We wasted no time getting into the Melburnian muso mindset. A mere six hours after we touched down we had a meeting with the lovely, passionate folks at Triple R . This independent community station which first started broadcasting in 1976 is a shining beacon of how a radio station can become lifeblood to a city’s alternative music community. There is no playlist, no corporate sponsorship, no outside interference, the DJs play whatever they like at any time and say “fuck” an awful lot considering it was noon when we visited and heard the expletive on air a few times.
We met Simon Winkler and Jacinta Parsons from the station who explained to us (no doubt as we sat there with mouths agape) that the station is largely funded by its listeners in the form of subscriptions which they do a drive for for two weeks every year called the Radiothon. Listeners, Bands, DJs and local businesses are largely responsible for keeping the station afloat. Some even go so far as to subscribing their pets and their plants (the station has a popular gardening talk show as 30% of its programming is talk radio) to support it. Last year’s Radiothon added over 11,000 subscribers to the station. Add that to the government-funded and similarly non-playlisted Triple J and you’ve got a superior resource for alternative and independent music in Melbourne and the surrounding areas of Victoria.
The station moved home five years ago to a former lingerie factory in Brunswick East, about ten minutes on a tram outside of the city centre. The new home has afforded the station with extra space to play with and some of this space has been turned into a large in-house venue where all-ages gigs, radio sessions and live broadcasts take place. For a community station, it truly is totally involved in the local scene even going as far to delve into matchmaking – the upcoming Show Us YA 7 Inch musical-speed dating event pairs single music lovers up with like-minded Triple R subscribers. Everyone knows your music collection says more than you ever could about yourself in five minutes so Triple R are asking people to bring along their favourite piece of music – be it CD, cassette or vinyl to be judged by potential suitors. (more…)
Posted on June 14th, 2009