University to host radio stars for national Community Media Festival

Wed 27 April, 2022
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The University of Bedfordshire is getting ready to host the annual Community Media Association (CMA) Festival on 7th May, which is themed this year around celebrating inclusion within the industry.

Set to be hosted at Bedfordshire’s Luton campus, the one-day festival will welcome guest speakers from across different areas of the media industry – including alumni from the University itself – with the aim to inspire the next generation of creative talent.

As well as hosting the day-long festival, tours of the University’s award-winning Radio LaB studios will be available to attendees, led by students who are involved in the day-to-day running of the station.

Terry Lee, a Senior Tutor in Radio & Audio and Vice-Chair of the CMA, commented: “Everyone at Radio LaB is looking forward to welcoming delegates and guests to the University. We are proud advocates of community radio, and honoured to be hosting the festival this year.”

Guest speakers confirmed so far include Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, the Shadow Cabinet Minister for Mental Health, Darryl Morris of talkRADIO and Bedfordshire alumni Matt Fisher – the Lead Station Sound Producer for a number of BBC national radio stations.

Matt, who graduated in Media Performance with Radio in 2003, said: “When I graduated from the University of Bedfordshire, I left with a wealth of skills, experience and motivation to break into professional radio.

“I’m looking forward to returning to where it all began for the Community Media Festival, to talk about what it’s like to be at the BBC leading a team of award-winning Station Sound producers, and how it feels to help celebrate the importance of community radio as a platform to promote diversity, inclusion and breed new talent.”

Alongside Matt, the University has a long history of successful media alumni, such as Becky Jago of ITV News Anglia, Gemma Hunt from CBeebies (BBC), Sam Darlaston of KISS FM, Sky Sports News’ Tom White and BBC Radio1 presenting duo Rickie and Melvin.

This will be the second time that the University has been chosen by the CMA to host, as the Community Media Conference was also held at the Luton campus back in 2015.

Dom Chambers, Chair of the CMA, commented on this year’s festival: “We have put this festival together to inspire all of us who work in audio and show the radio industry and public how community broadcasting is leading the way on inclusion, training, and empowering voices less heard.”

Following the festival, celebrations will continue on campus with the CMA’s 2022 Community Media Champions, recognising those outstanding individuals who have made a special and significant contribution to community media in the UK.

Tickets for the festival are on sale until 6th May and more information and prices can be found here.

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