RTÉ Radio 1 has announced that it will host the inaugural RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards at Vicar Street on October 25th this year, with the event being broadcast live on RTÉ Radio 1 on the night.
The RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards will be the first dedicated folk awards held in Ireland and will be presented by John Creedon and Simply Folk presenter Ruth Smith.
Ireland has a unique relationship with folk music with Irish artists being recognized the world over for their contribution to the genre. The awards will offer support and recognition to Irish folk musicians and an opportunity to showcase their work on a national platform whilst celebrating the historical and cultural significance the music holds in Ireland.
Folk music and song have served as a repository of oral histories, human stories and social commentary. Ruth Smith, MC of the launch spoke with passion about the awards earlier, “As presenter of Simply Folk on RTÉ Radio 1 for the past year I’ve seen the appreciation and the appetite from folk enthusiasts and artists alike for this platform dedicated to sharing and uncovering folk music, old and new, from Ireland and abroad.
Today’s launch of the inaugural RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards shows a further commitment by the station to showcase and honour the richness and diversity of folk music talent in this country”.
Tom McGuire Head of RTÉ Radio 1 said, “The inception of the Folk Awards on RTÉ Radio 1 in 2018 reflects something that was central to the service when it began over 90 years ago.”
“I welcome this celebration of the folk genre, the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland for the initiative and look forward to a wonderful collaboration with the broader music industry”.
There will be nine awards categories celebrating the best in Irish Folk music including awards for best traditional folk track, best group and best soloist and will cover music from indie to folk artists and everything in between.
Speaking ahead of the launch today, RTÉ Radio 1’s John Creedon said, “From my years presenting music programmes and presenting the Fleadh Cheoil, the standard of songwriting and musicianship was never been as high.”
“There is a confidence there among young musicians and songwriters that maybe we didn’t have in the past and thankfully we’ve some of our legends around as well. I think Folk Music in Ireland is as strong as it has ever been and that needs to be acknowledged”.
RTÉ Radio 1, as a public service broadcaster with its wide remit values creativity, diversity and talent across the music and arts content it broadcasts and the ambition of these awards is to celebrate and elevate new and existing folk artists on home soil.
Speaking of the launch Ann-Marie Power Group Head of Arts and Culture RTÉ said “RTÉ aims to put arts and culture at the centre of everything we do and Irish folk music is at the heart of this country.”
“Renowned across the world for our songs, they are the perfect vehicle through which to tell the story of Ireland throughout centuries.”
“The RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards and documentary series recognise the unique place in which music is held in our culture and the talent of our artists and performers.”
“We wish to cement our encouragement and commitment to nurturing the industry and to help ensure that our folk songs don’t all belong in the past but continue to be written and performed in the future.”