The Radio Festival is without doubt the highlight of the radio industry year, with almost three days of debates, presentations, receptions, lectures, panels, workshops, drinking, eating and avoiding people you’ve sacked, or, been sacked by.
It doesn’t matter if you are a first-timer, or you’ve been to every single one, everybody is made welcome and invited to join in the debates.
Once again, RadioToday.co.uk will be in attendance, armed with blogging machines and video cameras to spread the news and views to the rest of the industry who are keeping the important industry cogs turning.
Last year, in Cambridge, the talk was of Channel 4 entering the industry on a large scale, having just won the national multiplex. Here we are 12 months later still no clearer on when the mighty broadcaster will be building their network or launching new services. Maybe they will enlighten us during the festival. Let’s hope they’ll be buying the drinks again. (did anyone find out what was on that vinyl record they handed out?)
This year in Glasgow will see much discussion about the topics affecting the industry recently, such as networking, co-location and text-to-win competitions. Maybe GCap could offer advice in that area? And of course we hope the new boss of BBC Radio, or Audio and Music, will be around to say hi.
The main events start after registration on Monday evening, with the Drinks Reception held in the City Halls. This is effectively a chance for major players in the industry to all stand in a small space, get hot and sweaty, drink free cocktails and bump in to people you haven’t seen since last year’s event. If you are camera shy you might want to let the RadioToday.co.uk photographer know before he takes your picture and publishes it for the world to see.
Shortly afterwards everyone is whisked away for the GMG Debate. Chairing this year is Sally Magnusson from BBC Scotland. You may have heard of her father, Magnus. Oh, and according to wikipedia (oh how we love wikipedia), she has five children.
The house this year is calling for radio to keep it local. For the motion is Pat Loughrey, Director of BBC Nations and Regions, Pat Kane, Media consultant and one half of Hue and Cry and Stewart Lochhead, Chair, Leith FM. Shouting against will be Anvar Khan, author, broadcaster and journalist, Robert Beveridge, lecturer, Napier University Edinburgh and Peter Curran, writer and broadcaster.
Once the debate is over, it’s time to head to the pub where more networking, gossiping and photos will be taken. Probably.
Ideally around 2am you’ll head back to your expensive hotel room and grab a few hours sleep before the alarm on your mobile phone wakes you up, if you’ve remembered to pack your charger of course.
Registration and refreshments commence at 8:30am in the City Halls. Jeremy Vine will officially open the festival at 9am before introducing the first event.
This goes on all day till 5:30pm (for what’s on, click here) when there is even more time to network, or indeed get ready for the evening entertainment – the Gala Dinner. Last year, it was a gorgeous summers evening and the BBQ was churning out the burgers, sausages and chicken skewers. This year we’re at the Old Fruitmarket for a civilised dinner and yet more chance to see old faces and meet new friends. Then we’ll no doubt follow the crowd to the Festival Club Arta and enjoy live music and maybe a dance or two.
Early next morning refreshments and registration commences at 8:30, ready for the first debate at 9:10. (For an event list, click here). Wednesday is typically only half a day, and everything is normally wrapped up just after 1pm ready for an early afternoon bus/train/place/car journey back to base.
If you are going, be sure to register and share your thoughts. If you are not going, stay with RadioToday.co.uk for live blogging.