What is a short term radio station?
Well it’s pretty much what its name suggests! We can provide a radio station for your event. This might be a one day affair, such as a village show or a concert, or it might be a longer term event, such as a weekend or week long festival.
You can have almost everything that a “normal” radio station has including 24 hour shows, phone ins, interviews, music, news and weather, travel news, adverts, competitions, and more. The list is almost endless as it is as more about your imagination (and budget!) than about the technical skills needed.
We can broadcast on FM radio or stream online which is more popular these days as it’s easier to setup (less red tape) and far cheaper.
We can broadcast on site with a popup radio studio or do everything remotely if, for example, you just want to pre-promote your event in advance of it actually taking place.
Why would I need a radio station?
There are so many reasons why you might want to add a short term radio station to your event. Lots of these revolve around promoting your event and bringing it to a wider audience.
Let’s imagine you’re planning to run a weekend long music festival that appeals to a specific audience. You’ve got a great line up and a fantastic website to promote the event. Your social media is organised but you need something else. Rosetta Radio could set up and run an online radio station for the period up to the event. You would put a player link on your website so that people who find the site can listen in. We would interview all the acts playing at your event and play out these interviews with songs they are known for. We could run competitions to win free tickets or VIP passes as well as other prizes. When the event takes place we could set up our temporary studio onsite and broadcast interviews with the acts as they come off stage and talk to visitors (voxpops) to see how they are enjoying the event. All of this helps promote your event and is really useful when you start planning the next one as you have plenty of audio material which you can use to promote it.
Maybe you’re planning a large family festival with hundreds (maybe thousands) of people staying over a week. You have loads of activities planned but you need to communicate regularly with all of your guests and also keep the interest of those who are not taking part in activities at that time. Rosetta Radio could help build up the event by running an online radio station in the period up to the event with a “listen now” link on your event website so that attendees can start getting in the mood and hearing about what will be on offer to them. We can provide national news and weather as well as “local” news about your event. When the event starts we could provide our portable studio and broadcast live from the site providing updates and information to the attendees. Our signal could be played out over any site public address systems as well as listened to by attendees on their mobile phone or on radios. We could interview organisers, acts and participants as well as run competitions to keep everyone interested and engaged. When an engaging speaker is talking we could broadcast the feed so that those who cannot get to the event can hear what is being said and might be tempted to attend next time. The radio station can also be used as a Tannoy to broadcast announcements to the participants or even to find lost children! At the end of the event all the audio which has been created can be used to promote the next event as audio is so much better than just talking about how good an event is.
FM or streaming. What’s the difference?
Traditionally radio stations broadcast their audio on radio frequencies (hence the name radio station!). These days FM is the standard radio type and AM is not used so much. If you listen to the radio at home, BBC or commercial, then it’s probably on FM. FM can be really good for a short term radio station if you want to broadcast to a relatively small area and your potential audience has access to radio receivers. If we were to target our broadcast at car drivers in a small town then FM would be ideal as most cars have FM radios. To get a short term FM licence (RSL) we need to apply sometime in advance (at least 2 months). There is a very large form to fill in, a large fee to pay and you pay by the day. There is also no guarantee that a licence will be granted by Ofcom. If we’re successful at getting a licence we then need to hire and setup an expensive transmitter and aerial. As you can see, it can cost a lot and we’re talking several thousand pounds!
However, if we want to setup a streaming broadcast, we already have all the technology setup and running so there’s no need to apply for a licence (although we still have to pay to broadcast music, see below). You can see how it works and hear a test broadcast by going to listen.rosettaradio.co.uk. As a matter of interest, if we setup an FM station then we will normally stream online as well as it doesn’t cost any more.
These days more people are used to listening to audio on their mobile devices so having a streaming only station is not such an issue as it used to be. In fact you’re more likely to find that people will listen online than have access to a portable FM radio!
The bottom line is that FM radio still has its uses but, due to the cost and red tape setting it up, it is not as popular as it used to be.
Don’t worry, we will provide you with the correct HTML code for your website manager to add to your website for the “listen now” link.
You mentioned paying for music. What’s that about?
All music played out in public needs to be paid for so that the recording artist and the record company get their fair share. If you buy a CD then you will find that you only have a licence to play it in private. If you want to play it to the public or broadcast it on a radio station then you need a special licence. Actually it’s two licences! One from PRS and one from PPL.
When we provide a radio station, FM or streaming, we have to keep records of how many songs we play (and how many people are listening on streaming) each day. We then have to pay a licence fee based on those numbers. A streaming music licence isn’t too expensive but it needs to be taken into consideration and it’s one of the costs we will estimate in our proposal but we won’t know how much it is until we start broadcasting and see how many people listen!
What about news and weather?
Sometimes we get asked to include news and weather in our broadcasts. This can be useful if we’re covering a longer event as it breaks up the broadcast and encourages people to listen. Amongst our experience is news gathering, writing and reading so we can provide national and international news if required but it costs a fair bit to provide that sort of service. Sometimes we get asked to provide a simple news bulletin each hour with a precis of the top headlines and a generic weather description.
We also subscribe to a generic national and international news service that provides hourly news bulletins and weather if needed. These are professionally recorded bulletins which are sent to us a few moments before the top of the hour so that we can rebroadcast them. They also include a short advert after the bulletin so please take that into account if you do not want to hear any adverts on your radio station. Please ask if you want this sort of news provided and we will add the costs to our proposal.
Finally we can provide a very localised news bulletin, entirely about your event. This can be a fun way of promoting what’s coming up and would normally run after the “normal” news bulletin.
Can we have adverts?
Yes you can. You can sell, write and produce adverts for us to broadcast or we can produce them for you. You can have traditional advert breaks at set times each hour or you can have sponsorship of a show or feature e.g. “The breakfast show sponsored by Hamburgers Are Us” or “Now it’s time for the weather sponsored by Upside Down Umbrellas”. We don’t have the resources to sell advertising on your behalf.
What about competitions?
These are a great way of engaging with your listeners and also promoting sponsors. We can develop competitions for you or you can come up with them yourself. They might be phone in, email in tweet or in person competitions e.g. “The first person to bring me a wooden tent peg wins a free drink in the bar”. Running competitions encourages people to listen in for fear of missing out.
Can we rename the radio station?
We normally operate as Rosetta Radio. You can personalise this, e.g. My Event Radio, but bear in mind that our email address, twitter account and streaming server all say Rosetta Radio. We would also need to record our identity jingles with your brand so there is a fair amount of work in rebranding but it can be done.
How can listeners speak to the studio?
We have a dedicated phone number, email address and twitter account which listeners can use and you are free to promote.
Phone: 01983 221 221
What do you need on a site for us to be able to broadcast?
Every event is different and we like to spend time finding out about your needs. A lot of these requirements depend on what sort of radio station we are providing and what sort of event you are having. However, here are some of the basics that we need in order to provide a radio station.
Studio – If we’re providing our mobile studio then we’ll need somewhere to park a small van safely. Bear in mind that if you want people to come and speak to us then make sure they will be able to find us! We have spent a long weekend hidden behind the toilets on a site and it wasn’t nice. If you are providing a room we can use as a studio then we only need a small office (5m x 5m is plenty). We will either need a desk or let us know so we can provide one. We also need to be able to lock the door as we’ll be leaving a lot of kit in the room.
Power – We can’t do a lot without power so, unless we’re just recording interviews to take back to our studio, we will need power for our portable studio. We don’t need much though, just a dedicated 13 amp socket. Dedicated means that it mustn’t be a collection of multi-plug adaptors plugged into each other! We may use our full 13 amps so we can’t share with anyone else. If we’re providing our mobile studio then we’ll need that power supply to be within about 20 metres of us so you might need to consider getting an extension feed run to near where we will be sited or a suitable generator.
Internet – In order to provide a streaming internet station we will require a good internet connection. Obviously! This internet connection needs to be a wired connection (not Wifi unless we agree to this in exceptional circumstances) and it needs to be at least 0.5Mbps upload speed. Please note that this is upload speed not the usual download speed that is quoted as we are transmitting data not receiving it. It’s also no good if we are sharing the connection with hundreds of public users checking Facebook and uploading cat videos as our broadcast will fail and break up. The internet connection is probably the most important part of the infrastructure so please talk to us if there are any problems as we can resolve most issues. We have even setup temporary dedicated Wifi links before. If we are on a local subnet, which is normal, then ideally we would like a static local IP address so that we can access our equipment from outside the studio. Again, ask if you or your IT people are unclear about what we need. We’ll be quite specific in our proposal.
Accommodation – This depends on the length of the event, the type of the event and the location. If we are going to be in a field in the middle of nowhere for seven days then we may want to bring a caravan. If we just need a single overnight stay then we might ask you to arrange hotel rooms. All of this will be included in our proposal.
Food, water, toilets – Our team will need feeding and watering as you can do so much after a good cup of tea!
What sort of things can we do with the radio station?
Here are just some of the things we have done or can do which might give you some ideas and inspiration but your imagination is what counts!
- National and international news
- Local (your event) news
- General announcements
- Interviews with organisers
- Interviews with performing acts
- Interviews with attendees
- Pre event interviews in person or “down the line”
- Competitions and giveaways
- Music – Specific genres can be catered for e.g. Christian, 70s, etc.
- Promotion of events or activities
- Dedications and mentions – Note that we cannot do requests as that may breach the music licence
- Pre recorded talks
- Audio books or similar packages
- Live feeds from a stage e.g. a guest speaker
- Breakfast show
- Overnight automated content e.g. music and interviews
Where do we go from here?
The first thing we will need is some information from you. We need to know:
- What the event is called
- What the event is e.g. music festival, family camp, etc.
- Where it is taking place
- A description of the event so we can get a feel for what is going on and how we can help
- Contact details of the organisers
You can download our enquiry form here.
We will then arrange to speak to you about your event so we can get a better feel for what you want, what the event needs and what we can provide.
Once we have all the information we need we will provide a detailed proposal which will explain all the information about what we can provide and what we need. It’s really important that you make sure we understand correctly what you need and that you understand clearly what we are offering. The last thing we want is misunderstandings when there are large sums of money and people’s time involved. We need to make sure we hit all the necessary deadlines, especially when applying for licences.
When you have agreed that the proposal is correct we will ask for a signature from the organiser and any deposit to be paid. Once we have received both of these, we will confirm your order and start preparations. If anything changes, on our side or yours, we will agree the changes in writing so as to avoid any misunderstandings.
We hope that this post explains a little about what we can provide for your event. If you have any further questions or you would like a radio station at your event then please get in touch.