Chris Maher is the founder and CEO of the Dublin City Soul Festival (2007 – 2014) and Musical Youth Foundation projects. He is a professional radio broadcaster and has been involved in radio since 1999, presenting popular specialist soul music shows on stations including Today FM, 4FM, Heartbeat FM and Christmas FM where he was also the Station Manager for 3 years and remains involved now as a presenter. Having spent 20 years producing and presenting his ‘Soul Kitchen’ radio programme on 103.2 Dublin City FM, and including a period as CEO of the station Chris has recently moved on to establish his own radio station, Reveal Music Radio which of course is all in support of his labour of love the Musical Youth Foundation.
During a trip to the launch of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music in 2003 he was officially adopted as an honorary Tennessean and Ambassador of Soul Music by the State of Tennessee. It was on this trip that Chris was inspired to launch the Musical Youth Foundation for the benefit of children that otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to access music lessons and instruments.
At the end of 2006 he left his position as sales manager for Dublin’s Q102 to pursue his dream of creating a world-renowned music festival for Ireland, capable of attracting cultural tourists from around the globe as well as being a positive, feel-great celebration for local people to enjoy. In May 2007 the first annual Dublin City Soul Festival took place, attracting over 12,000 people and picking up a prestigious Irish Times Living Dublin Award for Culture and Tourism. Since then, the festival has grown from strength to strength as a unique feel-great celebration, attracting thousands of valuable cultural tourists to Ireland and generating more than €1 million annually for the Irish economy. Following the 2014 Soul Festival Chris made the difficult decision to pause the annual event to focus on other aspects of his social entrepreneurial endeavours.
To get more insight into how and why the Musical Youth Foundation was established read a Q&A with Chris here.
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