Fuinneamh

Christy Moore, Tommy Tiernan, and everything in between: an interview with Emma Foote

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An Focal caught up with UCH Marketing Manager Emma Foote to find out more about the recent nomination of UCH for the IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year Award, and to learn more about working at the UCH.

“I joined University Concert Hall as Senior Marketing Executive in November 2004 and became Marketing Manager in 2007 so I’ve been here for over seven years now. I was working and living in Dublin at the time but was at the stage where I wanted to move back home to Limerick”.

The University Concert Hall has been synonymous with everything from concerts to comedy and such events in the Midwest since its inception in 1993. When the 1000 seat venue is not hosting business and marketing lectures, it hosts Christy Moore, Tommy Tiernan and everything in between.

Emma recalls the highlights to date.

“Back in 2006 we welcomed our one millionth visitor and that was very exciting! It coincided with the launch of the Friends of UCH scheme and we ran a campaign informing the public that we were getting close to the millionth customer and that whoever bought the one millionth ticket was going to become a Friend for Life AND receive two free tickets for every show for 12 years. An unbelievable prize”

“2008 brought Billy Connolly for 3 nights and that was incredible! The day he went on sale, all three shows sold out in record time. He hadn’t toured in Ireland for years so people were clamoring for tickets”

“In September of that year we also welcomed The Gate production of Waiting for Godot to Limerick as part of its Irish tour. Director of the Gate, Michael Colgan, came to Limerick on the night of the show and engaged in a public interview which we held in the Hunt Museum as it all coincided with Culture Night in the city, so that was definitely one of the highlights”

More recently, the UCH Carols For All event has become an annual highlight. “Last December was the third Carols For All and it was really wonderful to see the same families coming back and knowing that UCH is now part of their Christmas tradition!”, added Emma.

The venue has recently been nominated for the IMRO (Irish Music Recording Organisation) Live Venue of the Year Award, Emma explains.

“The IMRO awards recognize venues which deliver the highest standards of live music entertainment. It’s an honour to be one of just five nominated in the Munster region. All the management and staff of UCH are really delighted.”

“This time next year UCH will be in its 20th year, so it would be a fantastic early start to those celebrations to win the award next month and we really hope people will log on www.surveymonkey.com/s/venueawards and vote for us!”, she adds.

Emma enjoys the varied elements of the role she holds. Having worked originally as a Front of House usher whilst studying for her BA at Mary I. Having graduated from Mary I, she graduated from a Dublin University with a Postgrad Diploma in Public Relations.

“Part of that course was a work experience module and for that I was lucky enough to be taken on by the Gate Theatre. When my work experience stint was over they asked me to stay on as assistant to the Director of Marketing, and I was there for over three years until the move back to Limerick”.

Being a Senior Marketing Executive is a multifaceted undertaking. Dealing with members of the public, artists, managers, music presenters and a host of other bodies falls under her daily routine.

“My main responsibilities are to promote University Concert Hall as an entity in itself to both the general public and to the promoters and artists responsible for bringing the various events here, and then to oversee the promotion, advertising and marketing of the individual shows, concerts etc. once they are on sale”.

“People in this industry, both professional and voluntary, are so enthusiastic for what they do that that it creates a great energy”.

Colm Fitzgerald, Deputy Editor

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