Sound Connections were at the heart of The Radio Academy Festival 2023.

The Sound Connections theme built upon last year’s deep focus on the power of audio to connect with listeners, and each other.

Running across three stages, see last year's full Festival line-up below. Festival programme 2024 coming soon!

Radio Academy Festival 2023: Sound Connections


Festival Stage, Part 1

Host: Shaun Keaveny

The Radio Academy: Sound Connections

Welcome address from the new incoming Managing Director, Aradhna Tayal Leach.

Artificial Intelligence, Genuine Connections

Using AI to make radio more relevant, with Daniel Anstandig, Futuri.

30 Years of Music Connections

Reflecting back on 30 years of connecting music to audiences at the BBC, with Steve Lamacq and Jo Whiley.

The Rockonomics that's Disrupting Radio

Insights on music, podcasting and the economics, with Will Page.

 ARIAS Stage, Part 1

Host: Summaya Mughal

We catch up with some of this year's ARIAS stars to find out more about the award-winning teams.

This stage will open after the Artificial Intelligence, Genuine Connection keynote on the Festival Stage.

Best New Radio Show: Room 5 (BBC Radio 4)

Helena Merriman in conversation with Manveen Rana.

Connections Stage, Part 1

Host: Maia Beth

Get the more practical and inspirational stories from the experts who've done it and those who are still working out the new ways to do it...

This stage will open after the Artificial Intelligence, Genuine Connection keynote on the Festival Stage.

How To Find My Podcast

Discoverability in a flooded market, with Emma Conneely and Danni Haughan.


Festival Stage, Part 2

Host: Shaun Keaveny

Gen Z to Gen Alpha - what have we learned?

Are assumptions made about youth in the audio sector connecting communities or discounting them? With Jay Richards, Imagen Insights.

The Myth of the Hard to Reach Audience

Unpicking recent success stories in the world of podcasting and radio, with Remi Burgz, Nicole Logan, Rosie Turner and Jessica Joseph.

Greatest Hits Radio

With Ben Cooper and contributions from Ken Bruce and Simon Mayo.

50 Years of Commercial Radio

The Pivotal Moments - Pete Snodden speaks to Ralph Bernard CBE.

 ARIAS Stage, Part 2

Host: Summaya Mughal

Best Music Entertainment Show: Craig Charles (Audio Always for BBC Radio 6 Music)

Craig Charles and Helen Weatherhead in conversation with Fleur East.

UK Station or Network of the Year: BBC Radio 4

Mohit Bakaya in conversation with Emma Barnett

Nominee of Best New Podcast: Betwixt the Sheets

Steve Lanham and Charlotte Long are in conversation with Tom Price.

Two-time Nominee: Where There's a Will, There's a Wake (Somethin' Else, Sony Music Entertainment)

Ollie Wilson, Charlie Murrell and Katie Boden in conversation with Chris Skinner.

Connections Stage, Part 2

Host: Maia Beth

Sound Advice: Stories from RAMP

With Joel Mitchell, Alexandra Quinn, Dixi Stewart, Kelly Windsor Burgin and Bernard Achampong.

Plugging into Music Connections

The art of music plugging with Jess Kangalee and Dave Rajan.

Perspectives from the Next Generation

Tito Mogaji-Williams and Adrianna Deaconescu in conversation with Cat Agostinho from Imagen Insights.

News Movement

A new podcast from Mary Mandefield.


Festival Stage, Part 3

Host: Shaun Keaveny

BBC Radio 2: Making Connections

Vernon Kay in conversation with Victoria Derbyshire.

The Power and Evolution of Speech Audio

With Matt Deegan, Manveen Rana, Chris Baughen and Richie Brave.

Dealing with the Difficult Stuff

With Dr Sian Williams, Alisa Rochester, Sylvie Carlos and Jordan Lee.

BFBS: Entertain, Inform, Connect, Champion

Marking 80 years of The Forces Station, with presenter Amy Casey and live link-ups around the world.

 ARIAS Stage, Part 3

Host: Summaya Mughal

Creative Innovation Award winner: Mission Transmission (Fun Kids)

Adam Stoner and Lloydie James Lloyd in conversation with Vicki Blight.

Best New Podcast: Colouring In Britain (BBC Sounds)

Tommy Dixon in conversation with Khaliq Meer.

Best Local Show: Pulse 1 Breakfast with Rosie & Mylo

Rosie and Mylo in conversation with Stephanie Hirst.

Connections Stage, Part 3

Host: Maia Beth

Community Radio at 40

With Dom Chambers, Mo Ayoub, Olivia Swift and Lucy Kinghorn.

Entrepreneurship in Audio

Stephanie Otty and Camilla Byk in conversation with Dhruti Shah.

10 Rules in Music Radio to Break

Pete Black in conversation with Rebecca Frank.


Festival Stage, Part 4

Host: Shaun Keaveny

The Power of Sport

With Jeanette Kwakye, Carolyn Hitt and Kathryn Anastasi.

Going Live with your Brands

With Stephanie Hirst, Sam Jackson, Andrew Wyke, LeeAnn Taylor and Harpz Kaur.

Creating Audience Connections

Wynne Evans in conversation with Jayne Middlemiss.

 ARIAS Stage, Part 4

Host: Summaya Mughal

Best Specialist Music Show: For the Love of Hip Hop (Folded Wing for BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds)

Romesh Ranganathan in conversation with DJ Ace.

Best New Presenters and multi-award winners: Life After Prison (Prison Radio Association)

Zak & Jules, Beth Madden and Becky Jacobs in conversation with Amy Voce.

Silver for Best Drama: Algorithms (RooksNest for Audible)

Sadie Clark in conversation with Haroon Rashid.

Connections Stage, Part 4

Host: Maia Beth

The Connections Stage will remain open for conversation, debate and networking without agenda.

Festival Party with DJ Molly Smith - supported by PPL and PRS for music.


Meet the Sponsors

There will be opportunity to chat to our sponsors over refreshments at the Festival. Find out more about how they support audio and radio and see how they can help you.

With thanks to their generous support

radio news hub
bbc sounds
dts xperi

Media Partners

Radio Today