We’re feeling just a tad reminiscent here at Nitelife HQ with thoughts of gone-but-not-forgotten festivals and parties filling our minds. Yes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year when we begin to gorge on any sugar-laden surprises available in Memmeh’s presses; we dash around, last minute, through snowy streets picking up Christmas jumpers for the office party; we make plans for our N.Y.E celebrations avec bubbles in packed bars. Now, we hark back to, what was an inimitable year of frolics, fun and fiestas. And there are some people we need to give kudos to: the hosts, venues, musicians, publicists, social media hounds, men and women of the entertainment industry, and anyone in between the lines. It’s thanks to you that this has been a uniquely memorable year, so we’ve put together – not technically awards – but more of a ‘Kudos Collection’, name-dropping the fabulous folks who made our year simply splendid. (Sidenote: that is the first time I’ve ever used “splendid” in a published sentence!)

Gig of the Year: The Jameson Bow St. Sessions Ft Maverick Sabre, Otherkin, and the Dublin Gospel Choir

What a night that was way back in January when Maverick Sabre, Otherkin, and the Dublin Gospel Choir took to the Jameson Distillery stage in Smithfield to provide an electrifying mix of genre and style, treating our eyes and ears to magical melodies. We met Mr Sabre before the gig #LifeGoals; we drank free whiskey #CheersJameson; we danced all night #SchollPartyFeet; we loved it!

Walking on Cars also featured in another Bow St. Sessions night this year which was outstanding; check that one out below.

Wordsmith of the Year: Louise O’ Neill

https://www.instagram.com/p/BM4Ux6OgFPN/?hl=en

2016 belongs to Louise O’ Neill. It’s truly been one hell of a year for the West Cork native, having received accolades from almost every literary critic and young adult lit fan at home and overseas. O’ Neill’s sophomore literary adventure, the award-winning ‘Asking For It’, initiated a very public dialogue around sexual consent. On that topic, ‘Lou-Lou’ presented a Reality Bites documentary for R.T.E earlier this year – a ratings winner. If that wasn’t enough the brunette belle also pens a weekly column for the Irish Examiner. I ask: when does she get time to sleep? So thank you to this lovely lady for your hard work this year. Now Louise, what we are asking for is the release date of your next novel and a peek at the manuscript!

‘Only Ever Yours’ and ‘Asking for It’ are both available in all the usual haunts so pick up a copy today for a great Christmas read. Here’s Louise having a chinwag with Evoke.ie.

PR Guru of the Year: Kathryn Mason

Who’s our PR genie of 2016? The wonderful Kathryn Mason, of course. Why does she kick ass? Well, Mason has over twenty-five years’ experience creating and delivering unbeatable PR and marketing campaigns for a wide range of clients in showbiz, sport and retail, all carried out in her signature, indie-boutique agency; an intimate sort of vibe. In a past life she worked with the likes of Take That, Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston, Foo Fighters, Brian Kennedy, The Chieftains, M People and Garbage. Right now, she has her publicity-loving eyes firmly fixed on London Grammar, Celtic Woman, and Sigala to name but few. If there is one woman you want working on your PR campaign it’s this gal. Another winner of a year for you, Kathryn!

Instagram Star of Year: Lovin Dublin

Oh sure jaysus, out here in the west we love an auld snap of The Big Smoke don’t we? The lads at Lovin Dublin have been good enough to provide exactly that all year long. But we won’t tell you why we loved Lovin Dublin’s Instagram this year, we’ll just have to show you!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BNXY1-2jWoE/?hl=en

King and Queen of Snapchat 2016: James Patrice and Doireann Garrihy

Hiyaaaaaaaa🙋🏻 @james_patrice

A post shared by Doireann Garrihy (@doireanngarrihy) on

Meet the new [digital] royals. Surprisingly enough, Doireann Garrihy wasn’t included in our Top 10 Irish Snapchat Stars earlier this year. Yes, she was robbed, so we couldn’t let the year come to a close without giving a big fat dose of love to the hilarious and talented Clare champion! The former A.A Roadwatch broacaster and current Spin 1038 presenter has kept us nicely entertained with her comic genius via Snapchat: her on-point imitations of other Irish Snapchat stars, her monologues in the car before venturing into the gym, the craic agus ceoil in the Spin 1038 offices, not to mention her musings about…well everything! Queen Doireann, please keep snapping in 2017.

And we have already ranted and raved enough about how James lights up our days, so we don’t want to give the king a big head, you know! He has, however, landed himself in a rather large role as the official #GlitterGuru for the Irish version of Dancing with the Stars. He’ll give us all the backstage goss. Thanks J.

What’s in store next year guys? Grab your phones and let us know.

Favourite Arts and Culture Event – Galway International Arts Festival

It was a tight toss up between the Cork Jazz Festival and the west’s best fest. Last summer, the Galway International Arts Festival did not fail to stir up devilment and mayhem in the guise of mesmerising street spectacle, powerful dance, dramatic displays of the best in theatre, more visual art than we could handle, and the most wonderful aspect of this annual celebration – the music: Elvis Costello took to the big blue Absolute Big Top to enthrall audiences, and as well as Costello, we witnessed performances from The Gloaming, Souljazz Orchestra, The Henry Girls and heaps more – every corner and crevice crammed with creative. We can’t wait for next summer when Gavin James will be paying us a visit and God knows what else? Stay tuned.

Entrepreneur of the Year: Marissa Carter

 

There has been one brand on every lady’s lips – or should we say skin – this year: the beauty heavyweight that is Cocoa Brown. This one-hour miracle product has taken the world of tanning by storm and sunshine, having graced the bodies of Little Mix (in the video for ‘shout out to my ex’), the Kardashian sisters, and a whole host of other well-known faces – and bodies. Marissa Carter is the brain – and beauty – behind the wonder brand. This year, the Dubliner was named as Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the Image Magazine Business Women of the Year Awards. She’s been on all over ‘da meeja’ this year, most notably The Late Late Show with Tubridy chatting about the hard work and dedication it takes to grow an award-winning business. She’s a grafter, and we love grafters.

Favourite Foodie 2016: Roz Purcell

You may ask yourself, “isn’t Roz Purcell a model?” Yes, you are correct. She’s arguably one of Ireland’s favourite clothes horses, a former Miss Universe Ireland Winner and an Xpose regular. But in her down time – and now in her work time, too – she’s a Natural Born Feeder! Roz’s innate love of food and nutrition has led her down a somewhat new herb garden path. And why have we chosen the Tipperary lovely as our Favourite Foodie this year? She keeps things Au natural. Not a fan of fads or limited eating styles, Roz approaches eating with a whole foods attitude: eat clean, it’s simple. Roz also appeared alongside some well-known culinary faces in the latest series of R.T.E’s ‘The Taste of Success’.

The Natural Born Feeder Instagram account has also become our go-to recipe collections, as it’s never short of yummy munchies to try, mainly getting wrong! Roz, come to my house and cook please!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BN1k8OIDqea/

Fancy trying some of Purcell’s dishes, head over to Natural Born Feeder.

Next week, Part Deux will celebrate some more amazing folks and places; stay tuned!