IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year Awards Winners

February 26, 2019

Tonight, Tuesday 26th February,’s Paddy McKenna hosted the always highly anticipated IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year Awards, now in its eleventh year, at the Irish Music Rights Organisation Headquarters in Dublin.

The award for National Live Music Venue of the Year 2018 (via public vote) went to The Sugar Club, Dublin.

Of the annual awards voted by over 12,500 IMRO members Victor Finn, IMRO Chief Executive said “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. 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. It is these venues and festivals across the country that allow music creators to continue making music and bring it to new audiences.”

Other winners in the regional categories include

Dublin – The Sugar Club, Dublin

Rest of Leinster –  The Spirit Store, Dundalk, Co. Louth

Connacht – Monroe’s, Galway

Munster – Live at St Luke’s,  Cork

Ulster –  An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

Also nabbing accolades for IMRO Live Music Festival of the Year and IMRO Small Live Music Festival 2018 were All Together Now and Wexford Spiegeltent Festival respectively.

Olympia Theatre, 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 Joe Clarke, co-founder of CWB, a music focused management and production company with offices in Dublin and a residential production studio in Co. Tipperary. With a background in venue ownership and management, together with partners Paul Webb and Paul Boland he opened CWB in 2008 with the Rubberbandits being their first management client. Following their worldwide success, the company expanded adding The Strypes and Le Galaxie to their roster. Currently, CWB manages Bitch Falcon, The Blizzards, Mark Mc Cabe, RSAG, Jack O’Rourke, Kormac, Stomptown Brass, Maud in Cahoots, Jerry Fish, Montauk Hotel, Thumper, Paddy Dennehy and more.

Performances on the night came from Pillow QueensMoncrieff and Inhaler.

Hot Press Editor Niall Stokes also gave special commendations, presenting awards to Mike the Pies, Listowel Hot Press Live Venue of the Year for 2018, Live at St. Luke’s, Cork and The Chasin’ Bull, Bundoran.

He said: “This is a hugely optimistic moment for Irish music. There is an extraordinary talent pool here. A growing number of artists and bands are releasing music of real heft. And as a result Irish artists are achieving significant successes beyond these shores in greater numbers than ever before. But it is still extremely difficult for musicians to earn a living. Which is why a vibrant live music scene is so important.

Hot Press is really proud to be part of the IMRO Live Music Venue Awards. The purpose of the awards is to celebrate the contribution made by the people who run venues and book shows all over Ireland. Over the past few years, we have seen a resurgence in live gigs – which is reflected in the venues that Hot Press is honouring tonight. It is a deep love of music – as well as an entrepreneurial spirit and a sense of fun – which inspires a great venue like Mike The Pies in Listowel. And the same is true, in different ways, of the people behind Live at St. Luke’s in Cork and The Chasin’ Bull in Bundoran. Long may they – and venues like them – continue to thrive.”

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 2018 Winners

IMRO National Live Venue of the Year 2018 – The Sugar Club, Dublin

IMRO Dublin Live Music Venue of the Year 2018 – The Sugar Club, Dublin  

IMRO Rest of Leinster Live Music Venue of the Year 2018 – The Spirit Store, Dundalk, Co. Louth

IMRO Connacht Live Music Venue of the Year 2018 – Monroe’s, Galway

IMRO Munster Live Music Venue of the Year 2018 – Live at St Luke’s, Cork

IMRO Ulster Live Music Venue of the Year 2018 – An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

IMRO Music Festival of the Year 2018 – All Together Now

IMRO Small Music Festival of the Year 2018 – Wexford Spiegeltent Festival

IMRO Tech Crew of the Year Award 2018 – Olympia Theatre, Dublin

Hot Press Live Venue of the Year for 2018 – Mike the Pies, Listowel with special Hot Press commendations going to Live at St Luke’s, Cork and The Chasin’ Bull, Bundoran.

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