The RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards return with live broadcast

The RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards are back and live from Vicar Street, Dublin and on RTÉ Radio 1 at 8.00pm on Tuesday 16th November.

After a virtual awards event last year, RTÉ presenters, John Creedon and Ruth Smith will return to Dublin’s Vicar Street to present the awards ceremony in front of a live audience as RTÉ celebrates the very best in Irish folk music over the past year and pays tribute to Irish folk legends.

A television highlights programme will also be broadcast on RTÉ One on Saturday 20th November.

This year’s RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards nominees will be announced on Thursday 4th November. The award categories include:

  • Best Folk Singer (2020 winner: Radie Peat)
  • Best Folk Instrumentalist (2020 winner: Steve Cooney)
  • Best Folk Group (2020 winner: Lankum)
  • Best Folk Album (2020 winner: Ceol Ársa Cláirsí: Tunes of the Irish Harpers for Solo Guitar – Steve Cooney)
  • Best Original Folk Track (2020 winner: Baby Talk, Mick Flannery & Susan O’Neill)
  • Best Traditional Folk Track (2020 winner: Eleanor Plunkett, Steve Cooney)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award

Previous winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award are Steve Cooney (2020), Moya Brennan (2019) and Andy Irvine (2018). An artist will also be inducted into the RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards Hall of Fame.

The awards will feature live performances from some of this year’s nominees in what promises to be a very special night, celebrating Irish folk music and artists, both established as well as emerging.

Co-host and RTÉ presenter, John Creedon said: “As a music fan and concert-goer, I am delighted to see these great awards back in Vicar Street in front of a live audience of folk music fans. We’ve all really missed live music and events, not least the wonderful musicians and artists who will be joining us on the night to celebrate the very best in folk music in Ireland over the past year, and what a year it has been. I can’t wait.”

Co-host and RTÉ presenter, Ruth Smith said: “This is our fourth year of the RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards, with last year’s ceremony happening in a pared back studio format from the radio centre. I’m thrilled to be returning to Vicar Street with John Creedon and the production crew for what promises to be a great night of music, community and celebration, because there’s no substitute for having an audience of music lovers and folk fans in the room enjoying live performances and cheering each other on.”

Ann-Marie Power, RTÉ Group Head of Arts and Culture, added: “After a very challenging year for Ireland’s musicians and artists, it is great to be able to broadcast this year’s RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards live from Vicar Street in front of a live audience with highlights on RTÉ One.

“I remember when Colm Mac Con Iomaire broadcast live from his home at the beginning of the pandemic, and since then I’ve been amazed at the creative and innovative responses from our folk musicians through these past eighteen months. We’re really looking forward to once again using the reach of RTÉ to honour this work, not to mention the joy of having musicians play together under the same roof in Vicar Street for another night of magic.”

Head of RTÉ Radio 1, Peter Woods said: “After the year we’ve all had, it is genuinely exciting to be able to experience live music again, with an audience and in great live music venue. Frank Harte said: ‘those in power write the history and those who suffer write the songs’. Music and song that is sung and heard is a form of resistance. It says we survived, and we are here. This music is central to what we do in RTÉ Radio 1 and what we are. While there is loss – there is also discovery and innovation. This event happened memorably, virtually last year. This year it’s back in Vicar Street and we really welcome and look forward to that.”



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