Highland Radio supporting Irish Music Month

Irish Music Month is back for 2023!

Irish Music Month is an initiative, run in partnership with Hot Press, and involving 25 Independent Radio Stations including Highland Radio, who through Hot Press and the IBI have received funding from the BAI Sound & Vision fund to promote and celebrate Irish Music.

In addition to the BAI, Irish Music Month has the support of the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins; and of the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin.

Hot Press has also secured soft support from IMRO, RAAP and MCD Productions, who between them are contributing approximately 60k to the overall costs.

In addition to the funding being provided to stations, over €105k will be paid directly to artists during the course of Irish Music Month.

The month comprises of several elements:
• Promotion of Irish Music Month and highlighting commitment of radio to Irish music
• Specifically “a significant increase” over the course of the month in the amount of Irish Music being played by all 25 participating stations
• The ‘A New Local Hero’ Talent Search, leading to the ‘A New Local Hero’ Award
• Promotion of importance and cultural value of Irish music and performance
• Increased airplay for Irish artists

After the success in 2021 of the first ‘A New Local Hero’, the national talent search returns with every one of the 25 stations playing its part.

The search firstly operates at a local stage with all of the “best artists” chosen locally going forward to a final ‘longlist’. A shortlist of six acts is then chosen for the A New Local Hero Showcase – a major gathering of the music and radio industries from which one winner is chosen.

The competition mechanic is straightforward:
– Call for submissions across January
– Local judging by the radio station to shortlist four artists/bands take place in February
– The four artists/bands come into the studio to perform three songs/be interviewed – preferably at a consistent time, on a primetime show
– Each of the four locally shortlisted artists receives €650 plus an allowance of €225 for their technical “crew”, which will be administered and paid to them, as last year, by Hot Press
– Each station decides a local winner of the talent search, who goes forward for national consideration.
– The 25 entries are judged on their winning performance/interview in March
– A shortlist of six is chosen for the grand finale
– All six play a 12-minute set (two/three/four songs each) – the judges decide on an overall winner, who is crowned as “A New Local Hero”

One artist is selected as the recipient of the overall A New Local Hero award, earning an additional €5k in prize money and €5k in musical equipment, as well as having a single released by the Rubyworks label.

Highland will be launching their search for ‘A New Local Hero’ next Monday 9th January.

Stay tuned for more details but in the meantime you can listen back to Highland’s first  ‘New Local Hero’ winner from October 2021 – Amy Meehan.


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