Radio Festival Update

by on 25th August 2015. (0) Comment .
Category: News

Well, it’s all going on now!

The first announcements of some of the contributors to this years Radio Festival have been announced and we’ve received fantastic interest, followed swiftly by the announcement that the amazing Brian Eno will be delivering the John Peel Lecture on the Sunday evening the 27th September.

Check out for more details and get your Radio Festival tickets as soon as you can.

That’s all from me for this week, I will hand you over to two of the superstars behind the scenes who are curating this years Radio Festival, Simon Tuff for Radio Festival TechCon and Gloria Abramoff for Radio Festival Showcase.

Simon Tuff

Simon writes:
People often ask me why should I go to TechCon? I am sure if you were to ask the team I have been working with on the Festival, you would get twelve different answers, but for me the answer boils down to audiences and money. We live in an age when technology is driving audience behaviour and business cost like never before, so can you afford to risk not attending?

Radio Festival TechCon is the home of broadcast engineering for Radio’s technology community and this year we again spread our wings over a broad range of topics and speakers.

We have a keynote from this year’s hosts the British Library, who have launched their Save Our Sounds initiative. The British Library wants to be the home of sound as well as the written archive, but if they are going to do that they have a deadline to meet, as the clock is ticking. It is thought we have about 15 years to preserve the nation’s audio record as recording materials degrade and replay technologies ware out. You can hear how the experts at the National Sound Archive plan to keep our work preserved and how you can help.

From Norway we learn more on the challenges of actually doing a digital switch-over for radio. From the South Sudan we hear about the challenges of engineering radio in one of Africa’s more remote nations.

We will hear about some new technologies that are on the verge of changing the world of audio engineering – Audio over Internet Protocol or AoIP as the techies call it and Object Based Audio. AoIP isn’t the jittery, compressed sound you get from most streaming services, but full bandwidth, high quality, full fat audio and Object Based Audio, that will enable you to add technical metadata to audio streams and files, which some believe could be a game changer. We also see how much of a radio station you can squeeze on to just one laptop and report on the audio technology Bjork used to create art in New York.

Plus we hear from Tony Ageh, the BBC’s Controller of Archive on public digital spaces, looking at how different broadcasters are using visualisation and find out why you might want to try DAB on a small scale.

So let me ask you, can you really afford not to be there?


Gloria writes:
Putting together a Festival, for me, is no different to producing radio content; the highs and lows are just the same and I get to work as part of a team. Last Friday I woke up feeling anxious and worried; would we pull it off, would the infrastructure be in place, can we maintain the energy levels we are currently running at and can we manage all the expectations? A green tea, a roll up, a quick walk with the dog didn’t reduce my anxiety, but then you get a few yesses and I’m back to being happy and positive in no time at all.

It’s my third year as Festival Director and what the experience has taught me is the key to a great Festival is “to ask”. Ask people what they want to hear and see. Ask people what the challenging issues are. Ask people what they want to flag up and celebrate. Ask people what they need to know. And ask them what they care about.

This year in order to cover the areas you have requested, we are limiting the number of panel sessions and going for more “polemics” and two way discussions. All the sessions will be held in one room, so you don’t have to worry about feeling conflicted between sessions. Our host is the lovely Paddy O’Connell. Guest speakers include Chris Evans, Will Page from Spotify, Amy Kean from Havas Media, Peter Barron from Google, Jocelin Stainer from Radio 1 and Christian O’Connell.

There will also be time to network. I attended the very first Festival in Edinburgh many years ago and arguably my career has been defined by the many wonderful people I have met at the Festival, so I really value networking and we will make sure that there are many opportunities for delegates to do that. Not everyone is like me and loves hosting a party, so for those of you who are a little unsure about the best way to go about this, we will be having a networking masterclass on Tuesday morning.

Writing this has helped me feel confident about what’s been achieved so far; and in the next we’ll be able to announce more great speakers. If I haven’t got round to asking you what you want, please do let me know… I’ll do my best. Like a good programme we are open to all ideas until we got to air and if I ask you for help, remember it doesn’t take much to make me happy; all I need is a ‘yes’!


Radio Festival 2015

by on 15th August 2015. (0) Comment .
Category: News


On behalf of Chris and I and everyone at The Radio Academy, welcome to Radio Festival 2015, this year at The British Library, London on the 27th – 29th September.

We’ve shaken things up a bit, lots of fantastic content and a brilliant line-up of speakers, as you’d expect, but we’re presenting it all in a fresher way.

So, this is how it works.

Radio Festival is over three days and you can build your own experience, with tickets available for each day, so you can create a Festival that’s right for you. The days are shared experiences designed so you don’t miss a thing. It’s one big room, one stage, one session at a time.  And we’ve worked really hard to deliver you a great price with an even better first release price – grab those whilst you can!

Here’s how the days look:

Sunday 27th
The Festival opens with a drinks reception in the glorious British Library. You’ll spot Jarvis Cocker in there, too, presenting his programme for 6 Music before we all go through to the auditorium for the legendary BBC Music John Peel Lecture. It’s being filmed for BBC Four and recorded for BBC Music with an invited audience.  We’ll be announcing more – very exciting – details about this on Tuesday, so watch this space…

Monday 28th
Radio Festival TechCon.  A day focussed on how innovations in technology are transforming the way we serve our audiences and make content. A big shout out to Broadcast Bionics for their continued support, especially in helping bring down the cost of Radio Festival TechCon tickets. A full programme to be announced early next week.

Tuesday 29th
Radio Festival Showcase. Packed full of keynote speakers, contributors and polemics from the Radio and Audio industry designed to inspire, celebrate, challenge and inform. Hosted by Paddy O’Connell, the full schedule will be published shortly, but here’s a taster of what you can expect; Chris Evans in conversation, Amy Kean, Head of Futures at Havas Media Labs on why mobiles have to be part of the creative decision making process, Will Page from Spotify and Peter Barron from Google on Google creativity and Google Culture.

On in to the evening, your ticket also includes an invitation to our drinks reception with special guests, awards, ReelWorld 30u30 and a chance to catch up and reflect on the earlier sessions. So come on, get involved, we’re expecting a high demand and with less than 250 tickets on sale, don’t be shy book now.

Tickets available here.

Looking forward to seeing you, bye for now.

Any questions about the event and for Group Ticket Purchases [3 or more], contact:

Inside Radio 1 – An Evening With Johnny Beerling

by on 6th August 2015. Comments Off .
Category: News

From Yorkshire Branch Chair, Stuart Clarkson:

The Yorkshire Branch has arranged its latest event – a look at the first 25 years of BBC Radio 1 with Radio Academy Fellow, Johnny Beerling.

Johnny Beerling joined Radio 1 from the Light Programme ahead of its launch and produced the first show in 1967. He went on to invent the Radio 1 Roadshow, develop the sound of the station’s jingles and much more, before being Controller of Radio 1 1985-1993. He has lots of stories to tell from his time helping to run the biggest radio station in Europe and working with some of UK radio’s best-known presenters.

Johnny’s illustrated talk will be followed by a Q&A chaired by the radio historian David Lloyd (Now Orion Media’s Content & Operations Director and formerly MD of Galaxy Yorkshire amongst other places).

There’s also an opportunity at 6pm before the main event to take a tour of The Tetley – former HQ to the Tetley Brewery, and now an art gallery and events space.

There’s a bar serving drinks all night and food until 9pm; plenty of spaces in the car park right next door and it’s only a 5 min walk away from Leeds train station, the bus station and BBC Yorkshire and the Leeds Trinity shopping centre.

Arrive from 6pm for drinks and optional tour of The Tetley. The main event will start at 6.30pm and we hope to be finished by about 8.30pm.

The event is free for members of the Radio Academy (if you work for the BBC, a commercial radio group or a station that’s a member of the CMA, SRA or HBA then you’re already a member). For non-members we ask for a £5 donation on the door.

Please register on our Facebook event to let us know you’re coming – you’ll find the link from

If you have any questions about the event please email

This should be a really fun event – if you have any memories of listening to Radio 1 in the 60s, 70s, 80s or early 90s you’ll enjoy it. Plus there’s a chance to have a drink and catch up with friends and colleagues from across the industry here in Yorkshire.

Radio Academy Yorkshire Branch presents:
Inside Radio 1 – An Evening With Johnny Beerling
Tuesday 15th September from 6pm at The Tetley, Hunslet Rd, Leeds LS10 1JQ

The Reelworld Radio Academy 30 Under 30 is Live!

by on 31st July 2015. Comments Off .
Category: News

Steve Parkinson, Chair, Reelword Radio Academy 30 Under 30 Writes:

So this is the FIFTH year of the Reelworld Radio Academy 30 Under 30 and having watched this initiative grow over the past few years, I can see just how every single place is cherished in this Top 30. It’s not about being number one, it’s about being IN it!

I know the committee is also thrilled to see our alumni flourish across the industry in all sorts of roles and positions. Check out their stories on the website.

The 30 Under 30 has truly become a great way of recognising exemplary young talent and exceptional achievement across UK radio, as well as independent producers, student, hospital, community and other voluntary organisations.

The results of the 30 Under 30 will be announced at the new Radio Festival at the British Library in London which starts on Sunday 27th September. The Radio Academy would also like to thank Reelworld which is once again the proud sponsor and supporter of the project.

You can get involved NOW by enterting online at and remember the closing date this year is soon – on 31st August 2015 at 5pm.

Good luck and see you at the Festival!


Anthony Gay, European Managing Director, ReelWorld Writes:

ReelWorld are proud to be a part of the 2015 30 under 30 initiative. Radio has been in the media spotlight this year and there’s a lot to be positive about. It feels like the medium’s strengths are finally being recognised in the digital world and people are excitedly sharing their listening habits and discoveries – be it entertaining personalities or well-crafted music offerings. What we used to refer to as the ‘water cooler moments’ are back.

Our mission to make great radio extends beyond the jingles and imaging we provide to over 2,000 radio station around the world. We see ourselves as cheerleaders for the medium of radio and creative use of sound. The 30 under 30 perfectly aligns with our values of creativity, optimism and an obsession to be the best. We might not be in the radio stations but we understand the challenges.

It’s been a thrilling year for us so far — we re-imaged the sound of BBC Radio 1Xtra and created new musical identities for Radio 2 Belgium, KRONEHIT Austria, and RTL Berlin. At every opportunity we’re asking ourselves: Could we do this better? Could we do this differently? It’s that slight paranoia that helps keep you moving forward!

As our industry evolves, the enthusiasm of youth in radio is a tremendous force that ReelWorld vehemently supports. The talented individuals who have made this year’s 30 Under 30 short list are responsible for driving radio’s future in new and exciting directions. I hope the recipients continue to have long and successful careers in our fantastic industry. For me radio has never lost the sizzle that first attracted me to the medium over 30 years ago and I hope this year’s stars fly the flag that keeps us relevant in the years to come.


Latest update from Roger and Chris

by on 28th July 2015. Comments Off .
Category: News

Roger Writes


It’s been a whirlwind of activity over my first couple of weeks and I have no doubt this will continue over the forthcoming weeks & months, especially as we build up to this year’s Radio Festival.

We’ve hosted the Radio Academy re-launch Cocktail Evening at Jaimie Oliver’s Fifteen, I’ve attended the impressive new look Radiocentre Conference at Bounce, Farringdon and also been a guest at the Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards at the Roundhouse, Camden. At all of these events, when either making new friends or being reacquainted with old ones, the striking and hugely reassuring feeling I’ve come away with, is one of huge affection for and genuine desire to see The Radio Academy flourish. I’ve had many and varied offers of support which has been quite overwhelming and I will be calling upon them, so if yours was meant as a humouring platitude then unlucky! ;-) Thank you all, so very much.

Now, as I mentioned earlier, it is all hands on deck for this year’s fantastic Radio Festival, my hyperbole is justified, as I know what is being lined up. We will be making announcements shortly so, with that in mind, I will keep this blog short and sweet, but hold the dates of the 28th – 29th September in your diary.

As Peter Falk famously said though, “just one more thing”… as the Radio Festival meeting drew to a close on Thursday evening last week, the wonderful Helen Thomas from Radio 2 turned to me and said “Roger, are you from Hull?”, I replied “yes, what makes you ask?”, “it was the way you said something in the meeting” she said. The irony is that when I go back to Hull, my mates think I’ve gone all posh and take great pleasure in taking the proverbial out of me, so this exchange with Helen was quite surprising. “How did you recognise my accent?” I asked Helen, to which she replied, “because, I’m from Hull too!”

Haha, yes get in, we’re taking over! – so here’s a quick language lesson for you “Ray-dee-oh” a relatively easy one, but how about this, Oh-dee-o.

Chris B. Writes

First of all can I say how great it is to have Roger on board. I know he is keen to get around and hear your ideas, so if he is at an event and you are there, please introduce yourself. Don’t forget this is your Radio Academy and we are both keen to ensure it reflects your interests, that’s one of the reasons I enjoy receiving your emails and hearing what’s on your mind.

Roger and I are busy planning our first Trustees meeting on the 6th August. The holiday season means we won’t be able to get everyone there, but we were keen to have at least one meeting before the Radio Festival in September, so we can tap into their skills, knowledge and contacts. Once we have the dates for all the Trustee meetings, we will publish them online so if you have any issues you want to raise you know when you have an opportunity.

I have also been meeting with some of those people who will be running the various sub committees we are setting up. I see these groups as vital to driving the agenda of the Academy and once we have the dates, we will again publish them.

And finally some of you will be aware that I have spent the last fortnight peddling across the country from Lands End to John O’Groats, and if you are like me, you don’t go that quickly on a bike, it gives you a chance to think and look around. One of the things I became acutely aware of as I peddled is the importance of the Radio Academy reflecting the whole of the UK. I haven’t got a magic solution as to how we are going to do that practically, but it is something that Roger and I will be turning our minds to over the coming weeks and months.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and please keep your emails coming in.