An effort is underway to garner support for the next generation of radio stars via the Vinylthon 2022 fundraiser.
On Saturday, April 23 the College Radio Foundation will present the 7th annual Vinylthon event, a fundraiser designed to provide scholarships for future broadcasters and expose more young voices to the radio industry.
“College radio is where it all begins,” said Lori Quicke, executive director of the College Radio Foundation, which organizes Vinylthon each year. “It’s the place where students get their first experience of broadcasting. For many of them it might be the only time they work in radio, but for some, and this is the crucial thing, this is a transformative experience, and they want to work professionally in the radio industry. We want to do everything we possibly can to support their dreams of being able to work in radio.”
As in previous years, the event will celebrate all things vinyl by encouraging participating stations to play music from records on turntables. Registration for Vinylthon 2022 is free for all college radio stations. Commercial, public and Christian stations are asked to register with a fee of $99. Higher level sponsorship are also available and, according to Quicke, every dollar goes directly into the scholarship fund.
“Students’ lives and their very futures could be changed by this,” she said. “Who knows who could one day be a household name because of this financial support?”
Stations willing to go above and beyond and commit to playing 12 hours of vinyl music will be honored with the Golden Slipmat Award, she said.
This year’s Vinylthon event will also coincide with Record Store Day.
“It’s a fun day for the entire radio industry to come together and just have fun, and in the process support radio students and thereby strengthen the future of radio,” said Quicke.
This year, Vinylthon is also being sponsored by Jacobs Media Strategies.
“Like millions of music fans, I personally love vinyl, and still own a turntable and several hundred albums, so the event has its obvious appeal,” said Fred Jacobs, company president. “I have also seen many of our client stations feature vinyl with ratings success. But what I’m really excited about is the opportunity to support young people who aspire to work in radio through Vinylthon.”
Jacobs pointed to the dwindling number young people listening to broadcast radio stations.
“They will be the majority generation in just a few years, but radio has done very little as an industry to embrace them — as listeners and even as employees,” he said. “College station are the future pipeline — young people striving to make their mark in the radio business.”
Vinylthon supporters say that a station’s participation in Vinylthon doesn’t necessarily require an over-the-air broadcast, particularly in this era of COVID and social distancing restrictions. Participants can be creative and use social media as an outlet to show their love of vinyl too.
Submit news about your event to [email protected].