The Irish Music Rights Organisation has announced the winning venues in the second annual IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year Awards. The awards took place at IMRO HQ in Copyright House in Dublin on Tuesday December 1st and were attended by venue owners and management and IMRO members from across Ireland including Keith Donald, IMRO Chairman; Victor Finn, IMRO CEO; Aiken Promotions Bren Berry; Serena Fleming from The Academy; Mick Dolan from Dolans’ Warehouse in Limerick; Ger Kiely from Cork’s Cyprus Avenue and IMRO board members Johnny Lappin and Eleanor McEvoy, amongst many others. The awards were voted on by more than 6,000 IMRO members and recognise those Irish venues that provide the very highest standards in live music entertainment, both for artists and their publics.
The IMRO National Live Music Venue of the Year Award 2009 was presented to Dublin’s Vicar Street for the second year running, who faced down stiff competition from a host of top national venues including the brand new O2 in Dublin’s docklands. Vicar Street’s venue and booking manager Bren Berry accepted the award on behalf of the venue, management and staff. Vicar Street was honoured for a second time, taking the top gong in the IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year 2009 – Dublin Award category.
IMRO Chairman Keith Donald told the gathered audience: “It is undoubtedly a challenging time for all of us involved in the entertainment business. This is something that I don’t need to point out to many of you working at the coalface of the live music scene here in Ireland. I’m firmly convinced though, that the venues that will survive and prosper in these difficult times are those that offer the very best product, in terms of music programming, professionalism in dealings with artists and public, venue facilities and importantly continuing to respect the rights of music creators. The very fact that you have been nominated for an award tonight is testament to the fact that you are all providing the very highest level of service in your respective regions and I would like to commend you on that.”
The Backroom in Navan was pipped at the post in the IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year 2009 – Rest of Leinster Award which went to The Set Theatre in Kilkenny, while the Ulster Award was presented to McGrorys in Culduff in Donegal. Dolans Warehouse in Limerick scooped the Munster Award and for the second year running, the Roisin Dubh in Galway picked up the Connaught Award.
The Hot Press Readers Award 2009 went to Cyprus Avenue in Cork and Niall Stokes, Hot Press editor commented on the night “In the midst of the general doom and gloom it’s vital that we retain our ability to have a good time. Live music is crucial to that, providing as it does the opportunity for ordinary people to immerse themselves in the magic and the excitement of the world’s most popular and accessible art form. So here’s to the movers and shakers all over Ireland who are fighting the good fight, running the venues, booking the talent and enabling us to see the musicians, the artists and the bands in action. I want to extend a particular congratulations to Cyprus Avenue, who have been flying the flag in Cork, for some years now, with great success and who are the winners of the IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year – Hot Press Readers Award 2009”. Hot Press Readers ‘Special Commendation’ Awards were also presented to The O2, Dublin; The Academy, Dublin; Roisin Dubh, Galway and The Royal Theatre, Castlebar, Mayo.
IMRO also celebrated an important milestone in their history at the awards in announcing the admission of their 7,000th member, the renowned songwriter, producer and DJ, Arveene. Along with partner in crime Misk, the Dublin duo have made a huge impact on the international dance scene, touring Europe and remixing some of the biggest names in music including The Prodigy, Felix Da Housecat, Mr Ozio, Kitsune and Zombie Nation. Arveene was presented with his IMRO membership certificate by Chairman, Keith Donald.
The nominated venues and winners in the IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year Awards 2009 are:
IMRO LIVE NATIONAL MUSIC VENUE OF THE YEAR AWARD 2009
Vicar Street, Dublin winner
IMRO LIVE MUSIC VENUE OF THE YEAR – DUBLIN AWARD 2009
Vicar Street winner
The Olympia Theatre
IMRO LIVE MUSIC VENUE OF THE YEAR – REST OF LEINSTER AWARD 2009
Set Theatre, Kilkenny winner
The Backroom, Navan, Co. Meath
The Late Lounge, Kill, Co. Kildare
Spirit Store, Dundalk, Co. Louth
The Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny