The Mayor of Limerick City and County, Cllr Stephen Keary, has said that the prestigious national ‘Best Event’ award claimed by Riverfest at this year’s Event Industry Awards reaffirms Limerick’s rising status as one of Ireland’s most fun and vibrant urban centres.
Coming just six months after it won ‘Purple Flag’ status for excellence in managing its evening and night-time economy, the two awards claimed by Riverfest, including the top honour, at the weekend will add to Limerick growing reputation and confidence, the Mayor said.
Riverfest beat off strong competition from some of the largest, big budget events, including for the 2016 centenary celebrations, to be selected by an independent and distinguished panel of recognised expert judges from the event sector in Ireland and further afield.
The five day family festival claimed the ‘Best Live Event’ award - for spectacular live events -sponsored by The Helix and topped that off by winning the overall award for Best Event, sponsored by the Clayton Hotel and selected from across all the category winners.
“Huge work has gone into building the event and brand since Riverfest was started in 2004”, said Mayor Keary. The win at the Event Industry Awards at the weekend is wholly justified in that regard. Riverfest now very much owns the May Bank Holiday weekend in a national context and it’s only building and getting more successful every year.
“It’s the first major festival of the year in the country, drawing tens of thousands over the weekend. It has done wonders in terms of reflecting the vibrancy and excitement permeating Limerick today. It shows that not only is the Limerick region the fastest growing economy outside the capital but it has a social scene to complement that.”
On hand to receive the award on behalf of Riverfest was James Gavin, Grooveyard Event Management, which managed the festival. Speaking afterwards, he said: “It was a pleasure to event manage such a fantastic event like Riverfest. It’s been a huge team effort and we were delighted to win the Best Live Event award but to walk away with the top honour was extra special. This would not have happened without the brilliant partnership we have with Limerick City and County Council, who have been so engaged and collaborative with us. They share with us the same desire to do things differently and make a mark.”
Said Director of Service at Limerick City and County Council Josephine Cotter Coughlan: “We’re very proud of this honour. Investing in festivals is a key area of growth for Limerick and the return on that investment delivered a 20% increase in audience numbers at Riverfest. It’s the social reflection of what’s happening in an economic sense in Limerick and we’re already planning bigger and better things for next year.”