Ahead of Radio 1’s Big Weekend coming to Exeter this week (28 and 29 May), several Petroc students have been learning the tricks of the trade.
Students Will Squire, Grace Sanders and Jo Price were all lucky enough to join the fifth Radio 1 Academy at Exeter’s Phoenix theatre last week. The Academy, established in 2012 and running this year between 17-21 May, featured an abundance of workshops, speakers from Radio 1 DJ’s and some students were even lucky enough to get onto live radio!
Will Squire, station manager of Petroc student radio Fresh FM, managed to bag an interview live on Radio 1 with DJ Clara Amfo, following a performance by Laura Mvula in the Radio 1 Live Lounge! Speaking to Petroc Student Union, he said: “It was great! I wasn’t even supposed to be at the live lounge session but there were some empty seats so we went in and then I got asked to go on air!”
The four day event had a live lounge every day from the likes of Jake Bugg and Tom Odell, who are both performing at Big Weekend. There was also numerous workshops; the one and only Craig David spoke about breaking in to the music industry and students were also able to experience the BBC’s new virtual reality and 360 video technology.
Radio 1 DJ’s themselves were hovering about at every corner, including the likes of Scott Mills, Greg James and Chris Stark. As Will told us, Nick Grimshaw was also due to speak however illness prevented him from attending.
Reflecting on what was sure to be a week to remember, Will said: “It was a fun and enjoyable experience, it gave me a good insight into pathways to careers in and around radio”.
Two interns from the Radio 1 ‘Where it Begins’ internship scheme were also present at the Academy, highlighting the fact that the big jobs in radio are certainly achievable, however it takes hard work, determination and persistence to reach them. As Will put it: “The main message was to work hard, be nice and do everything you can, as was the emphasis of one session I went to”.
Kath Yates, a member of staff at Petroc that oversees the running of Fresh FM, said: “It’s amazing that our students had the opportunity to take part in something this big and so close to home too. A real inspirational experience that won’t be forgotten in a hurry.”
The Radio 1 Academy is an annual event and Petroc’s Fresh FM DJ’s will be given many opportunities like this in the future. Fancy getting involved? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and get heard on your college radio station!