and get good results
On a grey and overcast day after much to do within the township of Bordertown in South Australia for people stepped into the Studio’s of 5 TCB with a commitment to stay awake and be on air for the next 49 hours.
Scad and Mandy of Melomania fame along with survivor of the original Lockdown Ray and new kid on the block Stephanie entered the lockdown with mixed emotions and trepidations.
The lockdown started life last year as a concept brought together by the Melomania team and SCMA to assist the leukaemia foundation and 5 TCB. It was a success and even though it was a hard concept to get up and running and the execution wasn’t always pretty it proved to be a great event and something that was well worth the time and effort to develop it and maybe expand it to other stations as a major fundraiser.
This year the lockdown wasn’t just about 5 TCB and the Leukaemia Foundation with four other stations joining into the network the pressure was on to prove that we as community broadcasters could work together for the common good, Joining the lockdown network in 2011 were stations that shared the vision and were prepared to take a chance on something a little different and new. 2 MIA (Griffith), TEM FM (Temora), 2 GHR (Holbrook), EMFM (Echuca) and Voice FM Ballarat all stepped up to the plate and decided to have a go and see if history could be made with one of the first live simulcast broadcasts for a fundraiser within community radio could be achieved. The simple answer is yes it was achieved and yes it was successful and yes there were some problems but by in large they were overcome and the show went on.
There was a very steep learning curve and some trial and error to keep all stations happy as much as possible but that was always going to be the case and has provided the organisers with a lot of information to ensure that the next Lockdown will be bigger better and as user friendly as is possible.
So to the actual event. 49 Hours of Continuous on air content provided by four people and some 60 plus interviews. There were challenges and problems there was some personality conflicts and disagreements but all in all it went well and provided an entertaining and in most cases enjoyable listening experience. There were some notable highs such as talking with Foo Fighters and Suzie Quatro and so many others. There was outstanding acts of generosity from listeners as well as performers, one example was the guys from Noise Works who are about to put a new album together and will be in the studio soon doing just that. When we explained to them what we were doing and why right then and there live they went we want to help out we will donate a prize for two people to spend the day with us in the studio to just hang out and watch us record for you to auction off, that auction is still going on as I right this and it was already in the three figure area. Yes it was a hard 49 hours with no sleep and yes at
times the content was not the best but what it was; was proof of concept it proved that 6 community broadcasters can get together and make a difference, that we can work together and that it is possible if we are prepared to step out of the comfort zone and take a few risks.
I congratulate not only the people that stepped into that studio for the 49 hours but also the crew at Melomania and 5 TCB who supported the concept and assisted to make it all work, the SCMA for being involved and helping to put the thing together. Most of all I congratulate Voice FM, EMFM, 2 GHR, 2 TEM and 2 MIA for taking the chance and believing enough to take on the lockdown and create that network that was interactive live and vibrant.
I know we did live crosses to most of the stations several times throughout the lockdown event and that proved to be an important link back to the communities of the stations that were taking the show and supporting the concept.
I don’t know if there will be a Lockdown in 2012 but I certainly hope there will be and if there is I am more than happy to be involved again and see the event grow and develop as a fundraiser for the Leukaemia Foundation and for Community Broadcasters in general. To quote Paul Kelly “from little things big things grow” and I hope that this is one event that continues to grow and prosper and that the stations that put their hands up to be involved in this event remain involved and continue to benefit form their vision and involvement.