Last night, Tuesday 20th February, Joe.ie’s Paddy McKenna hosted the much-anticipated tenth 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 2017 (via public vote) went to Mike The Pies, Listowel Co Kerry.
Of the annual awards voted by over 12,000 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 – Whelan’s
Rest of Leinster – The Set Theatre
Connacht – Roisin Dubh
Munster – Connolly’s Of Leap
Ulster – Leo’s Tavern
Also nabbing accolades for IMRO Music Festival of the Year and IMRO Small Live Music Festival 2017 were Electric Picnic and Another Love Story respectively.
Vicar St, Dublin picked up the award for IMRO Tech Crew of the Year.
The IMRO Outstanding Contribution to Live Music accolade was awarded this year to Willie Meighan, formally proprietor of Rollercoaster Records in Kilkenny, who sadly passed away in November 2017, aged just 48. Willie’s beloved partner Aisling and Willie’s family members were at the ceremony to accept this special Award.
Performances on the night came from Le Boom, Chasing Abbey and Wild Youth.
Hot Press Editor Niall Stokes also gave special commendations, presenting awards to Vicar St Hot Press Live Venue of the Year for 2018 / INEC, Killarney and Kavanagh’s of Portlaoise.
He said: “This is a hugely exciting time for Irish music. We are continuing to produce singers, songwriters and bands capable of taking on the world, working in a wide variety of styles and genres. The likes of Loah, Lankum, David Keenan, Jafaris and Hudson Taylor – to name just a few of our new breed of hopefuls – are all very special artists. It is particularly exciting to see Rejjie Snow becoming the first real global breakthrough Irish hip hop artist.
“What’s especially encouraging is that live music is also flourishing all over Ireland. New venues have been opening. Older ones have been resurgent. People are investing serious money in making things happen.
“In all of this it is really important that venues are musician friendly – which is such a central part of the appeal of the Hot Press Live Venue of the Year for 2018, Vicar Street. It is also true of a more traditional venue like Kavanagh’s of Portlaoise, which has made great strides over the past 12 months; and of the INEC in Killarney, which successfully caters for big international acts as well as local heroes. Both of these venues are the recipients of Special Commendations from Hot Press and its readers. A big congratulations and well done to all.”
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.
IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year 2017 Winners
IMRO National Live Venue of the Year 2017 – Mike the Pies, Listowel
IMRO Dublin Live Music Venue of the Year 2017 – Whelan’s
IMRO Rest of Leinster Live Music Venue of the Year 2017 – The Set Theatre, Kilkenny
IMRO Connacht Live Music Venue of the Year 2017 – Roisin Dubh, Galway
IMRO Munster Live Music Venue of the Year 2017 – Connolly’s Of Leap, Cork
IMRO Ulster Live Music Venue of the Year 2017 – Leo’s Tavern, Donegal
IMRO Music Festival of the Year 2017 – Electric Picnic
IMRO Small Music Festival of the Year 2017 – Another Love Story
IMRO Tech Crew of the Year Award 2017 – Vicar St, Dublin
Hot Press Live Venue of the Year for 2018 – Vicar St with special Hot Press commendations going to the INEC, Killarney and Kavanagh’s of Portlaoise.
Photo by Ruth Medjber – Aiden O’ Connor from Mike The Pies