- 07 Oct 21
With Irish Music Month officially up and running, and the selection process for A New Local Hero intensifiying, the 25 radio stations that are participating in Irish Music Month deliver a snapshot of how the work in progress is going. The word on the street is: there’s some phenomenal talent lining up for consideration by the judges of the A New Local Hero award. Stay tuned...
Clare FM are hoping to find the new big Irish act from Clare via the A New Local Hero talent search. Their promotion of Irish Music Month will be on all On-Air shows, with particular emphasis coming from their main Irish music show, which is broadcast every Sunday from 7-9pm, The Francis Street Sessions – which is presented by the well-known Clare musician, and member of Hermitage Green, Dermot Sheedy.
Ireland’s Classic Hits is a huge supporter of Irish music with in excess of 20% of their playlist already dedicated to Irish music. In addition, Guaranteed Irish with Meghann Scully is a show dedicated exclusively to Irish music that airs every Sunday, featuring interviews and music from up-and-coming artists and bands. Ireland’s Classic Hits is promoting Irish Music Month through live reads and promos across the station.The campaign is also heavily supported through their social media channels and online on classichits.ie
Cork’s 96FM is passionate about supporting Irish music. A champion of new Irish acts, the station’s Select Irish feature promotes music from up and coming artists every month, and brings their work to a new audience across prime-time radio. Programmes including The Arts House and Select Irish have been a launch-pad for hundreds of acts including Stephanie Rainey, Ruthanne, Kodaline and The Coronas, who are regulars to their studio for interviews and live sessions.
Cork’s 96FM has played host to many exclusive listener concerts in iconic Cork locations with acts such as Gavin James, The Academic and The Riptide Movement.
As part of Irish Music Month, the Local Hero search for exciting new talent will run across the station with Select Irish’s Michael Carr spearheading the competition. In addition, running across the month of October 16, The Hit Mix with Shane Bucks and The Big Drive Home with Lorraine will shine a weekly spotlight on Irish acts.
Michael Carr presents Select Irish on Cork's 96FM. Over the years Michael has worked with many artists, promoters, venues and media in the Irish music industry.
Their Select Irish show has been a great launch-pad for hundreds of Irish bands and artists like Kodaline, The Coronas and Walking on Cars, who all came into studio for interviews or live sessions in their early days.
EAST COAST FM
Promoting homegrown talent is at the heart of East Coast FM in Wicklow. Irish artists take pride of place on the station – and nowhere is this more evident than on the station's flagship programme, The Morning Show with Declan Meehan. For over 27 years, Declan has supported local singers, bands and musicians, giving them a platform to showcase their talent, craft and music. There’ll be lots more of that throughout Irish Music Month.
Louise Tighe says:
"As the presenter of the Irish music show Sunday Night Live it’s great be involved in the A New Local Hero Talent Search during Irish Music Month. On the show every week, we get to play some of the greatest Irish music from across many genres – but also across FM104 we have our Select Irish element which gives us the chance to support an up-and-coming act across the station for a whole month. From my very first gig in Whelan’s to going to the likes of Whelan’s Ones to Watch and Ireland Music Week (HWCH), I have always tried to keep an ear out for what’s going on in the Irish music industry, dashing between rooms/venues (if you know, you know) while getting to watch some of the best live shows. Unfortunately, for almost two years now, normal live shows have been impossible – but Irish artists have still kept releasing new music for us to enjoy, I have been doing Sunday Night Live for two years and have enjoyed getting the likes of Ruthanne, Moncrieff, Kehli, Sophie Doyle Ryder, Bobbi Arlo and so many more in for a chat and a live session. I honestly can’t wait for that part of what we do to come back."
GALWAY BAY FM
Galway Bay fm has a proud association of encouraging, recording and releasing numerous albums, EPs, singles and special cover mount collaborations with Hot Press over the last 30 years. COVID-19 has impacted the livelihoods of all musicians and throughout the pandemic, Galway Bay fm increased its airplay of Irish artists to play its part in helping musicians reach their fan base. We are delighted to be involved in this new initiative Irish Music Month and the search for A New Local Hero – which gives us a wonderful opportunity to showcase all that is great about local Irish artists. For Irish Music Month we will recruit 5 original artists from the west of Ireland. Those 5 acts will be invited into the brand-new Studio 1 in Galway Bay fm to pre-record a live performance. It can beacoustic or electric, depending on the style of band. The performance will be professionally recorded and mixed by our Digital Media Producer Dylan Connolly, and will be filmed as a live performance for our social media by Damian Burke. Each artist video will be released as part of a mini-online video series on our website and social media once a week and the audio will be played on air to promote the artist and online video.
Michaela Hayes is Irish Music Month manager at iRADIO, and is very excited about being involved in such a fantastic initiative, which will truly highlight how much talent we have in this country. iRadio already has a very strong commitment to Irish Music. We run a feature called iLoveIrish every month. For this we choose 4 Irish tracks, to be played throughout the day in Prime rotation for an entire month. This gives the track and artist the same amount of exposure and plays as the No.1 song in the country at the time. 'iRadio In the Morning' chats to one of the artists each week so we can learn more about them. This is played on air and afterwards it is also posted and promoted on our social media channels so it can be watched back at any time. All of these aspects allow listeners to get fully behind the track and the artist.
Michaela Hayes who presents iRadio @Night, and is Music Director for iRadio, tries to make sure that each month we feature 2 male and 2 female artists. Where possible we also try to showcase a new artist each month, as there is so much amazing home-grown music released every day.
As well as our iLoveIrish feature, Aon Sceal on Saturday mornings with Brendan Bracken features an all Irish hour from 8-9am. Brendan showcases new Irish music as well as playing current favourites. Our new music show, First Play with Shelly Gray which airs Friday nights from 9pm to midnight highlights new music from across the world with an emphasis on new Irish music.
For Irish Music Month, iRadio have identified 5 artists to come into iRadio and perform a live session and interview on The Hub with Louise Clarke, which airs weekdays from 6-9pm. After each finalist is revealed, we will open the public vote, via a webpage on iradio.ie with a video recording of each acts live session recorded in the station. We’re really looking forward to it all.
Irish music is at the heart of Live 95 and the station takes great pride in supporting existing, as well as up and coming Irish artists. Alan Jacques on Green and Live champions the very best in Irish music every Friday night devoting twenty percent of his show to new Limerick acts taking their first steps in the music industry. Featuring all genres of Irish music, the show has given many artists their first ever radio play.
Select Irish is a feature which shines a spotlight on new Irish releases, providing exposure to new and established acts. Not only do they receive primetime airplay across the schedule, Nadia Sakni also interviews artists. These interviews feature on air, on socials and on the Live 95 website. Some of our recent Select Irish artists have included Zali, Ruth Anne, Robert Grace, Laoise and Lea Heart. During Irish Music Month, The Hitmix with Shane Bucks will showcase even more of Ireland’s music talent every weeknight. Live 95’s A New Local Hero search aims to find some exciting new Limerick talent – and give homegrown acts the platform and audience they deserve.
KCLR already plays between 25% to 30% Irish music every day on all music shows across the day from 7am. The music ranges from new Irish artist and bands plus the very best Irish music from the last few decades. KCLR Lunch’s 'Play Irish – Play MORE Irish' initiative sees a further increase of 20% music played between 12pm – 4pm every weekday. This includes brand new emerging bands and artists and a live chat on air to help promote the band during primetime radio on the station.
Roddie Cleere’s Irish Music show broadcasts every Wednesday night from 10pm – 12am. The show is two hours of new, demo and existing Irish music across the show and takes a look at the rock and indie end of the Irish music spectrum. The show incorporates chats with artists and a look at upcoming gigs across Carlow, Kilkenny and the entire country.
Ceol Anocht with Martin Bridgeman broadcasts on Tuesdays and Thursdays with a flavour of new and old Irish folk, electronic and alternative Irish music presented in Irish every week. KCLR also has three weekend shows that are dedicated to the Country and Irish genre and play a host of music from the social music circuit across the country.
Sunday Mornings with James Lakes is also a great wake up call every Sunday with a flavour of Irish music from the country and americano style country music that is very popular in the local area. This October, KCLR will Launch Play Irish – Play More Irish music show every Monday from 10pm to Midnight with John Keane. This will include new Irish music releases, Irish single of the week and Irish album of the week and an array of Irish musical guests that will chat with John about upcoming gigs, albums and of course all their plans to get back on track post covid.
KFM say that they are at the forefront of supporting Irish music – and have been since they started out. They have been providing our listeners with the best possible choice from the Irish music industry with more than 25% of our output coming from home grown talent.
KFM say the find it so important to support male and female artists for the future so we can continue and maintain growth within the Irish music sector. In addition to Irish artists being in excess of 25% their output, they provide their listeners with two high quality radio shows weekly. On Tuesday evenings between 7 and 8pm 'Ceol agus Caint' is their folk and traditional bilingual programme presented by Clem Ryan.
On Friday evenings between 7 and 10pm Eoin Beatty presents The Irish Music Scene which is an eclectic mix of contemporary music and interviews from both new and established artists. Whether it’s his Zoom call chat, or his weekly ‘Local Artist Spotlight’, Eoin’s got it covered. In addition to their two specialist Irish shows, they also air K Country with Liam Kett, which goes out Mon to Thursday 8 to 10pm. This has a 60/40 split in favour of Irish country music, from classics to new releases. Liam also carries out regular interviews with Irish country artists – you’d be hard pressed to find an artist who hasn’t featured on his show at some time.
Éamonn Doyle, Content Controller in LMFM, says:
“The standard of the submissions we have received for the A New Local Hero initiative is really top class. It’s been so hard to pick our top five. We involved staff right across the station, with each of our internal judges – music presenters, news crew and sales people alike – having a real, ongoing, enduring interest in Irish music. That’s what Irish Music Month is all about. We’re really enjoying it. It’s one of the best initiatives the station has ever been involved in.”
Roy Jennings Head of Music Midlands 103 tells us:
“At Midlands 103, we are proud to support the Irish Music scene. 22 percent of our daily music output from 7am-7pm is already Irish. We also have a weekly night and weekend show that promotes new Irish country music. Thursday night from 10-12am we have “The Vibe”. This is the station platform for promoting and showcasing new local and independent artists.”
“ Friday night’s Roadhouse Café programme features new releases from Irish artists and musicians. During October, not only are we proud to be able to support #irishmusicmonth, we will also bring our Afternoon and Drive Times shows on the road to various locations across the Midlands to let local artists showcase their talent on air."
Midwest Radio have been pioneering all genres of Irish music for over 30 years. They say they understand the importance and the value in highlighting ‘All Things Irish’ when it comes to their music output and supporting artists and musicians the length and breadth of Ireland. They will continue to dedicate in excess of 60% of their music output to Irish artists.
Midwest Radio will be creating a number of features throughout the Month of October including:
- Local Hero Talent Search live on The Late Late Lunchbox with Padriac Walsh
- 100% Irish Day on October 1st to launch Irish Music Month
- Their flagship talk show will play an Irish Number One every day throughout the month of October.
- Various other features on shows across the schedule and on our social media.
98FM are delighted to be taking part in Irish Music Month. They say they believe that this is a great platform to support and promote Irish talent to audiences across Ireland.98FM will be driving this initiative through their hugely popular Totally Irish music programme presented by John Barker. John has been promoting the Irish music scene in Dublin for over a decade with his show on 98FM and his monthly showcase ‘TiLT’ event at The Button Factory. The 'A New Local Hero' talent search will have support from all shows across the 98FM schedule.
Ocean FM’s support for, and promotion of, new local talent has been unwavering in their 17 years on-air, and broadcast live music performances from artists and bands throughout the North West on a daily basis. It resulted in Ocean receiving the IMRO national award for commitment to the Irish Music Industry in both 2012 and 2013. They say there are really enjoying Irish Music Month, and the opportunities it provide for local Irish artists.
As part of their ongoing commitment to supporting Irish music and artists, Radio Kerry is delighted to join their independent radio colleagues in supporting Irish Music Month.
With 30% of their general playlist already dedicated to music by Irish artists, Radio Kerry is looking forward to reaffirming their support for these acts throughout the month of October. As well as promoting and playing Irish artists on their mainstream music shows, Radio Kerry is dedicated to aid Irish acts across all genres from pop to rock and trad to country. After an extremely difficulty 18 months for everyone involved in the entertainment industry, Radio Kerry is excited to give local artists the chance to perform live on the station and to represent the county at a national level.
Already known for his stalwart support of Irish acts, Brendan Fuller will be running the competition on Radio Kerry’s Afternoon Show. Join Brendan weekdays from 3pm on Radio Kerry for more.
Radio Nova, are big supporters of Irish music with over 20% of their musical output already dedicated to Irish music spanning the last five decades. Not only is Irish music interwoven throughout their general playlist, they are keen supporters of Irish bands, artists and music through industry initiatives and their own initiative, Nova Discovered, a national talent search run in 2018 & 2019. In addition, they have a dedicated show on Sundays called The Nova Guestlist with Kieran McGuinness, which showcases new Irish music and talent and provides a platform for aspiring artists and bands. Radio Nova is running promos and live reads across its station to promote Irish Music Month. The A New Local Hero element will be channelled through their Sunday show The Nova Guestlist with Kieran McGuinness.
RedFM Programme Manager Dave MacArdle says:
"We’ve been only too happy to sign up to Irish Music Month. Supporting Irish music, and Cork-made music especially, is a huge part of what we want to do as a music delivery service – so much so that we were singled out by IMRO ahead of all stations across the country, as recently as March 2020, for our ongoing support of Irish Music!”
“I’m already blown away by the level and quality of response received to date to the A New Local Hero initiative.
We really have some fantastic emerging artists in Cork. You say that it’s actually not a huge surprise, in that the quality of contemporary Irish music production has never been higher. But I can tell you now, from the brilliant submissions we’ve received, that RedFM will be providing a very high quality candidate through to the next round of this worthy Irish music-supporting initiative. I genuinely believe that – given further support, encouragement and incubation – the potential for us as a country to grow further an already successful talent-led native industry is immense. That has to be the long-term goal."
SHANNONSIDE/ NORTHERN SOUND
Northern Sound is delighted to be part of Irish Music Month as it is aligned to their ethos of giving new and existing unsigned Irish artists, regardless of genre, an opportunity to showcase and support their music. It is an exciting time for the Irish music industry, highlighting once again the wealth of talent in their region. Long may it continue.
SOUTH EAST RADIO
Alan Corcoran, who presents South East Radio’s Morning Mix, says: "Irish Music has always been vitally important to South East Radio and we are delighted to be
championing Irish Music, local artists and bands across the month of October as part of Irish Music Month. It promises to be very special."
Spin 1038 is delighted to be taking part in Irish Music Month this October. As a supporter of new Irish artists across all their shows on Spin, they say that this is a great opportunity for them to showcase the fantastic talent out there – from their own Marty Guilfoyle to Lea Heart and Soulé to name a small few of the wealth of talent that’s currently active across Ireland. Spin Alt with Ray Wingnut, Sundays from 7 to 9pm, will be the show driving this initiative with additional support right across the Spin schedule. They look forward to seeing what fantastic new acts are revealed through the Irish Music Month 'A New Local Hero' award.
SPIN South West is delighted to be taking part in Irish Music Month in October. At SPIN, over the past fourteen years, they have been supporting local southwest based talent from Limerick, Kerry, Clare and North Tipperary. We are proud to say we were the first station to introduce our listeners to Walking On Cars, Hermitage Green and, more recently, with Denise Chaila and God Knows Jonas, who hosted a show on the station for over two years
We will be supporting Irish Music Month across October on the station. Irish Music Month A New Local Hero campaign will be featured on SPIN ALT with Ray Wingnut which broadcasts on the SPIN network Sundays from 7 to 9pm and we will also be showcasing the best of musical talent on SPIN Now with Louise Cantillon Saturdays from 10am.
Tip FM Programme Controller Stephen Keogh says: "Tipp FM are delighted to be involved in Irish Music Month. The standard of entries flooding in here in Tipp has been extremely high, with feedback from artists within Tipperary very positive. We look forward to narrowing down the entries in early October. Each finalist will showcase their music on Drivetime with Owen Lonergan – and Tipp FM listeners will be invited to vote on which Local Hero will represent the Premier County in the national final stage. Tipp FM will continue to play a high proportion of Irish music throughout Irish Music Month in October, and beyond.”
WLR is Ireland’s Local Radio Station of the Year (IMRO, 2019 and 2020). The station prides itself on supporting local and Irish artists, across all its on-air and online output. 60,000 adults in Waterford listen to WLR every week. Combine that with 1.8 million page views per month on wlrfm.com and an approximate weekly reach of 210,000 on social media, and it’s easy to see how the station is a valued platform for upcoming musicians.
WLR’s Head of Music, Ray Colclough, believes Waterford’s independent music scene is thriving at present. “The diversity of music locally is outstanding from folk, rap, dance and everything in between,” he says. “Several Waterford acts already feature as part of our daily music output and I think Irish Music Month and the A New Local Hero search should open doors for well-deserving artists in Waterford and across the country.”
WLR plays Irish music across every genre, from the new dance vibes of Welshy and Ainm, to the veteran rock sounds of Thin Lizzy and The Waterboys and lots more. The station is very confident that there will be a huge reaction to the A New Local Hero search. Everyone at WLR, from presenters to behind-the-scenes staff, are fully behind Irish Music Month, and believe it will be a big success. The competition will be spearheaded by one of WLR’s top presenters, Ollie Carroll, on The Spin Home between 3pm and 6pm.
Irish Music Month is supported by XL Retail Group, MCD Productions, IMRO, RAAP, X-Music and Square1
Irish Music Month is funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland from the television license fee.