JOE fm Flies High

Belgium station invited listeners to rid the airwaves during its 5th anniversary celebrations
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The audience cheers on JOE fm presenters and balloon crews. Photos courtesy JOE fm

Belgium-basedQ-Group’s JOE fm likes a challenge when it comes to celebrating birthday parties.


After cutting the country’s largest birthday cake in 2010, and staging one of the world’s biggest cover-band (200 musicians) in 2011, it’s no surprise the station honored its fifth anniversary in a special way.

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Backed by a live band, singer/presenter Raf Van Brussel (center) and the JOE fm on-air hosts heat up the audience for the big takeoff. Pictured left to right are Herbert Bruynseels, Heidi Van Tielen, Raf Van Brussel, Alexandra Potvin and Elke van Mello.
“JOE fm presenters asked the audience what song they would like to come alive during the party,” said Kim Boelens, JOE fm press officer. “It turned out that Nena’s 1983 smash hit ‘99 Luftballons’ was the favorite track.”

On Sunday, March 30, the station gathered 99 hot air balloons (aerostats) in Eeklo and invited 300 listeners to board the airships for a unique experience. During a live broadcast show, hosted by JOE fm presenters Leen Demaré en Raf Van Brussel, the balloons were prepared for takeoff. Several thousands of listeners attended the event on the Eeklo Balloon Airfield.

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At 5:30 sharp on March 30, JOE fm launched 99 balloons.


“I’m happy to see that our listeners are quite creative,” said Tom Klerkx, Q-Group program director. “And the simultaneous take off of the 99 aerostats, with the original Nena hit pounding through the sound system, was really phenomenal.”

All of the balloons took off at 5:30 p.m., including the special JOE fm aerostat featuring the station’s logo.

— Marc Maes

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