I wish my schedule and travel funds would have allowed me to attend Offshore Radio Day 2014, held in the Netherlands last week. Fortunately for those of us who couldn’t attend, Jonathan Marks posted an excellent set of photos and commentary from the event.
Of course, Radio Caroline dominated the show–after all, she turned 50 this year. Yesterday morning, I noticed an article from ITV, whose first paragraph sums up the impact of the offshore radio movement created by Radio Caroline:
“Precisely 50 years ago this Friday, test transmissions began for a radio station that would help to change the face of broadcasting across the UK. It would shape the laws of our land, and make superstars of the people on air. That radio station was Caroline – an unlicensed, “pirate” broadcaster, transmitting from a ship anchored just outside British waters.”
If you’ve been an SWLing Post reader for long, you’ll know how much I dig pirate radio. Not only are pirate stations great fun to hunt down and listen to on the radio, but these stations are still movers, shakers, and innovators in a world where large media conglomerates buy up and attempt to control local radio markets. Pirates prevent the homogenization of our radio landscape, with offerings of genuine musical diversity. Indeed, I’d wager that I’ve purchased over a dozen highly varied songs and/or albums on iTunes and Amazon, truly unique music, all brought to my attention by shortwave pirates.
So raise your glass to Radio Caroline this week! Long may she sail. If you’d like to learn a little more about RC‘s history, check out some of these links: