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IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year Awards 2017 | Shortlist Announced

January 22, 2018

The Irish Music Rights Organisation CLG (IMRO) is delighted to announce that the tenth IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year Awards will take place on Tuesday 20th February 2018 at IMRO HQ in Dublin.

The shortlist (below) was announced this morning via the IMRO building by Victor Finn (IMRO Chief Executive).

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.

More than 11,500 IMRO members considered hundreds of venues across the country for the shortlist. Venues were judged on their commitment to providing the core elements that make for a great live music venue – atmosphere, sound and lighting, staging, diversity of programming and importantly, the staff and management of each venue. IMRO members also voted on Ireland’s music festivals, delivering a shortlist of their top ten festivals.

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.

Of the Awards, Victor Finn, IMRO Chief Executive said, “Over the years these Awards have become a much sought after industry accolade. They clearly highlight the pivotal contribution that venues and festivals make to local economies and the significant role they play in providing a public platform for Irish songwriters and performers”.

At the ceremony in IMRO HQ in Dublin on February 20th, awards will be presented to the leading live music venue in each of the following regions: Dublin, Leinster (excluding Dublin), Connacht, Munster and Ulster (Donegal, Monaghan, Cavan).  The IMRO Music Festival of the Year, IMRO Small Music Festival of the Year, IMRO Tech Crew of the Year Award and a special Outstanding Contribution to Live Music Award will also be presented on the night. Performances on the night will come from leading emerging acts Le BoomChasing Abbey and Wild Youth.

One overall award will be presented to the IMRO National Live Music Venue of the Year. This award is decided upon by the public, who vote for their live music venue of the year from the combined shortlist of all the regions.

Live music fans should simply log on to choose their favourite from the shortlist provided, by February 16th. One lucky voter will win an iPad.

The ceremony will also see the presentation of the award for Hot Press Live Music Venue of the Year via The Readers Poll which is contributed to by Hot Press fans and can be viewed here –

Niall Stokes, editor of Hot Press said Irish people love live music. To be able to go out and sing and play in front of a crowd is at the heart of what it means to be a musician in Ireland. But the ongoing interest and enthusiasm of music lovers cannot be taken for granted. The extraordinary, symbiotic link between musicians and their audiences has to be nurtured – and so it is vital that there should be a constant sense of innovation on the Irish live music scene.

Thankfully that has been the case in recent times, with established venues investing in what are often hugely impressive improvements and new venues coming on the scene that offer an even wider variety of music choices for artists and fans alike. It is an exciting time in the live music industry here, which makes the IMRO Live Music Awards even more vital than ever. 

Hot Press is proud to be associated with the awards – and with the people who are making things happen in venues up and down the country all year long. We owe them, as well as our musicians, a major debt of thanks.”

IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year 2017 Shortlist

IMRO Dublin Live Music Venue of the Year 2017

Vicar Street, Dublin 8
Whelan’s, Dublin 2
The Olympia Theatre, Dublin 2
The Grand Social, Dublin 1
The Workman’s Club, Dublin 2

IMRO Rest of Leinster Live Music Venue of the Year 2017

Wexford Arts Centre
The Set Theatre, Kilkenny
The Spirit Store, Dundalk, Co. Louth
Seven Oaks Hotel, Carlow
TLT Theatre, Drogheda, Co. Louth

IMRO Connacht Live Music Venue of the Year 2017

Róisín Dubh, Galway
Matt Molloy’s, Westport, Co Mayo
Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, Co. Mayo
The Angler’s Rest, Kinlough, Co. Leitrim
The Dock, Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim

IMRO Munster Live Music Venue of the Year 2017

Connolly’s of Leap, Co. Cork
Coughlan’s, Cork
Kenny’s Bar, Lahinch, Co. Clare
Kazbar, Waterford
Mike The Pies, Listowel, Co. Kerry

IMRO Ulster Live Music Venue of the Year 2017

Mc Kenna’s Bar, Monaghan
Hotel Kilmore, Cavan
The Chasin’ Bull, Bundoran, Co. Donegal
Leo’s Tavern, Donegal
An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

IMRO Music Festival of the Year 2017

Electric Picnic
Body & Soul
St. Patrick’s Festival
Galway International Arts Festival
Forbidden Fruit
Life Festival
Live at Iveagh Gardens
Sea Sessions

IMRO Small Music Festival of the Year 2017

Other Voices
West Cork Chamber Music Festival
BD Festival
Sligo Live
Sounds From A Safe Harbour
Another Love Story
Hard Working Class Heroes
Kilkenny Trad Fest

IMRO Tech Crew of the Year Award 2017

Vicar Street
National Concert Hall
The Grand Social
The Olympia Theatre
Electric Picnic
Other Voices
Body & Soul
Coughlan’s, Cork
The Set Theatre

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