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IMRO Live Music Venue Awards 2023 Performer Announcement

February 27, 2023

The 2023 edition of the IMRO Live Music Venue Awards takes place on Tuesday, 14th March in The Sugar Club, Dublin.

IMRO is delighted to announce live performances on the night from Negro Impacto, Bricknasty, Skinner & DJ Mona Lxsa.

The annual awards celebrate the dedication and passion of those who work in Ireland’s live music venues, providing the public with an exceptional live music experience on a weekly basis.

We have a limited number of guest list places available for this event – please email if you would like to attend.

Negro Impacto

Issey Goold

Negro Impacto are a Dundalk duo comprising of vocalist-songwriter Chi Chi and producer, multi-instrumentalist Laurence (aka StrangeLove). The pair quickly gained attention in the Irish music scene thanks to their unique neo-soul sound, groovy sets and youthful energy. Named as part of the ‘2FM Rising’ class of 2023 and ones to watch across many outlets, the duo are in for an incredible year.

The sound of Negro Impacto is alternative neo-soul with elements of RnB, rock and funk – as heard in their self titled debut E.P. Their music has been compared to the likes of The Internet and Steve Lacy and you can hear elements of inspiration from Erykah Badu and WILLOW in Chi Chi’s dreamy vocals. In terms of production, multi-instrumentalist Laurence quotes DJ Harrison and Arthur Verocai as a definite influence on his style.

Negro Impacto’s live set is an eclectic mix of incredible musicianship, inventive live arrangements by Laurence and of course, infectious vocals and interactions by Chi Chi. 2022 saw the band’s first festival season, where they wowed audiences across stages at Electric Picnic, Forbidden Fruit, All Together Now, Another Love Story and more. Negro Impacto were also selected for Ireland Music Week 2022 and have played at showcases with District Magazine, Nialler9, Mo Cultivation, Artists Against Homelessness (curated by Kojaque) and opened for a range of artists such as Denise Chaila, Aby Coulibaly and The Mary Wallopers.


Rapidly becoming one of the most talked about live acts in Ireland, Bricknasty emerged from Ballymun at the beginning of 2020 as a lockdown studio project that has developed into a band taking in members from across the country – singer and guitarist Fatboy, drummer Korey Thomas, sax / keys player Louis Younge and bassist Dara Abdurahman. Featured in District Magazine’s Future of Irish music 2021 feature and described by BBC Radio 1’s Jack Saunders as his favourite type of jazz mixed with every other genre under the sun, they draw influence from Neo-Soul while putting their boisterous and eclectic nature on full display. From infectious energy and soulful chords to its soft, woozy vocals, the band combine R&B, hip-hop and an anarchic musical approach that stems from singer Fatboy’s roots in the Balbutcher Lane flats and exposure to a range of cultures, from traditional ballads to hip-hop, rave and 90s garage. In tandem with producer Skidmark and paired with a tight knit group of musical peers – Tebi Rex, Khakikid, Tomike, Ahmed With Love and DeCarteret – they are set on bringing their brand of sardonic, neo-soul to a broader, younger Irish audience while staying true to the classic artists that have informed their music. 2022 saw the band split their time between the studio and a series of gigs around the country, including hosting their own Bricknasty Sessions residency at the Sugar Club with a series of special guests, gigs in London and Dublin with Maverick Sabre, support on Cordae’s Irish tour and slots at Ireland Music Week, Other Voices and Cork Jazz Festival. The release of the track ‘Ina Crueler’ in September brought them to a wider audience via major Spotify playlists and media support. 2023 began with a packed show at Eurosonic festival and they will release new music via the FAMM label (home to Jorja Smith, Maverick Sabre and Enny).


Niamh Barry

Skinner is a DIY slouch rock musician based in Dublin who writes, records and produces songs about growing up and overcoming a dirt-flecked 21st century existence.

The DNA of no wave and post-punk acts like The B52s, James Chance and the Contortions and ESG through to alt-rock touchstones Pixies and Morphine combined with a talent for grunge-nodding self-production and pockets of elevated instrumentation is oozing from Skinner’s music.

DJ Mona Lxsa

The IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year Awards are now a firm fixture on the Irish music calendar and have become a highly prized industry accolade within the entertainment and hospitality sectors.

The ethos behind this awards programme is to acknowledge and reward venues that excel in the provision of superior live music entertainment in Ireland.

These awards are primarily targeted at the live music scene. This coming March, IMRO will present awards to venues that excel in the provision of live music in terms of:

  • General venue ambience
  • Staging
  • Sound / lighting
  • Gender balance and diversity of music programmed
  • Professionalism in their dealings with performers
  • Promotion / PR activities utilised by the venue to promote performances
  • Venue accessibility for people with disabilities

Qualifying venues may include: pubs, hotels, arts centres, theatres, and purpose built live music venues, etc.

In addition to this, IMRO members will have an opportunity to nominate their favourite Irish music festivals, venue production teams and an IMRO Outstanding Contribution to Live Music Award.

Taking into account voting by IMRO Members, regional winners will be chosen for the following:

  • Dublin
  • Rest of Leinster
  • Connacht
  • Ulster (valid counties Donegal, Monaghan & Cavan only)
  • Munster

IMRO will publish the shortlist of 25 venues this week, made up of the top 5 venues nominated by IMRO members in each region and the general public will be given the opportunity to vote for their favourite venue from this list.


In tandem with the running of the IMRO poll, Hot Press Magazine will also conduct their own national poll of their readership in the coming weeks from which a special Hot Press Live Music Venue Of The Year Award will be determined. Please also cast your vote in this poll.

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