This evening Tuesday 21st February, Joe.ie’s Paddy McKenna hosted the much-anticipated ninth IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year Awards at the Irish Music Rights Organisation Headquarters in Dublin.
The award for National Live Music Venue of the Year 2016 (via public vote) went to the National Opera House, Wexford.
Of the annual awards voted by over 11,500 IMRO members Victor Finn, IMRO Chief Executive 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”.
Other winners in the regional categories include
Dublin – Vicar Street
Rest of Leinster – Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny
Connacht – The Quays, Galway
Munster – Coughlan’s, Cork
Ulster – Voodoo, Letterkenny, Co Donegal
Also nabbing accolades for IMRO Music Festival of the Year and IMRO Small Live Music Festival 2016 were Sea Sessions and Kilkenny Tradfest respectively.
The Olympia Theatre picked up the award for IMRO Tech Crew of the Year.
The IMRO Outstanding Contribution to Live Music accolade was awarded to the late Frank Murray (manager for Thin Lizzy & The Pogues) who sadly passed away in December 2016. The award was presented on the night to Frank’s daughter Shannon Murray.
Performances on the night came from Soulé, Jafaris and Overhead, The Albatross.
Hot Press Editor Niall Stokes also gave special commendations, presenting awards to The Olympia Theatre, Dublin / Mike The Pies, Listowel and Boyle’s of Slane.
He said: “It has been an outstanding year for live music in Ireland. That is, of course, true in relation to what is happening in the big venues, like The Olympia Theatre, which has just been refurbished with spectacular results, and at festivals – which are so important to the ongoing health of Irish music. But from the point of view of working Irish musicians, it is really encouraging also to see the emergence of venues in smaller towns around the country, where they can go and gig – and both find an audience and earn their wages. Which is why I am so pleased to have presented awards tonight to Mike The Pies in Listowel and Boyle’s of Slane. It is the hard work and dedication of the people who make things happen in venues and bars like these – and countless others around the country – that make all the difference. Long may they flourish.”
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.