Student Radio Station Gets Neo-Psychedelic with Liverpool Live Stream

A portion of the KFJC crew at California’s Foothill College is currently in the (still) United Kingdom — preparing to present live remote coverage of the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia.

As a press release from the top-notch college radio station explains, “KFJC will be presenting live audio and video streaming of … a┬árange of performances by neo-psychedelic artists from all over the world. … Live sets from Liverpool will be broadcast to listeners in the United States over KFJC 89.7 FM in the San Francisco Bay Area and to a global audience via the Internet.”

Liverpool Psych Fest 2014 #3 from Liverpool Psych Fest on Vimeo.

Past KFJC live-streaming extravaganzas include Austin’s SXSW festival, New Zealand’s Otago Festival of the Arts and a tour of Tokyo’s underground music scene.

Bottom line, the international trips especially are “the station’s way of bringing music … from bands that have largely been denied visas to enter the States — kind of like the underground equivalents of Amy Winehouse and George Michael.”

In the brief Q&A below, KFJC DJ and college radio guru Jennifer Waits shares more details about the station’s psychedelic motivations and challenges.

Why is the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia the perfect event for this type of coverage?

One of the first things that KFJC looks at when considering events is the band line-up. The assortment of bands performing at the festival was intriguing to KFJC because it was a mix of artists who were familiar to us and were in our library — and who reflect our airsound, which is focused on underground artists — and some new artists we could introduce to our listeners.

We were interested in going in order to both document the festival, but also to connect the event with our listeners. It’s also an opportunity for festival attendees and artists to learn about KFJC. There are so many interesting bands performing we may have to record some for a later broadcast. There are three stages, so we may broadcast one band live while recording another on a different stage.

What are the biggest technological challenges involved in a live, overseas broadcast?

It’s been challenging figuring out how to get all of the equipment over to the UK. On the positive side, equipment today is much smaller, so it’s easier than it would have been in the past. We are renting some equipment and bringing some with us, so that has required quite a bit of logistics.

How is the station able to afford this?

KFJC has a budget for live broadcasts every year. We often don’t use that budget in a given year, so we’ve been able to build up a surplus in order to do this event. Our last live remote from out of state was in 2011 — the Utech Festival in Milwaukee — and the last overseas live remote was in 2008 from Tokyo.

Any quick tips for other student media teams interested in tackling an overseas assignment or providing live-stream coverage?

Have an experienced crew. Three experienced KFJC sound engineers and tech folks are going this year. Several of them have traveled with KFJC to broadcast events previously. In addition to that, some newer KFJC volunteers — two of whom are Foothill College students — are going as well. The three newer volunteers already have a lot of experience at the station with helping to engineer live music performances and manage video streaming of those performances. KFJC regularly has live bands play at the station — at least once a week — and we broadcast and video-stream those events live. Doing live music at the station — and live remotes from the San Francisco Bay Area — has been a great opportunity to train many new volunteers on not only live music engineering, but also on our multi-camera video-streaming set-up.


College Media Geeks: Jennifer Waits, College Radio Reporter & Advocate

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  1. […] from the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia. As I wrote earlier this morning and also explained to College Media Matters, KFJC (the station where I’ve been a long-time DJ and volunteer) is doing a 2-day live […]