There are many Community Radio stations in the UK and Ireland, often run by volunteers, which are there to serve the local area in which they are based. Originally they were designed to serve an area of no wider than 5km around their transmitter, but with the introduction of the TuneIn radio app for example, these stations are now broadcasting to a worldwide audience.
As an example, Radio Wey and Meridian Radio, both in England’s south and both playing Free Spirit on a regular basis, draw their audiences from not just their local area, but also have regular listeners in the United States. The same can be said for Lisburns 98 FM, in Northern Ireland, also with regular US listeners.
With an average listening audience in the region of a 1-2 thousand (some less, some much much more), a song played on one of these stations will often be heard by more people than that of an average concert. It’s therefore very worthwhile to request songs from these small stations.
Additionally, being local and community based, requests are often granted more easily by community stations than the larger commercial stations, who often have strict playlists to adhere to.
If you check your local area, you are sure to find at least one community radio station playing popular music. It’s worth checking them out, maybe following them on twitter or liking them on Facebook. Look out for request shows, or the request pages on their website.
Here‘s a list of some UK and Irish Community radio stations, but there are many more out there.
As with anything, always remember to be polite when requesting, and, if they say they will play Free Spirit for you, listen to the show, and interact with the host. This way they’ll be more inclined to play the song again.
Fans have had a lot of success requesting Free Spirit from radio stations around the world, it’s definitely something worth doing.
If the station says they would like to play, but don’t have Free Spirit, don’t despair. A lot of community stations rely on donations, and are often able to accept music as well. If they say they would like a copy, ask if they would accept a gift, making sure to check what format they require – iTunes are AAC format, whereas a lot of broadcasters use MP3. Fortunately it is possible to buy Free Spirit from Amazon and 7Digital in MP3 format, and it’s a simple matter of then adding the song as an attachment to an email. If for some reason you can’t gift the song to them, forward the details to FreeSpiritOnAir, and they’ll take it from there. If the station says they cannot accept the song other than from the label, ask them to follow planetjedward on twitter, and ask them to email PlanetJedwardLtd@gmail.com
If you’re from outside the UK and Ireland, check what the policy is for local radio in your area. Let us know if there’s something you do differently!