RTÉ Launches New Folk Music Awards

Ann-Marie Power (Head of Arts and Culture, RTÉ), Christy Moore and Ruth Smith at the launch of the RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards at Vicar Street, Dublin. (Photo: Brian McEvoy)

RTÉ Launches New Folk Music Awards

RTÉ Radio 1 awards to have nine categories including Folk Singer of the Year and Best Folk Album.

RTÉ Radio 1 has announced (1 May) a new Folk Awards to recognise and celebrate Irish folk musicians. The first awards ceremony will take place at Vicar Street on 25 October this year, presented by John Creedon and Ruth Smith.

There are nine categories in the new awards, including Best Original Folk Track, Best Traditional Folk Track, Hall of Fame Award, Folk Singer of the Year, Best Emerging Folk Artist Award, Best Folk Album, Folk Instrumentalist of the Year, Best Folk Group, and Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Lifetime Achievement and Hall of Fame Awards will be decided by a committee comprised of the Folk Awards Steering Group with two additional external members. The Best Folk Album of the Year award will be chosen by RTÉ Radio 1 listeners through The John Creedon Show and Simply Folk with Ruth Smith.  

The remaining six awards will be decided by two rounds of panel voting. The judging panel will be comprised of 40 people and includes musicians, promoters, broadcasters, journalists, bloggers and venue owners. RTÉ is currently seeking expressions of interest from those who would like to be on the judging panel. Those interested should send an email to folkawards [at] rte.ie with your name and outlining your connection to Irish folk music.


Ahlam Ahned and Thawab Shibly at the launch of the Folk Awards. (Photo: Brian McEvoy)

Folk music old and new
Singer and fiddle-player Ruth Smith, who will present the awards at Vicar Street, commented on the launch:

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.

The awards will be accompanied by a new documentary series on folk music on RTÉ Radio 1. Ann-Marie Power, Group Head of Arts and Culture, added:

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.

The awards will cover ‘indie to folk artists and everything in between’. Irish folk group Lankum recently won two categories at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, which took place in Belfast for the first time.

For full details on the RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards, visit www.rte.ie/folkawards


Anna Mieke and Brian MacGloin (Ye Vagabonds) at the launch of the Folk Awards. (Photo: Brian McEvoy)

Published on 1 May 2018

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