The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD recently launched this year’s Hard Working Class Heroes (HWCH) showcase and conference. This annual event attracts key members of the global music industry to Ireland to engage with new and emerging Irish music in some of Dublin’s best live music venues.
The HWCH conference kicked off with Business to Business presentations and continued into a substantial networking event that evening at the Chocolate Factory, which saw Irish and international industry delegates come together with Irish artists.The conference continued with workshops and panels over Friday and Saturday. Forty-two delegates from 15 different countries were in the city over the weekend to attend showcases and take part in the conference. The live showcases comprised of 50 acts from diverse genres and took place over Friday 28 and Saturday 29.
Over its 16 years in existence, HWCH has played a key role in achieving successful careers, notably for artists like Hozier, The Coronas, Villagers, James Vincent McMorrow, Fontaines and Loah, whose successes on the international stage are testament to how important HWCH is for future career opportunities.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Madigan said: “The presence of so many bookers, agents and publishers here again at this year’s showcase and conference is a testament to the talent we have in this country. This event is so important, as with international delegates supported by Culture Ireland of my Department, the touring and career opportunities for our musicians both at home and abroad can be further advanced.”
The event organisers, First Music Contact, are funded by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht through the Arts Council, to resource the popular music sector and through Culture Ireland, enabling them to welcome the largest ever number of international delegates, including managers, labels, agents, publishers, bookers, buyers and many more, to the festival.