Calling all vinyl aficionados: Apr. 23, 2022, will be the day to celebrate the unique, much-loved and resurging medium known as vinyl. Vinylthon 2022 will feature a full day of vinyl-only broadcasts from stations across the U.S. and around the world.
The nonprofit College Radio Foundation, which is organizing the event, described Vinylthon as the radio industry’s response to the “remarkable vinyl renaissance” that continues around the world. The event is open to all stations both commercial and noncommercial and will raise scholarship funds for students interested in a career in the radio industry.
“This event is a hugely fun day for both listeners and broadcasters alike,” said Vinylthon Founder Rob Quicke, a faculty advisor at WPSC(FM) at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J. “People are still very passionate about the magic and warmth of vinyl.”
Over the past 15 years, sales of vinyl have seen steady growth, reaching a “post-Napster high” of $467 million in the first half of 2021, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, despite supply chain shortfalls affecting production. In 2020, vinyl sales overtook CD sales for the first time since the 1980s.
2022 marks the seventh Vinylthon event, with more than 150 radio stations participating in 2021. The event has been supported in the past by music artists such as Andrew Farriss from INXS, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, Ritchie Kotzen from Mr. Big and Poison, and Mike Peters from The Alarm.
The event is free for noncommercial radio stations to register; there is a small fee for commercial stations to participate, said Quicke. “Commercial radio stations that participate are paying it forward to the next generation of professional broadcasters, who really need the financial support,” he said.
Stations that air more than 12 hours of vinyl-only recordings during the event will earn the Golden Slipmat Award — a pair of golden slipmats that can be used on turntables or displayed on a studio wall.
“Playing vinyl on the air is an amazing, hands-on experience for many of today’s radio broadcasters, and a trip down memory lane for the listeners,” Quicke said.
The organization has released additional information on the event, including information on registering and a list of participating stations. As of press time, nearly 100 U.S. stations and a dozen international stations had registered.