A new initiative, Irish Music Month, has been announced by Hot Press and the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI). It will run throughout the month of October.
Twenty-five independent radio stations from all over Ireland have signed up for what is the biggest ever programming event undertaken by local stations, since the foundation of independent radio in Ireland, in 1989. The event is supported by the BAI, under its Sound & Vision scheme.
Other supporters of the project include IMRO, XL Retail group, MCD Concerts and RAAP.
With the joint input of twenty-five independent radio stations, and Hot Press as a national anchor, the whole event will see stations:
– Assist in the national campaign to support the live music industry in Ireland from grass roots upwards
– Play more Irish music, in all its wonderful diversity – and provide a significant additional boost for the profile and status of Irish artists
– Help to generate a fresh buzz of excitement about the work of Irish artists, musicians and performers
– Run a major national talent search, under the A New Local Hero banner, that will involve the direct payment of €100k to Irish artists
– Assist in boosting sales of Irish merchandising and other band and artist products through a major free on-air advertising campaign
– Create additional exposure for Irish artists in Hot Press and across other Irish and international media
“Irish Music Month is a huge statement of support for Irish musicians and artists by Ireland’s independent radio stations and by the BAI,” Hot Press editor Niall Stokes said. “The support from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland for the initiative is hugely welcome. We are also thrilled with the level of support and commitment shown by Ireland’s independent stations, with a massive 25 radio stations getting involved.”
John Purcell, chair of IBI, welcomed the initiative as an opportunity for stations to show the unique power of radio in Ireland. “I was really pleased at just how enthusiastic everyone was about getting involved in Irish Music Month,” John Purcell said. “I believe it is going to a powerful and hugely beneficial initiative. The past 18 months have been very difficult for Irish musicians and for the events industry. If we learned anything from the pandemic, it is that we are all stronger if we support one another, and so all of twenty-five independent stations are stepping up to the plate now and doing their bit to support Irish artists – and hopefully to speed up the recovery of a sector that is vital to Irish life. It is an opportunity for radio stations, which are so important to their local communities and audiences, to show what they can do – and they will really relish that.”
The benefits of Irish Music Month for artists are immense.
Numerous Irish artists have already recorded messages of support for Irish Music Month, including recent Hot Press cover stars James Vincent McMorrow, Andrea Corr and Elijah Hewson of Inhaler, as well as The Script, Kodaline, Una Healy, Villagers, Soule, Mary Black – and many more.
“Irish Music Month requires a huge commitment from every individual station, and from the staff, programme makers and broadcasters,” Niall Stokes added. “But I think this is a moment, when that kind of collective action, supporting our artists and musicians – who haven’t been able to work for all of 18 months – is especially important. Hopefully it will have a really positive impact, after what has been a very difficult time for live music, and for the musicians who make it.”
The IBI is the representative body for Ireland’s independent commercial radio broadcasters. Its stations broadcast to 2.449 million listeners across Ireland every day. They include national, multi-city, regional and local radio stations. 25 of these stations have committed to taking part in Irish Music Month.
This project is unique in bringing the power and the reach of 25+ of these stations together for the first time.
The full list of stations participating in Irish Music Month is:
East Coast Radio FM104
Galway Bay FM
Limerick Live 95
Midlands Radio 3
Mid West Radio
Spin South West
South East Radio