Hanging out (usually) at and below 91.9 on the FM radio dial is a gem often glanced over by Top-40 drive-time hit seekers: college radio. This arm of the FM radio band provides a non-corporate filtered offering of music and talk free of the shackles of answering to commercial sponsors with specific programming.
Every October since 2011 College Radio Day has united college radio stations around the world have united in raising awareness of and celebrating one of the few remaining mediums delivering new and cutting edge content. College Radio Day 2014 is happening this Friday, October 3, and this year over 700 college stations worldwide are participating to some degree.
College Radio Day has garnered attention from many big league label artists, and even by President Obama and Vice President Biden. As a growing organization, College Radio Day has established the College Radio Fund, a community chest of sorts that raises money to help college stations that are in some sort financial distress and at risk for ceasing operations.
College radio is something familiar to . Several of us here have spun records at college stations around New York State, including WRPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), WCDB (SUNY Albany), WICB (Ithaca College), WVBR (Cornell University), WATC (SUNY Canton), WSPN (Skidmore College), WRUB (SUNY Buffalo), and WITR (Rochester Institute of Technology).
Stations participating in the event do so in varying degrees, from airing special interviews to hosting live bands and simulcasts with other college stations.
If you’re one who has avoided the lower end of the FM dial, use Friday as an excuse to give a listen to your local college radio station(s) if you have not already. Broadcast radio is still relevant in today’s world of iPods and streaming media platforms and student-run college radio is a pinnacle of the medium.
Check out the College Radio Day website for more information on the event, and a video below of Wyclef Jean performing exclusively for College Radio Day 2013 at the WPSC Studios in conjunction with MTV U.