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IMRO celebrates Ireland’s best live music venues

The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) held its 11th Live Music Venue of the Year Awards in Dublin this week.

The Irish performing rights society held the ceremony at its headquarters in the country’s capital, celebrating the nation’s best venues, festivals and tech crews. Over 12,500 IMRO members voted for the awards. The ceremony was hosted by Paddy McKenna, the editor of Ireland’s male-targeted news website, Joe.ie.

The Irish public voted to crown Dublin’s multi-purpose arts venue, the Sugar Club (350-cap.), as the national venue of the year.

In the regional categories, Dundalk pub the Spirit Store (230-cap.) won the prize for best venue in Leinster outside of Dublin, Monroe’s (180-cap.) in Galway was the best of Connacht and the An Grianán Theatre (383-cap.) won Ulster’s best venue. Live at St Luke’s in Cork, a live music venue in a former church, won the prize for Munster.

Other awards went to the nation’s best music festival (All Together Now, 15,000-cap.), best small music festival (Wexford Spiegeltent festival, 1,200-cap.) and best tech crew (Olympia Theatre, Dublin).

“We’re privileged in Ireland to have such a vibrant and eclectic live music scene, which is the backbone of the music industry as a whole”

Joe Clarke, the co-founder of CWD, a music-focused production, management and promotion company based in Dublin won the outstanding contribution to live music accolade. CWD currently manages Dublin rock band Bitch Falcon, Cork singer songwriter Jack O’Rourke and Irish producer and DJ Mark McCabe.

“We’re privileged in Ireland to have such a vibrant and eclectic live music scene, which is the backbone of the music industry as a whole,” says IMRO chief executive Victor Finn. “We feel it is vital to acknowledge the venues and festivals who support live music from a musician’s first performance right through to internationally known headline artists on main stages.”

Irish music and politics magazine, Hot Press, named Mike the Pies (100-cap.) in Listowel as its live venue of the year. The publication’s editor, Niall Stokes, also gave special commendations to Live at St Luke’s and the Chasin’ Bull in Bundoran.

Stokes says it is a “hugely optimistic moment for Irish music”, with “an extraordinary talent pool” represented at the awards.

“It is a deep love of music – as well as an entrepreneurial spirit and a sense of fun – which inspires a great venue,” says Stokes.


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