“Public Radio Music Day” to be Celebrated Nationwide on April 16th

noncomMUSIC Alliance

Bipartisan Congressional Resolutions Applaud Local Public Radio Music Stations’ Service to Listeners, Artists & Communities

WASHINGTON, D.C.(February 12, 2020) The noncomMUSIC Alliance today announced that the inaugural Public Radio Music Day will take place on April 16, 2020, with a nationwide celebration uniting public radio music stations, fans, and performers to spread the word about the special role public radio plays in the music world locally and nationally. More than 20 million listeners weekly tune in to hundreds of local noncommercial music stations across America to discover, learn about, and enjoy an eclectic mix of music selections, artists, and genres that are, in many cases, available only on public radio.

Yesterday, a bipartisan group of Members of Congress introduced Resolutions in both the Senate and the House of Representatives officially designating April 16, 2020 as Public Radio Music Day. The Congressional Resolutions express appreciation for local public radio music stations and their service to listeners, musicians, and hundreds of communities across the United States. They recognize local, noncommercial, nonprofit, public radio stations provide an essential platform for boosting artists and music discovery, and educating and enriching communities.

On April 16, 2020, local stations across the country will celebrate Public Radio Music Day with a range of special activities, including: live local events and performances, dedicated studio sessions, special programming and hand-curated playlists, and fan and artist stories. Live events are being planned in Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Nashville, Seattle, Portland, Atlanta, Lexington, KY, Oklahoma City, Rochester, NY, and more communities nationwide. Participating public radio music stations are indicated on this website map, which will be continually updated with additional stations and local activities taking place on Public Radio Music Day.

The Senate Resolution, S.Res. 496, is sponsored by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Christopher A. Coons (D-DE). 

“More than twenty million Americans tune in to local public radio music stations every week,” Senator Blunt said. “These stations provide a unique listening experience by spotlighting local artists, playing a wide variety of music, and engaging with audiences in the communities they serve. I’m proud to support this bipartisan resolution marking Public Radio Music Day and celebrating public radio’s contributions to the arts, education, and culture.”

“I am pleased to join my colleagues in this bicameral, bipartisan recognition of public radio music stations,” Senator Coons said. “Every day, hundreds of local public radio stations enrich the lives of the millions of Americans who tune in to discover emerging artists, connect with local culture, enjoy unique musical curations, and experience innovative programming. Public Radio Music Day celebrates the performers, fans, and stations who form these amazing communities around the universal language of music.”

In the House of Representatives, a bipartisan companion Resolution, H.Res. 848, was introduced by U.S. Representatives Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) and Steve Chabot (R-OH).  Additional cosponsors include Representatives 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), Don Young (R-AK). A copy of the House Resolution can be found here.

“Our public radio stations are the gateway to the world for listeners across the country,” said Representative Scanlon. “Public radio stations offer audiences, musicians and artists a platform for innovative and diverse music programming on air, online, and on-the-go. These public service music stations encourage and showcase new and emerging local artists to construct deep and lasting relationships with audiences in our congressional districts. I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing a bicameral, bipartisan resolution to designate April 16, 2020 as Public Radio Music Day, and to continue to support access to public radio music stations for all audiences.”

“Even in an ever-transforming media and entertainment environment, local public radio music stations continue to provide a unique service to our communities and our nation,” said Representative Chabot. “Local public radio stations are often the primary, if not only, resource for music lovers to encounter local artists and performing groups, as well as more traditional music forms like jazz and classical music. Public Radio Music Day will highlight the need to give more Americans more opportunities to experience the unique and valuable programming available on our nation’s local public radio stations.”

Support for Public Radio Music Day

“We market inventive artists that challenge the norm for their genres,” said Megan Jasper, Sub Pop CEO. “Public radio stations help us find listeners who are into discovering and supporting new and different sounds. That’s why we’re excited to celebrate Public Radio Music Day and how local stations connect new music with new audiences.”

“I’m thrilled to join with public radio music stations all across America to celebrate public radio’s unique role in the country’s music scene. Our station, WMOT, is dedicated to an all Americana music format “ said Val Hoeppner, the executive director of WMOT Roots Radio in Murfreesboro, TN and director of the Center for Innovation in Media at Middle Tennessee State University. “We bring the music that is most deeply connected to Music City’s legacy: classic country music, bluegrass, singer/songwriter, folk, soul, R&B and old-school rock and roll. And the musicians who grace our airwaves and the audiences who love them are at the very heart of everything we do. Public Radio Music Day is our way of applauding the wonders of musicians and performers here and all across America.”

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 with:

  • Local hosts and expert curation tailoring content to local audiences and the local music scene.
  • Live music performances in-studio and in communities so fans can experience music first-hand.
  • Music journalism and news that helps artists promote their music and concerts and build audiences.
  • Multiple platforms – on air, online, on stage, on podcasts and video – providing listeners with convenient, engaging listening experiences.
  • Educational and cultural programming, providing context and analysis of music, songwriters and composers, and performers.
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