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First Music, HMV help for Irish bands

Wednesday, April 23 14:16:56

First Music Contact, the Arts Council funded national resource organisation for musicians in Ireland today unveiled a new partnership with HMV that will support and provide new opportunities for Irish bands.

The first step in the new relationship is the announcement of the Breakingtunes BreakingStage at HMV's flagship stores on Grafton Street, Dublin and in Donegall Arcade, Belfast, which will feature weekly performances by some of the 8,000 bands featured on FMC's self-building music portal,

Breakingtunes Breakingstage initiative will give Breakingtunes members a valuable platform for their releases in the two HMV flagship stores. Kicking off on May 16th BT acts will be able to perform in the Grafton Street store at 1pm each Friday and will have their releases stacked and stocked prominently in the store. Similarly in the Donegall Arcade store in Belfast the same will happen with NI acts on Breakingtunes at 1pm on each Saturday.

HMV will also become the main sponsor of the hugely successful HWCH music festival and convention with more details to come when the festival makes its annual 'call for bands' in mid June.

Commenting on the new relationship, Chris Keena, Head of Music at HMV Xtra-vision, said: "Supporting Irish Music is an important focus for HMV and Xtra-vision, and our new ground-breaking relationship with FMC puts our money where our mouth is."

"As the leading Irish music retailer we have a responsibility to source local product to bring as many Irish bands direct to market through the FMC channel. There is a burgeoning domestic music scene that has been largely ignored by the bigger labels. HMV and Xtra-vision will support all genres of Irish music at retail level across our national network of stores. We hope to roll out the Breaking Tunes stage into more shops during 2014."

FMC's Angela Dorgan is excited about how this relationship will help them continue to support Irish acts and bring them to the next level.

"First Music Contact is all about supporting musicians at the key 'gear change' moments of development and this support is essential and so welcome. A relationship of this nature with HMV is a significant moment for any band and will serve to bring more and more focus on Irish consumers buying IRISH music."