Hawk’s Well Nominated for IMRO Live Music Venue of The Year
More than 11,000 IMRO members considered hundreds of venues across the country for the shortlist. Venues were judged on their commitment to providing the core elements that make for a great live music venue – atmosphere, sound and lighting, staging, diversity of programming and importantly, the staff and management of each venue. IMRO members also voted on Ireland’s music festivals, delivering a shortlist of their top ten festivals.
Live music venues and festivals play a vital role in the music industry in Ireland, giving international and homegrown artists a platform to engage with fans and build new audiences. They also play a central role in urban and rural communities across the country, providing a social gathering space for varied audiences, and contributing hugely to the domestic economy.
Of the Awards, Victor Finn, IMRO Chief Executive said, “Over the years these Awards have become a much sought after industry accolade and they clearly highlight the pivotal contribution that venues and festivals make to local economies and the significant role they play in providing a public platform for Irish songwriters and performers”.
At the ceremony in IMRO HQ in Dublin on February 16th, awards will be presented to the leading live music venue in each of the following regions: Dublin, Leinster (excluding Dublin), Connacht, Munster and Ulster (Donegal, Monaghan, Cavan). The IMRO Live Music Festival of the Year will also be presented on the night. Performances on the night will come from The Academic, Rocstrong and Saint Sister.
One overall award will be presented to the IMRO National Live Music Venue of the Year. This award is decided upon by the public, who vote for their live music venue of the year from the combined shortlist of all the regions.
Nominations for IMRO Connacht Live Music Venue of the Year 2015 are:
Roisin Dubh, Lower Dominick Street, Galway
Monroes, Dominick Street Upper, Galway
Matt Molloys, Westport, Co. Mayo
The Dock Theatre, Leitrim
Hawks Well Theatre, Sligo
“It is fantastic to see the Hawk’s Well Theatre appearing in the shortlist for the last few years. The nominations come from the musicians themselves so it is great that musicians in Ireland regard the Hawk’s Well as one of the top venues for music in Connacht” says Hawk’s Well Director Marie O’Byrne. Since Marie came to the Hawk’s Well five years ago, the theatre has produced and hosted many music gigs. This year alone Tim O’Brien, Arty McGlynn and Mary Black have performed at the theatre. Kieran Quinn and a host of local musicians performed for two sell out nights in the recent Nashville - Music from the Grand Ole Opry theme nights. Musicians performing over the next few months include Kieran Goss and Frances Black, guitarists Tony Mc Manus, Gerry Grennan and Luke Mercer, Krista Detor from the U.S. , Andy Sheppard, Seamie O’Dowd and 4 Men and a Dog.
Each year for the last four years the Hawk’s Well has paid tribute to local musicians and has hosted tribute nights to celebrate their achievements. In June 2015 a celebration night was held for Donal ‘the Dude’ McLynn. Friends and musicians who have frequented the pub over the years joined 'The Dude' for a fantastic night of music. Sandy Kelly’s career was also celebrated by the theatre in November 2015. In 2014 the Hawk’s Well honoured local musician Eddie Lee in the concert ‘Heh Mr. Bassman’. On this night a host of local musicians came together to celebrate Eddie’s enormous contribution to the local music scene. In 2013 local musician Seamie O’Dowd was celebrated in ‘The Legend that is..Seamie O’Dowd’ and Kieran Quinn’s launch of his CD was a highlight. Previous tributes for Rick Epping and the Jazz Ladds were also fantastic nights with loads of local musicians involved and a great atmosphere at the theatre. Collaborations with two of Sligo’s leading music festivals, Sligo Jazz Festival and Sligo Live have resulted in electrifying concerts at the Hawk’s Well.
The programme of musicians performing at the Hawk’s Well for the All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in 2014 and 2015 was exceptional with 11 concerts in just one week each year. Trad superstars such as Joanie Madden from Cherish the Ladies, Maura O’Connell and Brid Harper travelled to Sligo to perform at the Hawk’s Well and were featured on TG4, showcasing to the world our great Sligo music audiences.
The collaborative project ‘The Second Coming’ jointly produced by the Hawk’s Well and Fidget Feet Aerial Dance premiered at the Hawk’s Well in May 2014 and sold out four performances at the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow in 2015 and before touring to Germany for three weeks in October. The show features an exquisite original score of traditional Irish music from Sligo based composer Michael Rooney. The Second Coming returned to Sligo in 2015 as part of the Yeats 2015 celebrations.
The Hawk’s Well Theatre is also a finalist in the Accenture Digital Media Awards 2016 for its Virtual Trad Orchestra –an innovative Irish Traditional Musical project which brought together musicians from all over the world, digitally, to perform the ballad ‘The Salley Gardens’ in a ground breaking initiative as part of the theatre’s Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann celebrations.
The top 5 venues with the most nominations in each region have been short-listed for an IMRO Live Music Venue of The Year Award. Venues are assessed by Ireland's songwriters, composers and publishers on a number of criteria including general ambience, staging, sound, lighting, diversity of music, artist relations and venue promotion. The Overall Award will be determined by an open public poll which is currently taking place and the winners will be announced in February.
“We are delighted to have been shortlisted again this year. It would be fantastic to get the Sligo public behind us to vote for us as the overall winner is decided by the public so we would ask all your readers who have been to a music gig at the Hawk’s Well over the last few years to please log on to IMRO.ie before February 15th. One lucky voter will win a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3.” Says Marie O’Byrne, Director of the Hawk’s Well
Please take a moment to vote for us! Thank you.