €5,000 / GBP£4,200, with maximum grants of €10,000 / GBP£8,400. Arts projects with larger budgets that have secured funds elsewhere are encouraged to apply. With each grant round, the Fund aims to provide funding to an arts project in each county on the island of Ireland.

Closing date for the first round of applications is Wednesday, 4 November at 5pm. The second round will open in April 2021. Go to for information on the application process and to complete the online application form.

Minding Creative Minds (MCM) opens up its services to the entire music sector

Minding Creative Minds (MCM), Ireland’s first 24/7 wellbeing support programme for the Irish Music community was launched in June for artists, songwriters, music managers and event sector personnel. MCM are now in a position to open up this crucial service to the entire music sector with immediate effect.   Whatever your role within the music sector, MCM are there for you.  Are you a musician, artist, songwriter, artist manager, event production crew, work in music PR, marketing, event management, music admin or live venue staff?  If you or someone you know in this sector is in need of emotional support or someone to talk with about financial, career or legal matters please log onto

Minding Creative Minds (MCM) is a 32 county and Irish overseas well-being support programme.  MCM had hoped to open its programme to the full music sector by its first anniversary in June 2021.  Being able to expand to the entire sector some nine months ahead of its original schedule is well beyond initial expectations for the initiative which can now offer more assistance to those in need especially at this time as our industry’s personnel are also trying to deal with additional issues directly related to Covid-19.   Fast forwarding this expansion is made possible due to the continued support of industry funding partners and as a result of the service been chosen as a beneficiary of EPIC Working Group’s ( fundraising initiative, Songs From An Empty Room held in July and ongoing We Are The Support Act fundraising initiatives

Of this expansion founder Dave Reid said, “We are delighted to announce the expansion of Minding Creative Minds which will give musicians and people involved in all sectors of the Irish Music Sector the opportunity to mind their mental wellbeing and be able to contact qualified counsellors and experts in different fields such as financial planning, legal and career matters enabling expert advice and helping to manage personal issues they might be facing. Working in collaboration with our partner organisations we can now provide a credible support structure for the entire sector.

Musician and mental health advocate Niall Breslin (Bressie) says, “Music has always been the world’s greatest therapist, but sometimes those that provide such therapeutic comfort to others with their music, need some help of their own, and that’s why minding creative minds is so crucial “

Successful and respected singer, songwriter Gavin James says, “I am delighted to hear Minding Creative Minds (MCM) is now able to expand its services to all musicians and all people working in the full Irish Music Sector.  Minding Creative Minds (MCM) is a first of its kind for Ireland, it’s a free 24/7 wellness, counselling, financial and legal advice service.  Please make contact if you work in the music and live event sectors and need either emotional support or practical advice.  Minding Creative Minds is here for you and contacting them is easy, just log onto for all the details.”   

The Minding Creative Minds funding partners are First Fortnight (Lead Partner), IMRO (Irish Music Rights Organisation), IRMA (Irish Recorded Music Association), MCD Productions, RAAP (Recorded Artists, Actors & Performers), Universal Music Ireland and the BAI (Broadcasting Authority of Ireland)

There has been a substantial uptake of users during the first three months of the Minding Creative Minds programme and of those who contacted the service 40% did so seeking mental health consultation with over 26% actually having either video or telephone counselling and over 37% wanted practical advice (career guidance, financial assistance, legal assistance and life coaching). During the first three months since its launch 55% of those who have contacted the MCM are women.  47% of MCM’s users are based in Dublin, over 10% in Munster, 12%+ from Connacht, close on 5% from Ulster and there have been people contacting the service from London also.  

“During these very challenging times for the Live events industry with no clear roadmap for recovery, the services offered by Minding Creative Minds will be essential to so many. We will continue to do everything we can to support this great initiative and to spread the word so that all live events personnel know they are not alone and that this free 24/7 wellness, counselling, financial and legal advice service is available to help them and give much needed support in the weeks and months ahead.  At a time when we are most disconnected we want to support those who help connect us the most.”Kim O Callaghan MCD Project Manager & Deputy Event Controller

Minding Creative Minds (MCM) is a free 24/7 wellbeing support programme for the Irish Music Sector, delivered by Spectrum Life.

  • First dedicated wellbeing support programme for the Irish Music Sector 
  • Assisting the creative community through COVID-19 challenges and beyond

MCM includes access to the following Wellbeing services:

  • 24/7 Dedicated Phone Line (Phone 1800 814 244) (Calling from NI – 0800 0903677)
  • Counselling Service (Short term intervention / Up to 6 Sessions)
  • Telephone Counselling 
  • Secure Video Counselling
  • Extensive Web Portal and App enabling live chat function with a counsellor

In addition to the mental health support system offered, Minding Creative Minds looks at the whole individual resulting in the programme also offering access to a number of additional services structured to help users with various issues they may face such as:

  • Advice on practical, day-to-day issues that cause anxiety and stress
  • Legal Assistance for a range of issues
  • Financial Assistance and Consumer Advice
  • Career Guidance and Life Coaching
  • Support for Non-Irish Nationals and their families
  • Mediation for conflict resolution

“As musicians and writers, we have always been susceptible to the stresses and strains that are part and parcel of the challenging environment that we call the music industry, but never before have we faced the level of uncertainty that is now before us.  Creative people, by our nature, have a particular set of pressures that are specific to our work and our nature. This comprehensive programme is specifically designed to cater for these issues.  I have no doubt that this initiative will save lives.” –  Eleanor McEvoy, IMRO Chairperson.

“If ever there was a right time to offer support to people affected by the Covid 19 Pandemic that time is now. We at the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) are helping to fund this great Mental Health initiative ‘Minding Creative Minds’ and we hope it will assist people in the music Industry to deal with the issues of mental wellbeing.” Willie Kavanagh, Chairman of IRMA

“Musicians and members of the creative sector, with their particular professional pressures and community standing, are likely to be experiencing both good and bad days – there may be moments of clarity alongside moments when it all feels too much. ‘Minding Creative Minds’ is here to provide you with the support you need at the time you need it. Launching on June 1st, ‘Minding Creative Minds’ is an independent, confidential, complimentary mental health support that is accessible to members of the music sector and their dependants across Ireland, at any time of the day or night. We hope that knowing this support is here for you gives you some solace on both the good and bad days which may lie ahead” Emelina Ellis, Clinical Lead Spectrum Life

For Further details visit:

Minister Martin announces membership of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce

Catherine Martin T.D., Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht has announced the membership of the Arts and Culture Recovery Task Force.

Clare Duignan will chair the Task Force and the other members will be:

  • Arts Council
  • Business to Arts
  • Council of the National Cultural Institutions
  • County and City Management Association (CCMA)
  • Department of Health
  • Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht
  • Department of Social Protection
  • Ealaín na Gaeltachta
  • Events Industry Alliance
  • Irish Congress of Trade Unions
  • National Campaign for the Arts
  • Irish Music Rights Organisation
  • Irish Theatre Institute
  • Screen Ireland
  • Screen Producers Ireland
  • Denise Chaila
  • Martin Hayes

The Terms of Reference are as follows:

The Taskforce will prepare a report for the Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht including a set of recommendations on how best the arts and culture sector can adapt and recover from the unprecedented damage arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.  The sector includes culture, the arts, the audiovisual industry and the live entertainment industry.  Taking as its starting point, the research and evidence of the devastating impact of the pandemic on the sector compiled by the Department, the Arts Council and other stakeholders, the Taskforce will:-

  • adopt a solution-focused approach;
  • seek sector-specific expert input and consult with stakeholders;
  • invite additional individuals or expertise to attend meetings on an ad hoc basis, as it deems necessary;
  • focus on providing intelligence and recommendations for an expected on-going and varying impact of COVID-19 restrictions;
  • identify immediate and medium term goals for recovery and sustainability in the sector;
  • identify possible policy initiatives or impediments to a robust sustainable recovery in the sector;
  • recommend whole of Government policy initiatives and actions to support the sector;
  • report to the Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht by the 31 October 2020 in order to provide the Government with an action-plan for the sector.

The taskforce can be contacted at ei.vog.ghc@ecrofksat and all correspondence will be published in due course.

Speaking today, Minister Martin said: “The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the arts and culture sectors.  Live performances, theatre, music and events have all but disappeared from society.  Identifying ways of preserving and re-establishing this once-vibrant, heart-warming and magical sector will be a mammoth task.  The membership of the Task Force that I am appointing holds a wealth of experience and talent and I have no doubt that collectively they will rise to the challenge.  I look forward to receiving the Report in due course.”

Open Letter From The Live Events and Entertainment Sector

This week (14th – 20th September) is National Awareness Week for the Live Entertainment & Event Industry in Ireland.

Today, EPIC have released an open letter from the Live Events and Entertainment Sector with over 600 signatures from across the industry. The letter is accompanied by the video voiced by Stephen James Smith.

The letter is part of National Awareness Week for the Live Entertainment & Event Industry in Ireland and follows  EPIC’s (Event Production Industry Covid19 Working Group) Pre-Budget Submission ( ) presented last Wednesday 16 September.  

All week venues across the country have been lighting up red in support of National Awareness Week and EPIC’s Pre-Budget submission. Some of the venues taking part include 3Arena, RDS, Aviva Stadium, Croke Park, Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Gaiety Theatre, Olympia Theatre, Dolans, Roisin Dubh, INEC, Town Hall Theatre Galway amongst others around the country.

It is now 190 days since the Live Entertainment and Events Industry has been forced to close. The  Non-Funded Event Industry supports over 35,000 jobs, contributes over €3.5 billion Euro to the economy and in excess of 3 million annual bed nights to the wider tourism sector. For the first time in the Event Industry history, employers, workers and freelancers from viable operations are unable to trade and to work.  The commercial non-funded sector has never asked for support before but these are unprecedented times.  

An Open Letter from the Live Events and Entertainment Sector

The unprecedented and ongoing Covid-19 global pandemic has been as great a disaster for Ireland’s entertainment and hospitality sectors as the 2007/2008 banking crisis was to its construction and financial services industries. 

Across literally hundreds of theatres, venues, clubs, festivals and small/large-scale events, the domestic live events and entertainment industry employs in excess of 35,000 full and part-time workers. The vast majority of these highly skilled people haven’t had any employment since March 12th, 2020. Never in the long history of staging live performances and events on this island has there been such a sudden and total cessation of all work and activity. 

We were the first industry to shut, and we will most likely be the last one to fully reopen. The non-funded Events Sector accounts for 90% of the five million tickets sold in Ireland each year, and directly contributes over €3.5billion to the national economy. It is estimated that for every euro spent on a ticket, an additional €6 is spent in the wider tourist economy (including more than three million hotel bed nights per annum). 

We are unique in that we are the only sector completely closed under government mandate; as a result, through absolutely no fault of their own, live entertainment workers currently have little or no employment opportunities. 

Up until now, we have been totally ignored and received virtually no government aid. As an impossibly bleak winter approaches, we and our dependents desperately require serious government support to survive. The workers at all levels of this vital sector have no prospects of earning a living in the foreseeable future, so the supports need to be appropriate and unprecedented in order to address the dire financial situation facing almost every single person and business. If government support doesn’t come then the curtains will close, joy will be lost, the music will fade, the parades will stop, the children’s giddy laughter at the panto will be no more, and the cherished memories created in muddy festival fields will be a thing of the distant past. The non-funded Live Events Sector faces decimation and at least a decade of recovery if not supported immediately with the following asks: 

1 – Immediate reinstatement of the EWSS and PUP payment at €350 per week for the highly skilled staff and businesses of the sector until the sector (which is fully closed by government under public health advice) is allowed to return to work. 

2 – Grant funding proportionate to what has been allocated to the Arts Council in 2020. The Live Events Sector accounts for 90% of all tickets sold in Ireland, and as such is a far greater employer and contributor to the national economy. We have received little or no grant funding before, but in these exceptional circumstances it is imperative that a scaffolding fund be made available to support the viable businesses of the sector until we can return to work. 

3 – While this Task Force was announced by Minister Catherine Martin on the 10th of September, it is essential that the formation of the members gives due consideration to the Commercial Live Events Sector. This is the sector that manages the largest events in the country, has managed the Papal Visit, The Visit of Barack Obama and The Queen of The United Kingdom. The Commercial Live Events Sector are the experts, the best in class and should receive parity of voice with the state funded sector on the task force. 

We are highly skilled professionals, we are essential businesses and services, we are musicians and artists, carpenters and creators, we are stagehands, technicians and experts, we are sounds, lights and visuals, we are tears, laughter and gasps of excitement. We are the Christmas panto, we are concerts, we are festivals, we are food fairs, we are parades, we are conferences, we are exhibitions, we are theatres, we are dance, we are national celebrations & state visits. We are the best nights of your lives. 

We are the creative lifeblood of this country – and a vital part of its economy. We are the dynamic problem solvers who bring the magic to the most difficult of circumstances. Most importantly, we are contributors; we have always given back. In this unprecedented crisis, reluctantly for the first time we must ask: We need government support for our industry and we need it immediately.

Supported by:

A. Smyth, Aidan Greene, Ailbhe Reddy, Aimée, Áine Cahill, Alison Spittle, Andrea Corr, Andy Irvine, Aoife Dooley, Aoife Scott, Aslan, Barry Murphy, Bell X1, Billy Scurry, Bleeding Heart Pigeons, Booka Brass Band, Bronagh Gallagher, Chasing Abbey, Christy Moore, Clannad, Colin Murphy, Corrina Lynch, Cry Monster Cry, Daniel O’Donnell, Dara O Briain, Dave Kearney, David Keenan, Davina Devine, Declan O’Rourke, Delorentos, Des Bishop, Diffusion Lab, DJ Karen, Dublin Gospel Choir, EDEN, Elaine Mai , Emma Langford, Eric Lalor, Erica Cody, Eve Belle, Fia Moon, Fiachna O Braonain, Fontaines D.C., Frances Black, Fred Cooke, Gavin James, Gearóid Farrelly, Gemma Doherty, George Feely, Ghostboy, Happyalone, Hozier, Hudson Taylor, Jafaris, Jenny Greene, Jerry Fish, Joanne McNally, Joe Wall, John Gibbons, John Hughes, Just Mustard, JyellowL, Kelly-Anne Byrne, Kevin McGahern, Kodaline, Kojaque, Laoise, Lar Kaye, Leo Moran, Lisa Hannigan, Little Hours, Luka Bloom, Lyra, Malaki, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Mark McCabe, Mary Black, Mary Coughlan, Melodic Dublin, Mike Denver, Mike Scott (of The Waterboys), Mother DJs, Moya Brennan, Neil Delamere, Niamh Farrell, Noel Hogan (The Cranberries), Patrick Scahill, Patrick Sheehy, Paul Brady, Paul Ryder, Phil Bass, Picture This, PowPig, Róisín O, Rory O’Neill (Panti Bliss), RuthAnne, Sinéad O’Connor, Somebody’s Child, Sorcha Richardson, Soulé, Stephanie Rainey, Steve Wall, The Academic, The Blizzards, The Coronas, The Murder Capital, The Riptide Movement, Tommy Fleming, Tommy Tiernan, True Tides, U2, Wyvern Lingo, Ye Vagabonds

1000 Beasts (Cian Sweeney), Aeron, Aidan Thompson, Alex Gough, Allen Anderson, Annie Love, Aoise Butt, ASH / SNKY SESSIONS, Aviary Talent, Bill Mango, Brian Blackwell, Brian Crosby, Brian Masterson, Brian McCarthy, Bríd Lyons, Cailín, Cash X Mack, Cat Irvine, CdotM, Cerillo, Cheylene Murphy from “Beauty Sleep”, Chósta, Chris Coogan, Chris Kent, Christopher Hockey, Cian Fennelly, CMS, Colin Lyons, Colin Morley, COLLIE, Colm Doyle, Conor Brennan, Conor C, D. Cullen, Daisy Mckenzie, Dale Jameson, Dale Nolan, Daniel Healy, Daniel O’Brien, Danny Bichard, Danny Farrell, Darce (Ciarán Darcy), Dark Hallow 94, David O Neill, David P, Davina Devine, Decksta, Declan Mc Clafferty, Deirdre Molloy, Deirdre Young, Dick Fossilman, Dino Cafolla, Dj Dr.Flamer (Elementum V- Eclectrika ), DJ KONNECT, Donal Lucey, Eamonn Conway, Eddie Kay, Eden Isle, ELKIN, Ella Englishby, Elliot, Elliott Mo, Emily 7, Emma Doran, Emmo, Eoin Bailey, Erica Murphy, Faye O’Rourke, Faye Shortt, Fergal Henry, FÍACHRA, Fiachra O Mahony, Fintan McKahey, Fio Fa, Fionn Curran, FRUITZ, Full Funktion, FYNCH, Galactic Beat Club, Gareth Quinn Redmond, Garrett Yeates, Gav K, Gavin Fox, Gavin R. Gallagher, Gerald Ahern, GES, Ghostking is Dead, Glen, Glimmerman, Greyface, Havana Gudtime, Hayley Goldrick, Holly, House Hatcher, IainMoyles, Jack Cleary Fuinneamh, Jack Murphy, Jake Curran, Jake O’Driscoll “God Alone”, James Barber, James Casey, Jamie Carroll, Jamie Cooney, Jamie keane, JaXson, Jay Oglesby, Jenn Hession, Jessie O’Connell, John Fitzgerald, Jonathan Byrne, Jonathan Martin Smyth , Jordan Hearns, Josh Gray, Karl Guest, KAYCEE, Kevin Murtagh, Klye, Laura McCabe, Lee Currid, Lee Moore, Letterbox Kid, LPM, Luis Angel, Luke Reddy, Lydia Ford, M_Con, Marc McLaughlin, Marc-V, Marcus Woods, Mark Colbert, Mark O’Gorman Daly, Martin Angolo, Mary Tiernan, MATHESON, Matt Dundon, Melina Malone, Michael Chang, Michael O D, Mike Hanrahan, Mimi Lane, Mizza, Mode_1, MuRli, MYTH, NANCY Live, Nathan O’Brien, Nialler9, Niamh Brady, Nicholas Clarke, NIMF, Nnic, Noel Sutton, Oisín Egan, Orwells ‘84, Oscar, Owen, Owen Fogarty Pagan, Patterns, Paul Byrne, Paul Darcy, Paul G. Smyth, Paul Jarvis, Paul Ryder, Pauric O’ Meara, Peter, Peter Sweeney, Pierluigi Guarracino, Podge Collins, Pretty Happy, Ray Blackwell, Rebecca Cappuccini, Red Sun Alert, Reece Arrigan, Remedy, Rhythms Of Prescott, Rob de Boer, Rocco Music, Rónán Connolly, Rookie, Rory, Rory De Nógla, Rory McCranor, Royce Laroca, Ruth – Mother, Ryan Roe, Sam Greenwood, Samuel Powell, Saoirse Duane, Sarah Jane Goff, Sarah Lynch, Sarah-Beth O’Mullane, Seamus McDonnell, Sean McKeon, Shampain, Shane Clifford, Shane Daniel Byrne, Shannen Blessing, Shauna McMahon, Shay Whelan, Shiv, Sinéad Wylde, RTÉ lyric fm, SLKTA, Sonny Condell, Sons Of Charlie, SPRINTS, Stephen Dowling, Stephen Lawless, Stephen Mullan, Steve Bennett, Stuart Cremin, The Flavours, Theodora Byrne, Tom Collins, Tony Cantwell, TOYGIRL TV People, Two Many Spoons, Veda Lady, Vibez Emotion, Viv Quinn, Why-Axis, Will Boyle, Yasmin Gardezi, Yurtis Mayfield, Zach Ahern. 

115 Cafe & Live Acoustic Venue, 3Arena Dublin, Aiken Promotions, Bedlam Events, Best In Fest, Bingo Loco, Brian Spollen, Caroline Downey, Cyprus Avenue, Declan Forde – Selective Memory, Denis Desmond, Dolans presents, Electric Picnic, Festival Republic, Forever Young, Indiependence, Labyrinth Events, Lantern Presents, Life Festival, MCD Productions, Melvin Benn, Old Oak, Resolution, Sea Sessions, Singular Artists, The Gaiety Theatre, The Grand Social, The Olympia Theatre, Tony Brereton, Una Molloy, Vicar St., Will Rolfe POD Concerts, Winthrop Avenue. 

Kim O’Callaghan, Liam Fitzgerald, Michael Young, Murt Whelan, Pearse Doherty, Shane Dunne, Sophie Ridley, Tony Killeen, Association of Irish Festivals & Events (AOIFE), Association of Irish Stage Technicians (AIST), Entertainers Ireland Stand Together (Éist), Event Industry Alliance (EIA), Event Industry Association of Ireland (EIAI), Event Industry Ireland (EII), Event Production, Industry Covid Working Group (EPIC), Irish Inflatables Hirers Federation, Irish Showmans Guild (ISG), Music & Entertainers Association of Ireland (MEAI), Universal Music Ireland, Victor Finn IMRO, Keith Johnson (Irish Music Rights Organisation, IMRO), Pat Creed Warner Music Ireland, Wide Awake Communications. 

360 Events, Aaron Kennedy, Acoustik Productions, Adrian Leake, Aidan Keyes, Alan McEvoy, Alan Thornton CAVS, Amir Carmel, Andrea Keogh, Andrew Farrell Freelance A/V Engineer, Andrew Leonard, Andy Smyth, Ange Goliger, Anna Brizay, Anne Kyle, Anne Marie Bowden, Anthony Ferris, Approved Productions, Ashlee Dickinson Ten Feet Tall, Atlantic Audio Ltd, AV Star Systems Ltd., Ballet Ireland, Barry O’Donoghue, Barry Walshe, Beechpark Studios, Bernie Cahill The Sound&Lighting Company, Blackdog music, Blue Moose, Brendan Galvin, Brendan McLoughlin, Brian Barnes, Brian Kelly, Brian Sinnott, Brian Treacy, Buzz O’Neill Maxwell, Caiar Loughney, Caroline Duke, Cathy O’Carroll, Cian McCormack, Ciara Nolan, Ciaran Conroy – Paragon Records, Ciaran Tallon, CIRCUS VEGAS, Clara Sound, Clive Welsh, COH Productions, Colin Hoye, Colm McCabe Promotions & Events, Conor Adams, CS Promotions, CWB, Dan Oggly – Friction PR, Dani Morris, Darren Clarke, Darren Holden, Dave O’Beirne, David Bolger, David Cassidy, David Curley, David ‘Spud’ Murphy, Davin Browne, Deirdra Carroll, Dermot Magennis, Des Mahon Sound, Dickon Whitehead, DMcD, Donna Leonard, Duchess Iredale, Eamonn Fox, Éanna Whelan, Ed Kenehan, Eddie McCourt, Elaine O’Donoghue, Emma Hartfiel, Emma Nicole, Emma Synnott, Eoin Kilkenny, Eoin McCartan, Eric McCarthy Catered Ltd, Event lighting Solutions, Event power, Event Power Ltd., Eventi Management, Fearga O Doherty Stage & Production Manager, Fin O’Leary, Finbar Wright, Finnolan Events, Fiona Brazil, Florin Florea, Fran Hogan Catapult, Garry Gold, Gemma Murray, Gerard Kilkenny, Gerry Brady, gr8 Events Online Ticketing, Grzegorz Rzucidlo, Gwen Bolger, Harley Cummins, Heather Troy-Whelan, Ian Jaco bs, Ian O’Donoghue, Idle hands, Impact Promotions Ireland, Irene Gaia Turina, Irish Rigging Services, J C Campbell, Jack Cleary Fuinneamh, Jack Price, Jack Restan Displays, Jake Ryan, James Jim Fox, Jennifer Quinn, Joe Dougan, Joe Furlong, John Ryan, John Johnston, Jonie Conaty, Karl Casey, Kavanagh’s Bar & Venue, Portlaoise, Kedelec exhibition services ltd , Keith Doyle K9 Detection Services Ireland, Keith Killen, Ken Bolger, Kieran Somers, Kirstin Cunningham KMS Audio & Communications Ltd., Laura Murphy, Lee Moore, Leo McKenna, Leslie McDonogh, Liam FitzGerald, Liane McCarthy Nolan, Lisa Casey, Louise Loughney, Luke Murphy, Madeleine Nesbitt, Madeleine Seiler – The Headline Agency, Margaret O’Regan Event Plan, Marie-Therese Byrne, Mark Galione – Lighting Designer, High Res, Mary Bolger Hinds, Mary Cullen – Irish Rigging Services, Mary Kilduff, Mary Sexton, Masonry PR, Matthew Fox, McDonald AV Ltd, Michael Chang, Michael Wall, Mike McGrath, Mission PR, Morgan Cooke, Muirne Bloomer, Murt Whelan Sound Ltd., Neil Dolan, Niall Mullan, Niall O’Riordan, Niamh Lunny, Noel McHale, Noel Whelan, Noelle Fox – The Olympia Theatre, Nolan Sound & Lighting, Nomadic Productions Ltd., Paddy Freeney, Padraic Boran, Pascal Fischer – Avcom, Pascale Miller, Patrick Trautt, Paul ‘Flex’ Browne, Paul Byrne, Paul Soul Entertainment, Paul Watchorn, Pedro Martins, PERFORM, Peter Jordan, Slua Event Safety, Peter O’Sullivan – Word of Mouth Agency, Philip Alexander, Philip Lawlor, Pip Walsh, Pitched Perfect, Profile Events Ltd., PSI – Production Services Ireland, RayRazor O’Donoghue, RedHouse Productions, RedKen Sound, Remedy, Rhythms Of Prescott, Richard “Lippy” Collins, Richard Tierney, Ríonagh McNamara, Rob Mather Brooklawn Audio, Robert Butler, Robert Smith Events, Ronan Coleman, Ronan Conroy, Roz Long, Ryan Roe, Safents Consulting Ltd, Sandra Murphy, Sarah Jane Shiels Lighting Designer, Sean Harrold, Sequence Events, Session Music Dublin, Shane Murphy, Sheevawn Musical Youth Theatre, Sheil Entertainment Agency, ShowScope Ltd., Simon O’Gorman, Sound to Light Ltd., SoundSound, Stage Lighting Centre, Stephen Curran, Steven Douglas, Streetwise Wedding Band Galway, Stuart Anderson, Stuart Mc Keown, TF Productions Ltd., The Art Room, Therese Maher, Tom O’Connot, Tomás FitzGerald, Tony Burford, Tony Murphy – Avcom, TrenchTown EP, Val Sherlock, WeArePlatinum, Will Boyle, William Ryan, William Softly

EPIC Launch their Pre-Budget Submission

EPIC (Event Production Industry Covid19 Working Group) launch their Pre-Budget Submission today.

September 16th 2020 marks 188 days since the Live Entertainment and Events Industry has been closed. For the first time in the Event Industry history, employers, workers and freelancers from viable operations are unable to trade.  It is the only sector with such a strict lockdown for such a long period of time.

The Live Entertainment and Events Industry was successful before Covid and will be again but while the sector is closed and prevented from trading, EPIC are asking the Government for immediate and concrete support to scaffold this viable industry until it is able to safely return to capacity in all its glory. The commercial non-funded sector has never asked for support before but these are unprecedented times.  

This is a vibrant and viable industry, an industry of creators and innovators, an industry of business people with skin in the game, an industry with a highly skilled indigenous workforce that is a world leader in its field. 

The country misses gigs, concerts, theatres, dances, choirs, orchestras, festivals, food festivals – the country misses our commemorations, our parades, our favourite bands and entertainers. But right now, for most in the Live Entertainment & Events Sector, they miss the opportunity to earn a living, to pay their bills, to survive. This is not possible due to the devastation of the sector by the ongoing Covid19 Pandemic and the mandated closure of the entire sector.

The Non-Funded Event Industry supports over 35,000 jobs, contributes over €3.5 billion Euro to the economy and in excess of 3 million annual bed nights to the wider tourism sector. 

EPIC calls upon the Government to provide: 

  1. Reinstatement of the support payment of €410 (being the previous level of the TWSS) and €350 (being the previous level of the PUP) which is vital for the skilled workforce of the sector until it fully recovers. The sector is unique in that it is almost entirely closed under government mandate with no opportunity to trade.
  2. Implementation of a “scaffolding support fund” equivalent to the level allocated to the state funded sector, to help protect and hold the sector upright and together, allowing it to survive, until such time as organised and ticketed live entertainment events can return to full capacity safely. 
  3. An extension of business rates waiver for a period of thirty-six months to allow SMEs, Venues and the other businesses of the sector to recover. 
  4. Reduction in the rate of VAT on ticket sales to 5% to aid with the staged re-opening of the sector at likely greatly reduced capacity. 
  5. A VAT Tax Credit for the personnel and SMEs of the sector to inspire trade at reduced capacity and enhance the opportunity for businesses to return to work. 
  6.  Implement a taskforce on insurance to review cancellation insurance for events. 
  7. Extension of the credit guarantee scheme to ensure SMEs can borrow 100% loan requirements due to extreme difficulty with securing the remaining 20% from Irish banks. 
  8. Stimulus packages to support the sole owner businesses and small businesses & venues: 
    • Schools and Colleges: €2 million fund, to provide seat loss compensation grant up to €2,500 in each case. 
    • Musical Societies, Drama Societies, Stage Schools and Dance Schools: A €1 Million Euro fund accessible to theatres and arts centres to be distributed by the Department of Culture. The fund would allow the theatre or arts centre to apply for €400 per night of performance and pass the saving on to the society in reduced rent. 
    • c. Small Venue Supports: A €3m euro fund allowing for grants of €1,000 per performance in small music venues to compensate for reduced capacity and to encourage venues to open with less capacity. 9. Confirmation that the recently announced Cross Departmental Taskforce for the Arts, Culture & Live Events Sector will be a long standing body with representation on the taskforce for the commercial live events sector relative to the size of the commercial sector versus the state funded sector. 

EPIC’s full Pre-Budget Submission is viewable here:

About EPIC

The Event Production Industry Covid19 Working Group (EPIC) was established in May 2020 in response to the devastating impact of the pandemic on the industry. EPIC is an independently elected group of representatives from all aspects of the Live Entertainment and Events Industry and is a member of the Events Industry Alliance (EIA). 

EPIC is a volunteer-led movement that seeks to give a voice to the 35,000 staff of the wider events industry, those that have spent years in the shadows creating some of the best memories of the citizens of Ireland. We work to ensure that their voices are heard at both local and national level and that the commercial Live Entertainment & Events Sector is recognised as a vital part of both the economy and contemporary Irish society.

The entertainment industry has been decimated by the Covid19 Pandemic. The industry is unique in that it is almost fully shut under government mandate. On September 16th, EPIC launch their Pre-Budget Submission requesting a number of supports for the staff and businesses of the sector. One of the key things you can do to help amplify this message is to mail your TD. All you need to do is click on the link below, select your constituency, fill in your details and hit send.


Photo: Leon Farrell, Photocall Ireland

Music from Stage to Film Seminar

PANEL: Music from Stage to Film
Date: Friday September 18th at 12pm
Duration: 90 mins
Venue: Online
Cost: €0 
Course Profile: Screen Skillnet in partnership with IMRO are pleased to offer Music from Stage to Film – music as a key creative element in the development of stage to film productions.

The panel discussion will look at the creative craft of composing, songwriting and developing musical themes with composers; David Arnold, Anna Rice and Bill Whelan. The panel will be moderated by Screen Composers Guild of Ireland CEO Sarah Glennane.

The session will include a Q&A. We would encourage participants to come armed with their questions.

This panel is being offered free of charge to support the Irish creative screen and music industries impacted by the ongoing situation with COVID-19.


Sarah Glennane
is a music professional with many years experience working in performance and recording music sector and in music for screen. In 2017 Sarah authored An Examination of the Music for film & TV Sector in Ireland report for IMRO/ MCPS Ireland and from this was instrumental in the setting up of the SCGI. Sarah holds a BSc in Marketing with special interest in Marketing the Arts and a certificate in Music Supervision from Beklee College of Music, online. 

David Arnold is a multi award-winning British film and television composer. Best known for his work on blockbuster films such as Independence Day, Stargate and Narnia, he also took over the mantle from John Barry to compose the music for five James Bond films (including Casino Royale, for which he was nominated for a Grammy, a BAFTA and won ‘Best Song’at the World Soundtrack Awards). Other films scores include Godzilla, Shaft, Zoolander, Hot Fuzz, Made In Dagenham, The Inbetweeners, to name but a few. David is also renowned for his work on the hugely successful television series’ Little Britain and Little Britain USA and for co-composing the BAFTA-nominated music for the BBC’s Sherlock. In addition to his film and television work, David wrote the music for the West End production of “Made In Dagenham” which opened in late 2014. In 2012 David was appointed to the prestigious role of Musical Director for the London Olympics and Paralympics Closing Ceremonies and was also involved in one of the highlights of the Jubilee Thames Flotilla; composing a new arrangement of the ‘James Bond theme’ as Queen Elizabeth II passed by the MI6 headquarters. As well as being a world-renowned score composer, David is a highly esteemed artist, record producer, songwriter and conductor who has worked with some of the biggest names in music, including Chrissie Hynde, Iggy Pop, George Michael, Massive Attack, the Kaiser Chiefs, Shirley Manson, Shirley Bassey and Sir Paul McCartney. David has guest-starred in several live concerts over the years, including a tribute to John Barry at The Royal Albert Hall in 2011. A dedicated ambassador for the aid charity CARE International, David has twice produced the spectacular fundraising ‘Concert for CARE’. The first of these took place in 2009 at the Brixton Academy and featured an array of high profile musicians and comedians including Simon Le Bon, Gary Barlow, David Walliams and Dara O’Brian. The second, in 2010 at the Royal Albert Hall, featured the RPO playing music from a range of popular films, accompanied by a host of stars including Paloma Faith, Imogen Heap and Ricky Wilson from The Kaiser Chiefs.​

Anna Rice is a Wicklow based composer and lyricist. Her recent work includes the critically acclaimed Channel 4 (UK) series CHIMERICA (Playground Entertainment, starring Alessandro Nivola, Sophie Okonedo and F. Murray Abraham) as score arranger, producer and conductor. Her live action and documentary scores include the title music to Ian Hislop’s BBC series WHEN BANKERS WERE GOOD and Ian Hislop’s AGE OF THE DO-GOODERS, the multi-award-winning 4 QUEENS (dir. Vittoria Colonna) and TONGAN ARK (dir. Paul Janman). In 2011 She scored the Abbey Theatre and National Theatre’s inaugural collaborative production of JUNO AND THE PAYCOCK (dir. Howard Davies) starring Ciarán Hinds, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and Sinéad Cusack. Her score to Graham Cantwell’s ANTON was nominated for ‘Best Original Score’ in the 2009 IFTAs. As lyricist, Anna’s feature film theme song credits include ‘Eternal Breath’ from CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON: SWORD OF DESTINY (English lyrics) (The Weinstein Co. / Pegasus / Netflix), ‘Take Me To Shanghai’ from THE WASTED TIMES and ‘Brush The Sky’ from MISS PUFF, as well as the title songs for animated series Zombie Hotel (BBC/France 3) and MONDO YAN (Imira/Telegael/Toonz). Anna has scored over two hundred animated episodes for TV broadcast, most recently LUCKY FRED 2 (Imira Entertainment / Telegael / Toonz Entertainment / Televisió de Catalunya / Aeon Entertainment) and CAPTAIN FLINN AND THE PIRATE DINOSAURS (SLR Australia / Telegael / Top Draw /ZDF Enterprises). She works closely with Japanese composer Shigeru Umebayashi as orchestrator and producer, collaborating on feature film scores for THE WASTED TIMES dir. Cheng Er, GOD OF WAR dir. Gordon Chan, the E3 trailer score for GHOST OF TSUSHIMA (Sony Playstation) and also Umebayashi’s violin concerto ‘The Japanese Four Seasons’, commissioned by violinist Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica. Other collaborators for whom Anna has orchestrated include The Chieftains, Cara Dillon and Moxie. Musicians who have recorded and performed Anna’s film scores, arrangements and songs include Lang Lang, Joseph, Jam Hsiao, Coco Lee, the Hollywood Studio Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Kremerata Baltica, the Hallé, the Ulster Orchestra, the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the Irish Film Orchestra, and the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. She has served as a panel judge for the BAFTA TV Awards, Ivor Novello Awards and the Irish Film & Television Awards and on the board of directors of the Screen Composers Guild of Ireland.

Bill Whelan has composed music for theatre, film and orchestra. His 1997 Grammy Award winning music Riverdance continues to be performed around the world and the show is about to embark on a 25th anniversary tour of the United States, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom.  To date, 22 million people have seen Riverdance The Show live. His orchestral work, The Seville Suite was specially commissioned for Expo ’92 and continues to be widely performed. The Spirit Of Mayo, written for orchestra and choir was first performed in 1993 at Dublin’s National Concert Hall. His musical settings of the literary works of Irish writers have been performed widely at home and abroad and include the poetry of WB Yeats, Paul Muldoon, Derek Mahon, Tom McIntyre, Frank McGuinness and Paul Durcan. As a producer in the studio he has worked with U2, Van Morrison, Kate Bush, Richard Harris, The Dubliners, Planxty, Andy Irvine, Davy Spillane and Bulgarian/Irish band, East Wind.  His film work includes music scores for “Dancing At Lughansa” starring Meryl Streep, “Some Mother’s Son” featuring Helen Mirren and “Lamb” with Liam Neeson. The Connemara Suite, a trilogy of pieces composed for chamber orchestra premiered in Carnegie Hall by the Irish Chamber Orchestra in March 2005.  He was commissioned by RTE Lyric FM to write a concerto for flute for Sir James Galway in 2014. Titled Linen & Lace it was performed by the Irish National Symphony Orchestra and subsequently by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The Train musical was inspired by the contraceptive train and the Irish Woman’s Liberation Movement of the 1970’s.  With music by Bill Whelan and lyrics by Arthur Riordan, it was performed as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival in 2015 and returned to the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and The MAC in Belfast in 2017.

Dina Coughlan is a music supervisor based in Ireland who has worked on diverse range projects across film and television.  Dina was the music director for Oprah Winfrey’s Oxygen television network in NYC where she oversaw music placement for all productions and produced live concerts for the network.  After leaving Oxygen, she set up Planet of Sound and worked on projects for Discovery Networks, FUSE, Chevy and The Blue Man Group.  In 2014, she relocated to Ireland and has since worked on a dynamic range of projects including most recently, the films ‘Dating Amber’, ‘Broken Law’, ‘Vivarium’ and ‘The Young Offenders’ (film and TV series) as well as the upcoming TV series ‘Professionals’ and upcoming films ‘French Exit’, ‘Boys from County Hell’ and ‘Deadly Cuts’.

Participant Profile:
This panel is open to established composers, music supervisors, producers and directors who wish to expand their knowledge of the process of composing for the screen.  Participants must have industry track record with at least two professional credits (which can be in television, film or theatre).

Application Procedure:
Please apply by noon on Wednesday Sep 16th, by emailing ei.tenlliksneercs@ylppa attaching a current CV or Bio. Please reference Music from Stage to Film in the subject line.

Minister Martin announces establishment of Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce

Catherine Martin T.D., Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht has announced the establishment of a new Taskforce for the recovery of the Arts and Culture sector under the Chair of Clare Duignan.

The Programme for Government: Our Shared Future, includes a commitment to “establish a cross-departmental taskforce to develop a clear approach, informed by the views of all stakeholders, to protect and sustain the arts and culture sector through the COVID-19 recovery and beyond. This will be fed into the National Economic Plan.”  While the restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus have had an unprecedented effect on society and on the economy, the impact on the arts and culture sector has been more detrimental and will undoubtedly last longer than that of any other sector.

Terms of Reference

The Taskforce will prepare a report for the Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht including a set of recommendations on how best the arts and culture sector can adapt and recover from the unprecedented damage arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.  The sector includes culture, the arts, the audiovisual industry and the live entertainment industry.  Taking as its starting point, the research and evidence of the devastating impact of the pandemic on the sector compiled by the Department, the Arts Council and other stakeholders, the Taskforce will:-

  • adopt a solution-focused approach;
  • seek sector-specific expert input and consult with stakeholders inviting proposals for its consideration;
  • invite additional individuals or expertise to attend meetings on an ad hoc basis, as it deems necessary;
  • focus on providing intelligence and recommendations for an expected on-going and varying impact of COVID-19 restrictions;
  • identify immediate and medium term goals for recovery and sustainability in the sector;
  • identify possible policy initiatives or impediments to a robust sustainable recovery in the sector;
  • recommend whole of Government policy initiatives and actions to support the sector;
  • report to the Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht by the 31 October 2020 in order to provide the Government with an action-plan for the sector.

Composition of Taskforce

The commitment in the Programme for Government speaks to a cross-departmental taskforce and members will be drawn from across Government departments and state bodies, including the Minister’s Department, the Department of Health and Department of Social Protection.  Departmental representation is supplemented by the Arts Council and representatives of culture and the arts including theatre and live music, including the commercial sector.  Full membership will be announced shortly.

Speaking today, Minister Martin said: “The performing arts and live entertainment sector shut down early and it will be among the last sector to re-open fully.  The negative impact on the arts, culture and live entertainment has been well established and quantified over the past five months in research undertaken by the Arts Council and by my Department.  Given that the financial and overall detrimental impact of the crisis on the sector is well established, the Taskforce will propose a suite of solutions and actions to ensure the long term sustainability and health of the sector.  I am delighted that Clare Duignan has agreed to Chair the Taskforce, bringing as she does breadth and depth of knowledge and experience to the role.”

Speaking of her appointment, Ms Duignan said: “It is crucial that these important sectors are not left behind as we rebuild Ireland through the Covid-19 recovery and beyond.  I hope to lead and work with the Taskforce to deliver effective recommendations that will sustain and protect the arts, to help find a way back for artists, performers and live events workers to the audiences and communities they need, and to restore to Irish citizens the creativity and sustenance that the arts and entertainment sectors give us.”

Clare Duignan held key leadership roles at RTÉ for over 20 years, including Head of Independent Productions, Director of Programmes TV, and Managing Director Radio and Performing Groups.  She is currently a board member with IMRO, The Irish Times DAC, The Chester Beatty, Fáilte Ireland, Business to Arts, and Ireland Reaching Out.  She has previously served on the board of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, The Dublin International Film Festival, The Arts Council, and the Abbey Theatre Council, and was Chair of the Advisory Board of ShinAwil Film and Television.  She is a Board Performance Assessor with the Institute of Directors, and a Lead Entrepreneur with Acorns, supporting early stage female entrepreneurs in rural Ireland.

Live Performance and Music Industry Support Packages of €6 million announced by Minister Martin

The Minister for Culture, Arts, Media, Tourism, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin T.D., has launched a number of new music and performance support schemes to aid employment in the creative industries given the unprecedented nature of the challenge facing the music and live performance sectors owing to Covid-19 restrictions.

An allocation of €5 million is being made available under the “Live Performance Support Scheme” which aims to assist commercial venues, producers and promoters of live performances and provide employment to workers in the creative industries.  The scheme will help to de-risk the costs of preparing for new productions which may subsequently have to be postponed, cancelled or curtailed due to restrictions to safeguard public health. The main objective of the scheme is to provide employment opportunities in the ticketed performance sector and allow commercial organisers of live performances to commence preparations immediately and productions to go ahead in the near future while also complying with public health protection measures. This scheme has been developed following consultation with the sector and will be managed directly by the Department.

A further support package, the “Music Stimulus Package”, involves three funding schemes designed to help sustain the popular and commercial music sector across all music genres, including rock, pop, hip hop, indie, jazz, country and western and traditional and folk.  Under this package, a fund of €1,000,000 is being put in place to stimulate areas of work which artists would usually fund with income from own sources including live event fees.

The music support schemes are targeted at professional musicians and their teams and will support song writing camps, recording and album releases.  The aim is to ensure that Irish musicians, engineers, PR, media, agents, labels and publishers can continue to develop and share their work in the context of COVID restrictions. The Music Stimulus Package schemes will be managed on behalf of the Department by First Music Contact and will be subject to peer panel assessment.

Announcing the new measure of support Minister Catherine Martin said:

“I am conscious of the unprecedented nature of the challenge facing live performance promoters and producers, not least from a financial point of view and accordingly am pleased to announce this funding response that will assist established commercial venues and promoters to employ performers, artists, technicians, creative and performance support staff up to the end of 2020 in anticipation of the return of audiences to live performance.  Further, to help ensure the survival and revival of the music industry in Ireland, I am announcing the introduction of a number of schemes which have been designed to provide incentives for creating new work, the recording of new music from all music genres and the promotion and release of work, which might not otherwise happen in 2020.  These schemes will also support the music professionals who work with artists and facilitate music performance, recording and album release.”

Key features of the these Support Schemes include-

  • Support the creation of employment opportunities in the culture, creative and music industries.
  • Address the large gap left by the absence of income from live performances
  • Support performances/work that will commence on or before 31 December 2020.
  • Support commercial venues, producers and promoters in the culture sector (e.g. music, entertainment and theatre).
  • Support the music professionals and aim to ensure that Irish musicians, engineers, PR, media, agents, labels and publishers can continue to develop and share their work in the context of COVID restrictions.

Applications can be made immediately.

Application Form and Guidelines for “Live Performance Support Scheme” may be accessed here.

Application Form and Guidelines for “Music Stimulus Package” may be accessed here.

IMRO Radio Awards 2020 Shortlist Revealed

In a year when radio has shown its continuing importance to Irish life, today the IMRO Radio Awards 2020 shortlist has been revealed. 673 entries were received for this year’s Awards, an increase on 2019.  Due to government guidelines, there will be a Virtual Live Stream event on Friday 2nd October 2020 in place of the usual gala dinner.

Last week the 105 judges led by Chair of the Judges, Peter McPartlin, spent over 42 hours on Zoom narrowing down the entries to form the shortlist. Peter and the judges commented the outstanding creativity and broadcasting quality this year particularly through the difficulties of lockdown when so many radio programmes were being broadcast from the homes across the country to the homes of listeners. The quality of the entries from all over the island of Ireland can be seen in this year’s outstanding shortlist. 

Commenting, Chair of the IMRO Radio Awards committee, Chris Doyle said “Radio has had some of its finest moments over the last twelve months.  We are delighted to celebrate the work of all those involved in the industry this year as much as any other year.  We’ve shared the good news and the bad news stories, but we’ve always been there for the listeners.”

Chairperson of Awards title sponsors IMRO Eleanor McEvoy said ““In the bizarre times of the COVID-19 pandemic, radio has kept us entertained, kept us informed and kept us sane. We now have an obligation to keep everyone safe, so we are very much looking forward to taking the radio awards online on October 2nd to celebrate the excellence and creativity of broadcasters from right throughout Ireland. We would like to congratulate those of you who have been shortlisted and we wish you the very best of luck for the awards ceremony.” 

Michael O’Keefe Chief Executive of sponsor Broadcasting Authority of Ireland said “The BAI is once again delighted to support the annual IMRO Radio Awards. 2020 has seen the most challenging times for the radio sector for many years. It is to the tremendous credit of the sector that it has continued to deliver top quality programming to its listeners throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. This would not be possible without the station personnel who deliver such a wide and diverse range of high quality programming every day. The BAI congratulates all the nominees for their continued excellence in serving the listening public in Ireland with great radio and we wish them all the best of luck on the Awards night in October”

IMRO Radio Awards 2020 Shortlist
 Category title:Shortlist:Station
A1General Music Programme98FM’s The Fix with Ciaran O’Connor98FM
  Dermot and DaveToday FM
  Lunchtime with Mairéad RonanToday FM
  The Saturday Soundtrack with Peter DevlinRadio Nova
  The Zoo Crew on SPINSPIN1038
A2Specialist Music ProgrammeCéilí HouseRTÉ Radio 1
  Ed’s National AnthemsToday FM
  The Paul McLoone ShowToday FM
  The Tom Dunne ShowNewstalk
A3Breakfast Programme2fm Breakfast with Doireann and EoghanRTÉ 2fm
  FM104’s Strawberry Alarm ClockFM104
  Fully Charged with Graham and NathanSPIN1038
  KC and Ross in the Morning on Cork’s 96fmCork’s 96FM
  The Ian Dempsey Breakfast ShowToday FM
A4Music Special / Music EventÉirevisioniRadio
  Foyle at 40 GalaBBC Radio Foyle
  Fully Charged’s Rugby World Cup SongSPIN1038
  The Sailortown SessionsBBC Radio Ulster
  Tracy Clifford’s Studio 8 with Dermot KennedyRTÉ 2fm
A5Irish Music Programme or Initiative98FM’s Totally Irish98FM
  ATL IntroducingBBC Radio Ulster
  Gradaim Cheoil NÓSRTÉ Raidió Na Gaeltachta
  Irishbeats on Beat 102-103Beat 102-103
  Vicar Street RepluggedOcean fm  
B1News Story/News EventFarmers at the GatesShannonside
  Matt Damon in DalkeySPIN1038
  Owen Mor Care Home ScandalBBC Radio Foyle
  Polish Poitin – The Neil Prendeville Show on Cork’s Red FMCork’s RedFM
  (Un) Just TransitionMidlands 103
  Unprecedented TimesBBC Radio Ulster
B2News Programme – Full ServiceBreakfast Briefing with Andrea GilliganNewstalk
  Evening ExtraBBC Radio Ulster
  Newstalk Breakfast with Susan KeoghNewstalk
  This Week Special Report – Carers and Covid-19RTÉ Radio 1
B3News Programme – Local / RegionalDowntown Radio and Cool FM News TeamDowntown Radio and Cool FM
  Main Lunchtime News – Cork’s 96FMCork’s 96FM
  News at OneShannonside FM
  The Breakfast ShowBBC Radio Foyle
B4Current Affairs Programme – Full ServiceBetween The LinesNewstalk
  Good Morning UlsterBBC Radio Ulster
  Saturday with Cormac Ó hEadhra – Rationing PPE in Nursing HomesRTÉ Radio 1
  The Hard ShoulderNewstalk
  The Pat Kenny ShowNewstalk
B5Current Affairs Programme – Local / RegionalCorkToday – The Farm, The Land, The BeefC103 Cork
  Deise Today on WLRWLR FM
  Kerry TodayRadio Kerry
  South East Radio’s Morning MixSouth East Radio
  The Morning Show with Declan MeehanEast Coast FM
B6Sports StoryIreland at the Rugby World CupNewstalk
  Michael O’Hehir – Remembered at 100RTÉ Radio 1
  Roy Keane and Gary NevilleNewstalk
  The Clara Jug – Four Days in PortrushRTÉ Radio 1
  UnBEATableBeat 102 103
B7Sports Programme – Full ServiceDublin’s 5 In a Row (Saturday Sport)RTE Radio 1
  Off The BallNewstalk
  Off The Ball LiveNewstalk
  Remembering O’Hehir – The Voice of SportRTE Radio 1
  The Clara Jug – Four Days In PortrushRTE Radio 1
B8Sports Programme – Local/RegionalBig Ball Small Ball with Valerie WheelerSpin South West
  98FM’s Now That’s What I Call Sport with Jamie Moore98FM
  Foyle SportsoundBBC Radio Foyle
  Terrace TalkRadio Kerry
  Weekend SportsRadio Kerry
C1DocumentaryBorn this Way – a Documentary on BeatBeat 102 103
  Breast Cancer and meWLR FM
  Documentary on One: The Case of Majella MoynihanRTE Radio 1
  Documentary on One: Benjy the Little Gay BullRTE Radio 1
  Egg MoneyCurious Broadcast/Newstalk
  In Search of Horrid HenryGalway Bay FM
C2Arts, Music & Culture DocumentaryANIMALS: FleaRTE Radio 1 Extra
  Documentary on One – The WhistleblowerRTE Radio 1
  Liam Clancy – The Road Less Travelled on WLRWLR FM
  The Arts Show – Surrealism SpecialBBC Radio Ulster
  The Lyric Feature: Ethel Voynich – Music, Mystery and ManuscriptsRTE Lyric FM
C3Short FeatureBig Breakfast Little Stories on WLRWLR FM
  Dublin Inner City Regeneration SeriesRTÉ Radio 1
  Jonathan Healy ReportsNewstalk
  Keywords – Am I?/Common GroundRTÉ Radio 1 Extra
  Women’s BitsKCLR
C4Magazine ProgrammeCountrywideRTÉ Radio 1
  SPIN1038’s Plan BSPIN1038
  The John Toal ShowBBC Radio Ulster
  The Open DoorMidlands 103
C5DramaDrama On One – Christie by Sean O’GormanRTE Radio 1
  Drama On One – Eureka Dunes by Philip DavisonRTE Radio 1
  Drama On One – Krakow by Peter SirrRTE Radio 1
  Drama On One – Leaba an Bháis le Darach Mac Con IomaireRTE Radio 1
  YouthQuake on WLRWLR FM
C6Specialist Speech ProgrammeAll This Happened, Chapter 2: We Shall OvercomeRTE Radio 1
  Awesome Irish Women…from the Past! (Episode 5: Fighters)RTE Jnr Radio
  Musical Map of IrelandRTE Radio 1
  KerrywideRadio Kerry
C7Craoltóireacht le GaeilgeÁr bPéire – Dónall Mac RuairíRTÉ Raidió Na Gaeltachta
  BladhaireRTÉ Raidió Na Gaeltachta
  Blas Ceoil (O.B. Bóthar Seoighe)BBC Radio Uladh
  Ceol AnochtKCLR
C8Interactive Speech Programme98FM’s Dublin Talks98FM
  Love At First Sight – The Neil Prendeville Show – Cork’s RedFMCorks Red FM
  Lunchtime LiveNewstalk
  The Green Door – North West TodayOcean fm
  The Nolan ShowBBC Radio Ulster
D1Community/Social ActionCash for Kids Day 2019Downtown/Cool FM
  FM104’s Mind Your NogginFM104
  Formal FridayCommunicorp Media
  Living with a DisabilityNewstalk
  Shine Your LightRTE Radio 1
D2On-Air Competition / PromotionFully Charged’s Gotta Get It WrongSPIN1038
  Gone in 96 Seconds – Cork’s 96FMCork’s 96FM
  Leap of Faith on BeatBeat 102-103
  Noni’s Chawwwwklit Chase – Dermot and Dave on Today FMToday FM
  Two Minute TalesBBC Radio Ulster
D3Station Imaging98FM98FM
  RTÉ 2fmRTÉ 2fm
D4Entertainment InsertsAsk Audrey on Dave Mac’s DriveCork’s RedFM
  FM104’s Strawberry Alarm ClockFM104
  Gift Grub – The Ian Dempsey Breakfast ShowToday FM
  KC and Ross in the Morning on Cork’s 96FM – The Ten Past 8 BitCork’s 96FM
  Kilian PettitCork’s RedFM
D5Digital and Social InnovationDermot and Dave’s Live Date-Today FMToday FM
  The Exit PollOcean fm
  Today FM Know It All Ireland QuizToday FM
  Virtual Concert for Essential WorkersClare fm
D6Podcast of the Year98FM’s Nobody Told Me98FM
  EcolutionRTE Radio Jnr
  Getting Away With MurderBBC Radio Ulster
  Graham and Nathan’s Little Big PodcastSpin 1038
  The Nobody ZoneRTE Radio 1
E1Music and Entertainment Presenter of the YearColm HayesRadio Nova
  Dermot WhelanToday FM
  Jim-Jim NugentFM104
  KC on Cork’s 96FMCork’s 96FM
  Ray FoleyCork’s Red FM
E2Radio DJ of the YearBarry Dunne98FM
  David HammondBEAT 102 103
  Emma NolanFM104
  Jessica MacielToday FM
  Kayte O’MalleyiRadio
E3Specialist Music Broadcaster of the YearJohn ToalBBC Radio Ulster
  Kieran McGuinnessRadio Nova
  Stephen McCauleyBBC Radio Ulster
  Stuart BanfordDowntown Country
  Tom DunneNewstalk
E4News Broadcaster of the YearEamonn TorsneyNewstalk
  Elaine McGeeBBC Radio Foyle
  Fionnuala CorbettiRadio
  Gavin McLoughlinNewstalk
  Susan KeoghNewstalk
E5News Reporter of the YearCian McCormackRTÉ Radio 1
  Damien Tiernan on WLRWLR FM
  Helen JonesBBC Radio Ulster
  John CookeRTÉ Radio 1
  Kacey O’Riordan98FM
E6Sports Broadcaster of the Year – Full ServiceJoe MolloyNewstalk
  Máire Treasa Ní CheallaighNewstalk
  Marie CroweRTÉ 2FM
  Nathan MurphyNewstalk
  Nikki GreggBBC Radio Ulster
E7Sports Broadcaster of the Year – Local / RegionalAustin O’CallaghanOcean FM
  Eric WhiteBBC Radio Foyle
  Luke LiddyLive 95
  Sean McCaffreyShannonside Northern Sound
  Trevor WelchCork’s 96FM
E8Speech Broadcaster of the Year – Full ServiceCiara KellyNewstalk
  Damien O’ReillyRTE Radio 1
  Ivan YatesNewstalk
  Kieran CuddihyNewstalk
  Mario RosenstockToday FM
E9Speech Broadcaster of the Year – Local / RegionalDamien Tiernan on WLRWLR FM
  Gerry KellyLMFM
  The Neil Prendeville Show – Cork’s RedFMCork’s Red FM
  Niall DelaneyOcean FM
  South East Radio’s Alan CorcoranSouth East Radio
E10The Gay Byrne Award – Newcomer of the Year AwardBrendan BrackeniRadio
  Ciarán BennettiRadio
  Connor BrennanGo Q Radio
  Maxine BramleyLive 95fm
  Michelle HeffernanBEAT 102 103
  Sarah McKinleyDowntown and Cool FM
F1Radio Moment of the YearConor’s Magical Funeral – The Neil Prendeville Show – Cork’s Red FMCork’s Red FM
  Matt Damon on SPIN1038SPIN 1038
  OTB Roadshow – Roy Keane and Gary NevilleNewstalk
  So long, farewell: Brexit Party MEPs depart from Brussels.BBC Radio Foyle
  The Francie Boylan ShowOcean FM

A Government Roadmap for the Arts & Culture Sector is Essential for its Survival

The arts and culture sector is experiencing enormous challenges and a very real threat to its existence right now.  A comprehensive and robust government roadmap for the sector is critical at this time if we are to successfully navigate through this crisis.

Contradictory statements released yesterday by the Department of Health and the Department Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has resulted in a lot of confusion and frustration within the arts community in relation to what is now permissible in terms of live music events and cultural activities.

Closer engagement with the sector by various Government Departments is vital at this time to ensure Arts and Culture forms a key component of the national  Roadmap for Resilience and Recovery Plan, due for publication on 13th September.  This would provide greater certainty to the many thousands of people working within the sector and at the very least allow them to plan forward.

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