- 05 Feb 14
Coughlan's in Cork and Dolan's in Limerick also win, at event featuring Kodaline and Gavin James.
Whelan's, the legendary Dublin venue, was named as Hot Press Live Music Venue of the Year tonight. At a ceremony, held at IMRO headquarters in Pembroke Lane, the leading Dublin venue was presented with the award by Niall Stokes [left], editor of Hot Press to Dave Allen of Whelan's [right]. Whelan's recently launched their 25th anniversary celebrations, with special nights curated by some of the leading artists who have been associated with the venue – including Glen Hansard – among the likely highlights.
"The hard work, energy and commitment which go into creating great venues are hugely important to creating the kind of music scenes which produce artists that last," Hot Press editor Niall Stokes said. "Whelan's did that with singer-songwriters in the 1990s. And many artists who went on to become household names – Glen Hansard, Damien Rice, Paddy Casey and Bell X1 spring to mind – started out there. Over the intervening years, they have renewed their mission consistently and are successfully nurturing new artists with remarkable success. They are hugely deserving of this accolade."
It was a star-studded night with performances by Kodaline (pictured below) and Gavin James wooing an audience that drew heavily on the live music business, with venue owners, managers and bookers from all over the country attending.
Hot Press also gave two special awards to Southern venues. First up was Coughlan's in Cork, who received a Special Commendation from Hot Press. "The venue has only been in operation for a year, but it has made a huge contribution to creating a scene in Cork," Niall Stokes said. The award was picked up by Edel Curtin, who is at the heart of music operations at the venue.
Lisa Hannigan, Declan O'Rourke, Mick Flannery, Wallis Bird, Mundy, Cathy Davey, Steve Cooney and Liam O Maonlai are among those who have played the venue over the past 12 months, as well as a host of Cork artists, who have made Monday nights at Coughlan's one of the country' special regular gigs
The second Special Award was presented to Dolan's of Limerick. "Dolan's has played a vital role in Irish music over the past 20 years," Niall Stokes said. "They have welcomed all types of music to the venue and have been central to everything good that has happened in music in Limerick. I am thrilled to present this award in, what is a really auspicious year for them."
The award was accepted by Mick Dolan, who is the founding father of one of the most important venues in Ireland – which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2014.
There were more celebrations in store for Coughlan's, when they were named as the IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year by MC for the night Paddy McKenna of RTÉ 2fm.
"I'm stunned," Edel Coffey said. "I was here last year, just after the venue was opened and that inspired me to put the work in, to make Coughlan's a really special venue. But it is hard to take in. To win two awards is amazing. It is like a dream. I am so pleased for everyone involved in the venue that the work and the dedication of the team haas been rewarded in this way."
Watch out for updates on hotpress.com.