- 03 Mar 23
"Along with all our artists, the musicians of Ireland offer to us, as a society, an enriching and often very beautiful and inspiring creative vision," says President Higgins. "But they do more, also challenging the status quo, in a way that is in itself courageous and liberating. Irish Music Month has helped foster this spirit..."
Ahead of the launch of Irish Music Month, the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, has expressed his support for the initiative, as it returns for a second year to promote Irish artists and bands. This year's event has been timed to coincide with St Patrick's Day, and will run from Monday, March 12, to Friday, April 13.
The return of Irish Music Month – which will see significantly increased radio play for Irish music across 25 independent radio stations, with €100k being paid directly to Irish artists – was announced this week by Hot Press and the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI).
25 independent radio stations from all over Ireland are participating in what is the biggest ever sustained programming initiative undertaken by local stations, since the foundation of independent radio in Ireland, in 1989.
In a special statement, President Higgins sent his best wishes to all of those participating in and supporting Irish Music Month – and remarked that the "imaginative initiative" serves as a "profound statement of the central role of culture in our lives; of the commitment of so many dedicated people within the artistic community to ensuring access to that culture; and of the support that is there for them from the media, which is so important to nurturing and encouraging our artistic talent."
Read his full message below – and read more about Irish Music Month 2023 here:
May I send my best wishes to all of those who are participating in, and supporting, Irish Music Month.
This initiative has already proven enormously valuable and 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.
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.
The popularity of our musicians, bands and performers extends far beyond Irish shores. Not only do these artists bring our rich musical tradition to countries across the globe, but they also ensure that this extraordinary living tradition – powerful and resonant in its own right – remains open to the influence and enrichment of other cultures, and of other artistic perspectives.
While at home, the diverse cultural backgrounds of so many of our young Irish musicians are helping to forge new strands in Irish music, intertwining their own musical heritage with established Irish forms.
This is how Irish music evolves, and develops, constantly reflecting, in this powerful dynamic, the changing society with which it engages.
We have sadly lost many of our most cherished and influential members of the Irish music community in recent years. Yet their influence lives on, as a new generation of musicians, informed by their own personal circumstances and perspectives, continue to push the boundaries of what Irish music can be.
Along with all our artists, the musicians of Ireland offer to us, as a society, an enriching and often very beautiful and inspiring creative vision. But they do more, also challenging the status quo, in a way that is in itself courageous and liberating.
Irish Music Month has helped foster this spirit. It is yet another profound statement of the central role of culture in our lives; of the commitment of so many dedicated people within the artistic community to ensuring access to that culture; and of the support that is there for them from the media, which is so important to nurturing and encouraging our artistic talent.
I particularly welcome the renewed commitment this year to ensuring gender-balance amongst those musicians featured across the month, as well as the significant increase in Irish music which will be played by participating radio stations. In combination with the mentoring and advice being provided as part of this year’s ‘A New Local Hero’ competition, these initiatives will ensure a wide range of dynamic Irish musicians receive the airplay their work deserves.
I have no hesitation in saying that we owe a great debt of gratitude to every single one of the 25 independent radio stations, spread as they are around the country – and providing as they do a special connection to the citizens of this country and to music fans across all genres – for supporting this important event; and to Hot Press, who have made such a valuable, lasting contribution to Irish music across so many years.
I thank them, and all those involved in Irish Music Month, and wish you every success with this very valuable and imaginative initiative.
Traoslaím libh uilig is guím gach rath agus beannacht oraibh do’n todhchaí.
The event is supported by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, under its Sound & Vision scheme.
Irish Music Month is also supported by IMRO, RAAP, MCD Productions, Live Nation, Ticketmaster, Camden Recording Studios and the Rubyworks label.