RTÉ Choice Music Prize “Conversations”

With four topical music industry discussion panels taking place between 12pm – 4.15pm (registration from 11am), Conversations brings together artists and music industry professionals to discuss and explore some of the key issues affecting both performers and the wider industry at the present time. Admission is free, but attendees will need to register for a ticket via here as spaces are limited.

Venue: BIMM, Dublin 8.

Date & Time: Thursday March 9th, 11am-4.15pm

This is a free event, but registration is essential as places are limitied.

Keynote Interview: Trevor Dietz

Keynote Interview with Trevor Dietz (manager Fontaines D.C.).

Moderated by Jim Carroll.

The story of how Fontaines D.C. went from BIMM Students to Grammy-nominated artists in a matter of years.

Building An Online Fanbase

In the digital music era where having an online presence before creating music is nearly the norm than the exception, this panel will explore how best to build and engage with your fan base leading to increased streams and ticket sales.


Ceri Dixon (Head of Digital Partnerships / Artist Manager, Red Light Management)
SELLÓ (Artist)
Olly Brooks (Campaign Manager, Blackstar Agency)

Moderated by Jim Carroll.

Panellist Bios:

Ceri Dixon

Ceri Dixon is currently the Head of Digital Partnerships / Artist Manager at Red Light Management, managing relationships between the company’s UK roster and DSP’s. Alongside which she manages rising Irish artists 49th & Main and Khakikid.

Previously undertaking roles as a digital marketing manager at Sony’s RCA and Universal Music’s Polydor she then played a key role in the creation of Universal Music UK’s streaming department, spending the next few years managing those accounts across the group. During this time she was involved in campaigns from catalogue artists such as the Beatles (their launch on streaming services) and the Rolling Stones, to the development and breaking of artists such as Sigrid, Blossoms and Raye.

Olly Brooks

Olly is a graduate of BIMM Dublin and has undertaken a Masters in Music Business Management at the University of Westminster, graduating with Distinction. Starting off as a sound engineer and tech in the live industry, he then became involved in mental health initiatives within the music industry, most notably as a part of Music and You and Lewis Capaldi’s groundbreaking LiveLive project. He is currently a Campaign Manager at Blackstar Agency in London, leading projects alongside major and indie labels as well as with independent artists.

Live & Direct

With streaming and physical sales revenue for most artists a long way from providing a living wage, live & touring continues to be their most important revenue stream. This panel will discuss, amongst other things: What are live agents looking for from new and emerging Irish artists? How to build and maintain audience through live activity. Does Brexit make any difference to Irish artists looking to tour internationally?


Holly Rowland (Agent, Wasserman)
Eleanor McGuinness (Partner / Agent, PlayBook Artists)
Rob McGee (Agent, FMLY Agency)

Moderated by Jim Carroll.


Holly Rowland

Holly Rowland began her career as an apprentice at Coda in 2014. She worked across DJ clients, before moving to work with agent Sol Parker, and was promoted to booker for Alex Hardee two years later. In April 2022 Holly was promoted to an agent, she books artist such as London Grammar, Louis Tomlinson, Mika and Rag’n’Bone Man. While working to sign new clients including David Kushner, Hannah Grace and Pacific Avenue.

Eleanor McGuinness

Eleanor is Director and Booking Agent for PlayBook Artists Agency, who represent artists such as Angel Olsen, Arooj Aftab, Andy Shauf, Beverly Glenn Copeland, Son Lux, Weyes Blood among many more.

Eleanor first immersed herself in the Dublin music scene in 2002, promoting acoustic nights & booking national tours for Irish artists.

Soon thereafter advancing to promoter & booker for POD Concerts which included bookings for Electric Picnic among other festivals and alongside live bookings for a premier music venue in Dublin.

Finally joining Pitch & Smith Agency in 2011 helping to develop their roster and strategy across Europe, before setting up PlayBook Artists in 2021 alongside friends and colleagues from the industry.

Rob McGee

Rob McGee, former Agent at The Empire Agency (USA) and previous owner of Electric Harmony Agency (2010-2019), now sits as a senior live booking agent at FMLY Agency, a global talent agency who represent a growing roster of artists worldwide, as well as festival programming consultation and an Artist Management arm. Robs roster includes Irish artists THUMPER (IRE) and Tebi Rex (IRE) as well as Crooked Colours (AUS), Dutch Uncles (UK), Garden City Movement (Israel), Ladyhawke (AUS), Cold War Kids (USA), SKAAR (NO), Pyra (TH) among many others.

Heard It On The Radio

Who better to ask than the DJs and broadcasters whose job relies on finding the best in new music. Nels Hylton (BBC Radio 1), John Kennedy (Radio X) Gemma Bradley (BBC Radio 1 / BBC Radio Ulster) offer the inside track on how to grab those initial plays for your music


Nels Hylton (BBC Radio 1)
John Kennedy (Radio X)
Gemma Bradley (BBC Radio 1 / BBC Radio Ulster)

Moderated by Jim Carroll.

Panellist Bios:

Nels Hylton

Nels is the host of Radio 1’s Future Alternative shining a light on the very best in brand new Alternative and underground music from across the globe.

With 10 years presenting experience – Nels has become one of the most trusted names in new music and one of the go to voices in the scene.

In 2020 – Nels covered Daniel P Carter on the Radio 1 Rock Show as a part of Radio 1’s Christmas Takeover before being given his new slot as the presenter of Future Alternative. He’s interviewed some of the biggest names in alternative music including Enter Shikari, Kid Brunswick and Beartooth.

He has also previously worked with Radio X hosting their overnight weekend show.

John Kennedy

John Kennedy is the host of X-Posure on Radio X. The show has been running for 23 years, while John recently celebrated his 25th Anniversary at Xfm / Radio X! Over that time he has championed everyone from Adele to The xx, Four Tet to M.I.A., Clean Bandit to Zun Zun Egui, Ajimal to Scrounge, hosting sessions, gigs and interviews with newcomers and legends. You can catch X-Posure on Friday and Saturday nights from 11pm on Radio X, check out the Track By Track Podcast via the Global Player or listen to the Tape Notes podcast everywhere. Get along to his night The Remedy whenever you can.

Behind the Scenes – in association with AIM Ireland

AIM Ireland chat to some of the independent music professionals behind some of this year’s RTÉ Choice Music Prize nominated artists.

Gino (Manager, SELLÓ)
Joe Clarke (Manager, Thumper)
Ismay Bourke (Fia Moon, Dashoda artist management, PR)

Moderated by Gill Dooley.


A proven senior leader in music, Gill Dooley is an independent artist manager, music consultant, mentor and the CEO of AIM Ireland, Ireland’s national association for independent music. Bringing more than 20 years experience with her, Gill’s solution driven approach has seen AIM Ireland grow into a leading advocacy organisation since she took the helm in 2021. Gill began her career with EMI, and spent time working with Irish indie RMG Chart, New Zealand’s TWL and Hot Press before joining Universal Music in 2007. She spent 11 years as Director of Digital & Business Development before branching out on her own in 2018 to focus on an Enterprise Ireland funded consultancy, and launch her career as an artist manager to rising pop star Aimée. Gill is a mentor for Keychange and Minding Creative Minds, and also sits on the IMPALA board.

JOE CLARKE (Manager, Thumper

Joe Clarke is the managing partner at CWB who operate across record labels, festival curation, event delivery and music management from offices in Dublin and Tipperary.

CWB manage Choice nominees THUMPER alongside a carefully curated roster of musicians, podcasters, authors and poets with authenticity and innovation their common denominator.

Current CWB projects include the Creative Europe Revelland Project which aims to make live music events more accessible to all, cutting edge live shows with Jenny Keane and The 2 Johnnies and a new summer festival.

He is currently the Chairperson of the Association of Independent Music Ireland.

ISMAY BOURKE (Fia Moon, Dashoda artist management, PR)

Ismay Bourke is an Artist Manager. In 2018 she launched Ismay Bourke Mgmt & PR, a Dublin based, boutique Artist Management, PR & radio plugging company whose roster includes artists Fia Moon, Dashoda and has executed successful PR campaigns for artists such as Jafaris, FLYNN, Soulé, Elaine Mai, Chasing Abbey, Josh Gray and Rushes as well as Armada Music with Lost Frequencies and LAB Records with SIIGHTS. She has also recently worked for Universal Music Ireland as a Senior Artist & Media Relations Manager from Nov 22 – Feb 23. A graduate of Griffith University, Dublin with a degree in Law, Ismay began her career in the music industry over 15 years ago in London under Richard Baskind and David Glick. Later she graduated with a Masters from The University of Westminster, London in Music Business Management and went on to develop London artist, Bluey Robinson who signed to Sony RCA UK, joined Justin Bieber on his My World European Tour and Tinie Tempah’s on his UK tour. Ismay also brings to the table experience in marketing and business development and worked on the launch of hot spot ‘Tape London’.

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