Through difficult times, local public radio music stations band together to pay tribute to their listeners, musicians & communities
WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 15, 2020) – The noncomMUSIC Alliance announced that more than 75 public radio music stations from nearly 30 states will join together with music fans and performers on April 16th to celebrate the first-ever Public Radio Music Day with special on-air and online programming. The Alliance is hosting the nationwide event to showcase public radio’s essential public service mission and unique role in the music world locally and nationally.
Public Radio Music Day spotlights how local public radio music stations support and connect audiences, artists and communities – and in profoundly new ways during the coronavirus pandemic. During these unprecedented times, Americans are yearning for positive upliftment and meaningful cultural and social connections.
Although the COVID-19 health crisis has placed constraints on live and on-site events, local public radio music stations are continuing to engage music fans, artists and musicians through their virtual spaces. On Public Radio Music Day, stations will host special broadcast and digital programming highlighting the unique ways they foster music discovery and make music more accessible.
“It’s hard, if not impossible, to imagine any Beggars’ album campaign happening without the participation and support of our non-commercial radio partners. These stations play an essential role in helping our artists find a larger audience and are an integral part of all of our plans,” said Matt Harmon, President, Beggars US.
“Word of mouth and the bond we’ve built with public non-commercial radio has long been a driving force behind the legacy and longevity of both Polyvinyl and our artists’ careers,” said Rob Wilcox, Promotions Director of Polyvinyl Record Co. “We could never imagine telling our story without the invaluable service that public radio music outlets provide, like when an artist appears on a public radio interview program like World Cafe, or when KEXP’s local hosts play a brand new single for the first time. We owe them all a debt of gratitude. Happy Public Radio Music Day from all of us here at Polyvinyl.”
Public Radio Music Day activities include virtual concerts, dedicated studio sessions, handcrafted playlists, and fan and artist stories, all selected to boost and connect listeners, local musicians, artists, and music organizations. Several local stations will debut music videos, artist interviews, and live streams exclusively for Public Radio Music Day on NPR Music Live Sessions (and linked on PublicRadioMusicDay.org).
From Alaska to Nebraska to North Carolina, in Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, and Kentucky, and in cities including Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, and more, participating public radio music stations on April 16th feature a variety of music genres — classical, jazz, and the indie rock, Americana, folk, roots, blues, bluegrass, and other eclectic sounds of “Triple A” (adult album alternative).
“Now more than ever, communities need to be brought together and uplifted by the power of music,” said Bill Johnson, General Manager of classical and jazz station WRTI. “Here in Philadelphia and across the country, local, community-based, artist-oriented public radio stations have a longtime commitment to connecting audiences with the music they love, nurturing local talent, and supporting our regional music ecosystems. Music stations’ collective response to the COVID-19 crisis demonstrates our vital community service at the local level and our national impact.”
“We’re excited to celebrate the first-ever Public Radio Music Day together with our public radio station friends and fans across the country,” said Jordan Lee, Program Director at 88Nine Radio Milwaukee. “We retuned our schedule to fit every single specialty program that airs throughout the week into 18 hours, featuring studio sessions from the vault, emerging artists and bands from the local music scene, and a city sing-along. At 88Nine, we’re passionate about the power of public radio in connecting our community through music – and in pivoting to meet the needs of our listeners, our city, and our world in both good times and through difficult days.”
The noncomMUSIC Alliance thanks all of the music stations, artists, labels, and others whose dedication and support helped make this Public Radio Music Day a reality, including Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Christopher A. Coons (D-DE), and Representatives Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) and Steve Chabot (R-OH), along with Mark E. Amodei (R-NV), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Ken Buck (R-CO), Tom Cole (R-OK), Susan A. Davis (D-CA), Madeleine Dean (D-PA), Joe Neguse (D-CO), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Fred Upton (R-MI), and Don Young (R-AK).
About Local Public Radio Music Stations
In the United States, 734 public radio stations feature music as a primary or significant part of their formats, serving all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Collectively, these stations reach 20.5 million listeners weekly, playing a variety of music formats including classical, jazz, and adult album alternative (Triple A). A recent noncomMUSIC Alliance report, Connecting Through Music, details how public radio music stations are essential to the discovery of new music and emerging artists by making music more accessible for audiences.
More information about Public Radio Music Day and a map of participating stations are available at PublicRadioMusicDay.org.
About the noncomMUSIC Alliance
The noncomMUSIC Alliance celebrates nonprofit, local public radio’s role in connecting artists with the communities who enjoy and support their music. Established in 2018, the Alliance currently has nearly 150 partner public radio music stations, all locally owned and operated, yet united by their shared values of music discovery, curation, preservation, performance, and community. To learn more about the noncomMUSIC Alliance, please visit noncomMUSIC.org.
More information about Public Radio Music Day and local events across the country is available at: PublicRadioMusicDay.org.
Mike Riksen, [email protected], 202-513-2741 or 202-744-2545
Executive Director, noncomMUSIC Alliance
Vice President, Policy & Representation, NPR