LSRadio Turns 20: Looking Back on Our Long and Storied History
Mikey McCusker and Dan McGinley | 26 February 2018 | Articles
Celebrating 20 Years of Proper Sound: From XSLive to LSRadio!
The year 2017 marked some huge developments at LSRadio: debuting our new look back in January 2017, the launch of LSRadio’s Society Spotlight programme, the return of our Arts & Culture section with Film & TV reviews for the first time, the revival of our YouTube channel, rejoining as a member station of the Student Radio Association and hosting an SRA Training Day for stations across the North West and North Wales, and also introduced the world to our station mascot (and our little bundle of joy 😍), Lenny the LSRadio Pom Pom.
Oh, and there were plenty of collaborative projects too, such as with Looprevil Radio and THIS Radio for our joint Student Officer Elections Broadcast in March 2017, where we live streamed the results from the Mountford Hall and provided an extensive coverage of the events that unfolded on the night. And also with Forge Radio and Leeds Student Radio, to help plan and run the many awesome panels at The Northern Connection 2 (or ‘NC2’), the most recent student led conference in which students could get to learn about the media industry, taking place at Leeds University Union back in November.
But the year 2018 is looking to be very promising for us at LSRadio, as this radio station will be celebrating 20 YEARS of broadcasting to the student population at the University of Liverpool, and 20 years since our original launch as XSLive back in 1998. It’s hard to believe that our wonderful radio station has reached this significant milestone – who would’ve thought that it would still be going 20 years later?! In this special feature, we’re going to take a trip down student radio memory lane, highlight how our two decades of broadcasting have affected campus life at the University of Liverpool, and speculate on what lies ahead for our radio station in the next 20 years!
Making final preparations with Looprevil Radio and THIS Radio for the Student Officer Elections Broadcast 2017
We Go Way Back…
After what seemed a long absence of student radio at the University of Liverpool since 1984 or thereabouts, XSLive ended the long wait and was launched back in 1998. Back then, they had much tougher challenges in comparison to us today, as internet radio was relatively new and unadopted in the 1990’s, and so the thought of students attempting to do this back then, was near impossible to pull off! And their difficulties were only made tougher, in their unsuccessful attempts to acquire an AM community broadcast license.
Fortunately, the Liverpool Guild of Students was behind them in their venture, allowing them radio airtime in the Courtyard, and its long gone Gilmour and Saro Wiwa bars. With XSLive’s presenters pre-recording their broadcasts on CD-RWs, students in the Guild would get to hear their brand new student radio station daily. XSLive later rebranded to the much loved ICON Radio on 2nd February 2002 at 2:02pm (hence 02/02/02 at 02:02pm – I wonder who came up with that one…), and later began broadcasting online via their website: later evolving into this very website you’re on right now!
20 years is a huge achievement for us, but the history of student radio here at the University of Liverpool can actually be traced all the way back to 1961, when the Liverpool University Amateur Radio Society was operating their ham radio station under the callsign G3OUL, making contact on the AM airwaves around the world for well over 20 years, with several other ham radio societies of the time (before dwindling interest led to the society’s folding in c.1984); to quote G3OUL alumni Nigel Pope, who was society chairman from 1973 – 1974, “It was an early form of social media”. So in effect, there historically has been two radio stations at the University of Liverpool: G3OUL (the old ham radio station) and today’s modern radio station, now known as LSRadio as of 2011.