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Irish Music Month Returns This September.

Irish language songwriting competition Amhrán an Laoch has been added to this year’s event.

Irish Music Month 2024 has been confirmed for September this year. And there is further good news for Irish songwriters, with the introduction, this year, of a dedicated contest for songs written in the Irish language, titled Amhrán an Laoch, to the Irish Music Month agenda.  

Launched in 2021, Irish Music Month is an initiative of Hot Press and the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland, and is funded by Coimisiún na Meán. Participating IBI stations will feature Irish music strongly throughout the month, and significantly increase the number of plays for Irish artists.

Irish Music Month is also supported by IMRO, RAAP, Live Nation, Rubyworks and Camden Recording Studios. All-in, the value of the Irish Music Month project for Irish artists is in excess of €100,000.

Irish Music Month is being celebrated with a Garden Party in Áras an Úachtaráin this week, with special guest Dermot Kennedy topping an eight-strong bill of Irish artists.

As one of its key elements, Irish Music Month hosts a major national talent search, A New Local Hero – full details of which will be announced over the coming weeks. 

Previous winners of the A New Local Hero award include rising star Brad Heidi, whose single ‘Don’t Let Go’ – recorded and released as part of his A New Local Hero prize package – reached No.1 in the Irish Breakers Charts, earlier this year. Brad is set to appear as support to Billy Joel in his open air festival-style gig at Hyde Park in London on July – where Galway-based singer will also rub shoulders with Darryl Hall and Natasha Bedingfield; and Chameleon aka Matthew Harris, who has subsequently featured extensively with Irish hit makers 49th & Main, before releasing his new Chameleon single ’The Ransom’ in April this year.

“There is a phenomenal amount of great music being made in Ireland now,” Hot Press editor Niall Stokes said. “Even better, this is true across all genres of contemporary music. Electronic music has come bursting through over the past two years. There has been a powerful resurgence in Irish folk music. And at the same time, there are great rock bands, word-beating singer-songwriters, iconic pop stars and completely fresh and original voices in rap and hip hop.

“Radio play is such an important factor in strengthening and nurturing that talent – and so Irish Music Month involves a huge statement of support for Irish musicians and artists by Ireland’s independent radio stations and by Coimisiún na Meán. 

“Make no mistake," Niall Stokes added, "Irish Music Month requires a huge commitment from every individual station. But it isn’t just the stations that are heavily involved in the project – staff, programme makers, broadcasters and DJs all over the country have been brilliant advocates for Irish Music Month."

“Irish Music Month has been a really big success to date,” John Purcell Chair of Independent Broadcasters of Ireland said. “It is something we are very proud of in the IBI. There is a serious commitment involved for all of the participating stations – but we see it a very good example of the kind of public service broadcasting that local radio stations are doing all year ‘round. 

"Irish Music Month,” John Purcell added, "is a brilliant opportunity for radio stations, which are so important to their local communities and audiences, to show what they can do collectively – rest assured that they will really relish doing their bit to support Irish artists.”

Numerous Irish artists have recorded messages of support for Irish Music Month, including Kodaline, The Script, The Cranberries, Adam Clayton of U2, James Vincent McMorrow, Lyra, Danny O’Reilly of The Coronas, Andrea Corr, Una Healy, Villagers, Soulé, Mary Black, Cian Ducrot, Inhaler and The Academic, with new voices being added to the list – reflecting the comprehensive support for the initiative among Irish musicians.

“Irish Music Month is a fantastic idea,” Cian Boylan of Camden Recording Studios said. “Radio play is such an important factor in building support for Irish artists and their music. We know from our experience at Camden Recording Studios that there is a huge number of great records being made here in Ireland by some genuinely outstanding artists – so it is fantastic to see that being recognised and supported in this way.”

Keep an eye on hotpress.com and listen to East Coast FM for more news on Irish Music Month, A New Local Hero, and the Irish song competition, Amhrán an Laoch.

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