IT'S a thankless task, with the attendant financial risks and promotional effort needed, but promoters are the unsung heroes, bringing to us a selection of fine raucous gigs this 2013.
While we can all wish for one more tour, one more gig, one more concert, one more show from a favourite band we must take the time to raise the horns and a glass of liquid refreshment for Northern Ireland's promoters and venues.
Just last night we witnessed Lamb of God (review here) in The Limelight, and tonight we have Slayer's second visit of the year less than five days after Vivian Campbell brought Last in Line to Belfast.
And that's just some of the shows that Shine and the Limelight have brought our way.
Of course we also have to raise a glass or six to the smaller promoters and venues, Mr Loveday at The Distortion Project for keeping Saturday afternoons choc full of metal and bringing the likes of Wintersun and Satyricon for us.
And, of course a wee toast for Derwin and everyone at the Diamond Rock Club for putting Ahoghill on the rock 'n' roll map!
Finally, the big boys at MCD also deserve a mention for Black Sabbath...along with Whitesnake, Thunder and Journey et al.
So, next time you're in a queue on Ormeau Avenue or the Odyssey, travelling on the beer bus to North Antrim or deciding what to quaff ahead of a show, spare a thought for all the promoters and venues and thank them for bringing the best possible rock and metal to our shores.
[Of course we've missed out a few due to space restrictions, but you can always post your favourite venues and promoters in the comments below!]