President Michael D. Higgins expresses his support for Irish Music Month in special message

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Irish Music Month, launched in partnership with Hot Press, was hailed as an extremely important new initiative in Irish radio. Read the President’s full statement on the “truly historic” initiative below.

To celebrate the launch of Irish Music Month, the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, shared a new special message, expressing his support for this major new initiative.

Irish Music Month, which will run throughout October, was announced yesterday by Hot press and Ireland’s independent broadcasters (IBI).

Twenty-five independent radio stations from across Ireland have signed up for what is the largest programming event ever hosted by local and regional stations since the founding of independent radio in Ireland in 1989. The event is supported by the BAI, as part of its Sound and Vision Scheme.

Other supporters of the project – which will see an unprecedented level of support for Irish music talent on Irish radio – include XL Retail Group, MCD Productions, IMRO and RAAP.

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

  • Helping 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
  • Conduct a major search for national talent, 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 major free on-air advertising campaign
  • Create additional exposure for Irish artists in Hot Press and other Irish and international media

In his statement, President Higgins said the initiative is “another profound statement of the central role of culture in our lives; the commitment of so many dedicated people within the artistic community to ensure access to this culture; and the support that is there for them from the media, which is so important to nurture and encourage our artistic talent.

“I have no hesitation in saying that we owe a great debt of gratitude to each of the 25 independent radio stations, spread out as they are across the country – and providing as they do a special connection to the citizens of this. countries and with music fans of all genres – for supporting this important event; and for Hot press, who have made such a valuable and lasting contribution to Irish music for so many years. “

Read President Michael D. Higgins’ full statement below:

May I send my best wishes to all who participate in and support Irish Music Month.

This initiative is the largest cooperative action ever undertaken by independent radio stations in Ireland and as such is truly historic. A major statement of support for Irish music from 25 independent Irish radio stations, working with Hot Press and backed by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, it must be welcomed with open arms.

The role and importance of music in life in Ireland cannot be overstated. Irish musicians are among our most talented and beloved performers. They are also, in this case, among the best practitioners of their art in the world.

The popularity of our musicians, bands and performers extends far beyond the Irish coast. Not only do these artists bring our rich musical tradition to countries around the world, but they also ensure that this extraordinary living tradition – powerful and resonant in itself – remains open to the influence and enrichment of other cultures. and other artistic perspectives. . This is how Irish music evolves, develops, constantly reflecting, in this powerful dynamic, the changing society with which it engages.

As we slowly begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has cast such a dark shadow over so many aspects of our lives, including the cultural, we will hopefully be fueled by a greater appreciation. of the invaluable contribution that the arts, and culture, make to our common lives.

Together with all of our artists, musicians in Ireland offer us as a society a rewarding and often very beautiful and inspiring creative vision. But they are doing more, also challenging the status quo, in an inherently courageous and liberating way.

Throughout this difficult and most recent chapter of our common lives, which has endangered the cultural space and the livelihoods of those who work there, in a unique and disturbing way, I have been greatly inspired by the many imaginative and inventive ways in which our artistic community has continued to chart a positive course, working at the arduous task of expressing the fears and anxieties, as well as the hopes and dreams of our people.

It has also been deeply encouraging to witness the generous and enthusiastic support of our citizens, which has been such a significant testament to the importance of artistic work in particularly difficult and disturbing times.

Irish Music Month takes this testimony to the next level. This is yet another profound statement of the central role of culture in our lives; the commitment of so many dedicated people within the artistic community to ensure access to this culture; and the support given to them by the media, so important to nurture and encourage our artistic talent.

I have no hesitation in saying that we owe a great debt of gratitude to each of the 25 independent radio stations, spread out as they are across the country – and like them providing a special bond to the citizens of this country and to the music from fans of all genres – for supporting this important event; and Hot Press, which has made such a valuable and lasting contribution to Irish music over so many years.

I thank them and everyone who participated in Irish Music Month, and wish you every success with this very valuable and imaginative initiative.

Gach rath ar an tógra samhlaíoch tábhachtach seo.

Go raibh míle maith agaibh go leir.


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