“Radio can play an important role in supporting Irish music – because Irish radio has people at its heart”: IMRO’s Victor Finn on Irish Music Month

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Irish Music Month is a huge boost for our members. IMRO is one of the organizations supporting Irish Music Month. Here, the organization’s CEO, Victor Finn, explains why the initiative is so important …

Earlier this month, Hot Press and Ireland’s Independent Broadcasters (IBI) announced the launch of Irish Music Month, a new initiative that will run throughout October.

Twenty-five independent radio stations from across Ireland have signed up for what is the largest programming event ever hosted by local stations since the founding of independent radio in Ireland in 1989. It is supported by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), under its Sound & Vision scheme.
Other supporters of the project include XL Retail Group, MCD Concerts, IMRO and RAAP.

With the joint contribution of 25 independent radio stations and Hot Press as the national presenter, the entire event will see the stations:

• Helping with the national campaign to support the live music industry in Ireland from the ground up
• Play more Irish music, in all its wonderful diversity – and give a significant extra boost to the profile and status of Irish artists
• Help generate new enthusiasm for the work of Irish artists, musicians and performers
• Launch a major national awards program, under the A New Local Hero banner, which will involve the direct payment of € 100,000 to Irish artists
• Help drive sales of Irish merchandising and other group and artist products through a powerful free on-air advertising campaign
• Create additional exposure for Irish artists in Hot Press and other Irish and international media

Irish Music Month has been warmly welcomed by the Irish Music Rights Organization, which is a major supporter of the initiative, inspired by Hot Press and the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland.

This is a special endorsement, given that there is no bigger radio supporter in Ireland than IMRO.
“Immediately I heard about it, I thought it was a really positive initiative,” said Victor Finn, CEO of IMRO.

“And the board is completely behind it. There is a general feeling that it’s great to see BAI supporting something like this through the Sound & Vision program. Radio is extremely popular in Ireland, making it a powerful platform for exhibiting Irish music, and in particular new Irish music – which is at the heart of Irish Music Month, in the form of the A New Local award. Hero.

Irish Music Month is the largest programming event ever involving local radio since its launch in Ireland in 1989 – a detail that adds significantly to its potential impact. Every blade of grass in Ireland is covered by the 25 stations that are on board.

“It’s great to see this kind of statement being made by IBI stations collectively,” observes Victor Finn. “It gives all members of local and regional radio the opportunity to demonstrate the power of the medium – and to be proud of it, as they should be.” Local radio in Ireland is really powerful and connects in a unique way with the Irish.

IMRO has already demonstrated its understanding of the importance of radio by supporting the annual IMRO Radio Awards.

“We are very aware of all the good things that are happening on radio in Ireland,” says Victor. “The reality is that the level of broadcast in this country is very high and so when the opportunity arose we immediately saw the importance of supporting what is now the IMRO Radio Awards.

‘The awards are a grand annual statement on the quality of Irish broadcasting, and also a celebration of the individual contribution of broadcasters, producers, researchers and all those behind the scenes who are essential to providing a radio of Top quality, whether it’s on our national stations or our local stations.

The relationship between IMRO and the stations is a symbiotic relationship, with the rights organization collecting a significant portion of its overall revenue for the use of music through radio in general.

“Music is vital for radio,” says Victor Finn. “Without the constant availability of new artists and new sounds, radio would face an almost impossible challenge. So there is a growing awareness, I think, of the importance of collaboration between the radio industry and the music industry.

“It’s part of what’s important about Irish Music Month. Music is at the heart of being Irish – and we’re producing a tremendous amount of exceptional talent here. Seeing that being supported and celebrated on Irish radio is a huge boost for local artists and songwriters. This is a huge boost for our members. May this continue for a long time.

• For more information, tune in to your favorite independent radio station, read Hot Press – and check out hotpress.com.

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