I started Durham University back in 2016 and remember Fresher’s Fair being extremely full, with lots of people, tables, sweets, chocolates and sign-up sheets. Basically, it looked a little chaotic and was slightly claustrophobic. But it was a good chance to see what was on offer. There was one ‘society’ that really stood out to me and that was Purple Radio – a REAL Radio Station, run entirely by students from the Students’ Union building!
Purple Radio was something so different and unique and something I had never given much thought to before. I mean, I dreamt about it after Radio Rebel aired on Disney Channel back in the day, but I never really thought that I would have the opportunity to DJ myself.
Becoming a DJ
Purple Radio held a welcome weekend a week after fresher’s where those interested in joining got a tour of the studio, trained on the equipment, signed the contract, met the entire Exec team and got to know more about what Purple Radio was. That was a mouth full!
After that, the applications for shows went up. There are many different shows that you can have. They start from the Early morning show (8am – 9am), Lunchtime shows (11am-1pm), Entertainment shows which run all afternoon with 2 hour slots, Purple PM which runs from 4pm – 6pm and Outpost shows that run from 6pm onwards. Then there are the weekend shows, the, Niche and Shoutposts shows (which are basically review shows) and of course, there are Sport’s show and regular News Bulletins.
Applying for a show is easy and you get to choose when you do your show, however, there is sometimes competition with certain times, so your application needs to get in fast. A new schedule is done every term and each host has to re-apply for their show.
I personally chose the Outpost show on Mondays and have had the same show time for the past two years. I play rock/alternative/indie music and have two segments on my show: a five-minute rant of the week, where I rant about something and Song of the show, where I pick a song and go really in depth about it. I also play the song twice during my show.
Purple Radio events
The best thing about Purple Radio is that you don’t need to have a show to join. If you are not interested in broadcasting or having a podcast, you can join one of the teams responsible for promotions, music, tech, sports and so on. Within these teams you can do an array of things. For example, the Promotions team deals with marketing and advertising and the music team deals with live sessions, as well as music playlists and track of the day. There is something for everyone!
In regards to events, Purple Radio does live sessions every Saturday with local & university bands coming in to perform live. We have a special show every Christmas and for any event that may go on, e.g. Students’ Union elections. We also do a lot of outdoor broadcasting at events such as ‘Jam By The Lake’ , Van Mildert College’s annual student music festival, and Durham Regatta. Last year we even DJ’d at the St Cuthbert’s Hospice Charity Firework event. These events are so much fun to do and every year we keep adding more. For example, we have just finished our Mental Health Awareness Week where we had a two-hour special show, guests, interviews with students and a special playlist. This was a new thing we decided to do this year and it has been extremely successful.
Why I love Purple Radio
Purple Radio is an amazing way to be creative. Whether that is through hosting a show, coming up with new ideas or designing promotional materials, it allows creativity to flow. Radio is also an informative channel. Take our Mental Health Awareness Week campaign for example. We had so much information and facts around a very stigmatised topic, but we managed to make it accessible and easy to talk about, and provided information in the most creative ways through the use of broadcasting and social media.
The workload is only as big as the amount of time you want to put into it. In the end, the shows, podcasts etc. are the member’s responsibility and it’s up to the member how much time they can spend on it.
I love being a part of Purple Radio and constantly tell people they need to join. We are a very rewarding, exciting and friendly Radio Station, whether you are experienced or not, we welcome everyone!
Find out more about Purple Radio or tune in and listen online to live broadcasts 24/7 this term!