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President Higgins applauds a nationwide campaign to support Irish musicians

Irish Music Month is a new initiative to promote Irish artists and bands. The plan will see significantly increased radio play across 25 independent radio stations, including on WLR.  In addition, €100,000 will be paid directly to Irish artists. The campaign, which will run for the month of October, was announced this morning by Independent Broadcasters of Ireland and music publication Hot Press.

Statement on the campaign by Michael D.Higgins

Commenting on Irish Music Month, the President said, "this initiative is the biggest ever co-operative action taken by independent radio stations in Ireland and as such it is genuinely historic. A major statement of support for Irish music from 25 independent Irish radio stations, working with Hot Press, and supported by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, it is to be welcomed with open arms.

The role and significance of music to life in Ireland cannot be over-stated. Irish musicians are among our most talented and best loved performers. They are also, as it happens, among the finest practitioners of their art in the world."

Who is involved in Irish Music Month?

The event is supported by the BAI, under its Sound & Vision scheme. Other supporters of the project include XL Retail group, MCD Concerts, IMRO and RAAP.

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Under the plans, Irish Music Month will assist in the national campaign to support the live music industry in Ireland from grass roots upwards. This is to be achieved by playing more Irish music and in turn boosting the profile of our artists. It's also hoped the initiative will help to generate a fresh buzz of excitement about the work of Irish artists. The plan also aims to assist in boosting sales of merchandise through a free on-air advertising campaign. It's also hoped there will be additional exposure for Irish artists across other national and international media.

Talent search

As part of Irish Music Month, WLR and the other radio stations involved will run a major national talent search.  Under the banner A New Local Hero, it will involve the direct payment of €100k to Irish artists. You can find out more about that here.

Industry reaction

Hot Press editor Niall Stokes said "Irish Music Month is a huge statement of support for Irish musicians and artists by Ireland’s independent radio stations and by the BAI. 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. 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. So all of the 25 independent stations are stepping up to the plate now and doing their bit to support Irish artists."

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Numerous Irish artists have already recorded messages of support for Irish Music Month. These include  James Vincent McMorrow, Andrea Corr as well as The Script, Kodaline, Una Healy, Villagers, Mary Black – and many more.

 

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