On Tuesday 26th February, Joe.ie’s Paddy McKenna hosted the always highly anticipated IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year Awards, now in its eleventh year, at the Irish Music Rights Organisation Headquarters in Dublin.
Cork’s stunning former church, dubbed Live at St. Luke’s, run by Joe Kelly and Ed O’Leary of The Good Room, were first up to the podium, as Hot Press Editor, Niall Stokes, gave them special commendations as the Hot Press Live Venue of the Year for 2018. It wasn’t long before they were back on stage again to pick up a second award, for IMRO Munster Live Music Venue of the Year 2018.
Speaking at the ceremony, Ed O’Leary commented:
“We’re absolutely delighted to be bringing these two plaques home to Cork, it really means a lot to have the venue recognised. It goes without saying that we couldn’t achieve this without the incredible community involved in running the venue – our volunteers who give up their time week in week out to greet you at the door, always with a smile, all our in-house staff – volunteer manager, administration staff, the unbelievably hardworking tech crew, designers, Henchy’s Bar, the Ambassador Hotel, and all the local businesses and residents in St. Luke’s, the Cork City Council and their Arts Department – Jean Brennan and Fiona Browne who have facilitated us in using the building since 2015, every act who has played here in the last 4 years, and each and every audience member who has passed through our doors. We genuinely put our heart and souls into every single gig here and we feel (hope) that that is reflected each time.”
St. Luke’s former church is one of Cork city’s key cultural buildings, constructed in its current state in 1889. As a landmark building into Cork’s northside, it has become known in a short space of time as one of the city’s premier concert and cultural go-to destinations for a unique live music experience.
The Good Room team have consistently delivered high quality artistic programming since their first concert in 2015, seeing some of top International and Irish artists take to the stage, including the likes of Dr Panti Bliss, Eddi Reader, Little Green Cars, Mick Flannery, Bell X1, Villagers, Lisa Hannigan, Talos, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Aaron and Bryce Dessner (The National), Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, Jack O’Rourke, Hermitage Green, Declan O’Rourke, Hot House Flowers, Lords of Strut, and Natalie Merchant, to name a few.
Since it was established, The Good Room have promoted over 100 concerts and events at Live at St. Luke’s, welcoming over 30,000 people through the doors with consistent sold out shows. The Live at St. Luke’s brand has become known for excellence in production, promotion and bookings, and is now a nationally and internationally recognised brand and venue.
Joe Kelly says:
“The Good Room’s name came about from the fact that in Ireland we had front rooms that only got used on good occasions, or at Christmas. Spaces that don’t get used. We have changed St. Luke’s Hall over the past 3 years from a good room to a great room, a family room. It was a space that people knew nothing about and had never ventured inside. Now it is one that is loved by concert going Corkonians and tourists alike. We’ll continue to strive to further our vision for the building becoming a cultural centre for the arts, on Cork’s northside. An inclusive building that reaches out to all walks of life and age groups”.
It’s a busy season ahead for The Good Room as over the coming weeks they prepare for their second edition of It Takes a Village festival at Trabolgan Holiday Village (www.ittakesavillage.fm), and will host Brian Deady, a special St. Patrick’s Weekender featuring Interference, Scullion and Lankum, Lee Scratch Perry, Terry Riley and Gyan Riley, Dr John Cooper Clarke, Mick Flannery, and Soak, at Live at St. Luke’s. View the full programme at www.liveatstlukes.com.