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, week in, week out.
More than 8,000 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 most 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 pivotal 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 announcement, Victor Finn CEO of IMRO said “A strong live music circuit is the lifeblood of a vibrant music industry. It is important that we acknowledge those venue owners and festivals promoters whose commitment, passion and support for live music throughout the country enables music creators to continue making the music we all enjoy”.
At the ceremony in IMRO HQ in Dublin on February 26th, 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 Music Festival of the Year and IMRO Best Small Festival of the Year Award will also be presented on the night. One overall award will be presented with 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 http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/imrovenueawards and choose their favourite from the shortlist provided, by February 19th. One lucky voter will win an iPod Touch digital music player.
The Hot Press Live Music Venue of the Year Readers Poll will also be part of the awards and Hot Press fans can vote at www.hotpress.com/readerspoll
“Ireland has a wonderfully vibrant music scene right now,” Niall Stokes, editor of Hot Press said, “with a whole new wave of fresh talent coming through. But they are facing into a very difficult environment, with sales of CDs and records having fallen dramatically. Which makes it more important than ever before that we have great venues all over Ireland in which our songwriters, artists and bands can build their audiences and their experience. “The votes from the public for our best venues have been flooding in on hotpress.com, confirming that live music is at the heart of the music business right now. That’s why the IMRO Live Music Venue Awards are so important, as a way of rewarding and nurturing excellence.”
The IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year Awards have become an important badge of merit for venues across the country since its inception in 2008. Mary Hickson, CEO of Cork Opera House (IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year 2011) said “Any national award is a serious achievement, and one that is judged by peers and audience members means even more. Our IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year Award was very simply the highlight of our year. As an industry award, for us it meant that all of our hard work was recognized and that judgement one which we are very proud of.”
IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year Awards 2012 Shortlist
IMRO Dublin Live Music Venue of the Year 2012
Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin 2
The O2, Dublin 1
The Draiocht Theatre, Dublin 15
The Grand Social, Dublin 1
The Olympia, Dublin 2
IMRO Rest of Leinster Live Music Venue of the Year 2012
The Set Theatre, Kilkenny
TLT, Drogheda, Co. Louth
Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, Co. Wicklow
Wexford Arts Centre, Wexford
Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge, Co. Kildare
IMRO Connacht Live Music Venue of the Year 2012
The Dock Theatre, Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim
Roisin Dubh, Galway
Linenhall Arts Centre, Mayo
Roscommon Arts Centre, Co. Roscommon
IMRO Munster Live Music Venue of the Year 2012
Glor Irish Music Centre, Ennis, Co. Clare
Crane Lane Theatre, Cork
Cork Opera House, Cork
DeBarras, Clonakilty, Co. Cork
University Concert Hall, Limerick
IMRO Ulster Live Music Venue of the Year 2012
Allingham Arms Hotel, Bundoran, Co Donegal
An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal
An Poc Fada, Monaghan
McGrorys, Culdaff, Co. Donegal
The Abbey Hotel, Donegal Town, Co. Donegal
IMRO Live Music Festival of the Year 2012
Live @ The Marquee Cork
Westport Music & Performing Arts Festival
Templebar Trad Festival
Festival of the Fires
Galway Arts Festival
Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann Cavan