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February 27, 2012 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

VBC: It’s Alive!

Something big is happening on the top floor of the Victoria University’s Student Union Building. Largely inactive for the most part of 2011, Vic’s student radio station, the Victoria Broadcasting Club – better known as VBC 88.3FM – is quickly re-finding its feet for a 2012 of apocalyptic pro- portions. Now in its fifth year of existence, the VBC recently recruited Station Manager Rhys Morgan, who talked to Salient’s Molly McCarthy about student radio, his big plans for the year ahead, and dead hedgehogs. 

Founded in 2007 by Doug Tereu, Mat- thew Davis and Kristen Paterson, the VBC filled a gaping hole in Victoria’s student community. At the time, Victoria was the only New Zealand university without a student radio station; since then, the VBC has planned Orientation Week gigs, produced a weekly gig-guide, put on weekly shows at San Francisco Bath House – not to mention allowing hundreds of students to have their fifteen minutes of radio-frequency fame.

Due to technical difficulties and the on- going lack of a Station Manager however, 2011 saw the VBC endure long periods of dead air—reducing the station to just a shadow of its former self. If anyone can get the VBC back on track, Morgan, with a raft of experience in radio and produc- tion under his belt, will surely be the one to do it. He assured Salient that, at the very least, he would try his best.

“Yes, [the VBC] was dead, wasn’t it! Like a bloated hedgehog lying in the gutter belly up. Right now we are like a live hedgehog attempting to cross the road… who knows… we may get hit by a truck and trailer. But it will never be suicide.”

When asked about his big plans for booting the VBC back into life, Morgan says it’s all about “baby steps”. Right now getting volunteers and listeners back on board is the priority.

“We are filling shows and looking to find the right people to be involved in the VBC. Enthusiasm over experience is what I’m after. I want the VBC to be inclusive rather than exclusive and to reflect the great culture at Vic Uni.”

But he doesn’t think that attracting the punters should be too much of an issue. “That’s the least of my concerns. If you build it. They will come. (I got that off Field of Dreams).”

Looking to what’s on the agenda for the VBC in 2012, Morgan says that getting people involved is the main goal. “At the end of the day the plan for the VBC is to get students and people in Wellington involved in the station and the community and to play shit hot music and give away awesome free stuff.”

He also plans to continue the VBC’s strong history of putting on shows, by making VBC-organised events a priority in 2012.

“The VBC is definitely going to do more gigs in 2012. Our first one is a real ‘Welcome Back!’ kind of gig… More gigs to come so watch this space.”

So, why should listeners tune in to 88.3FM in 2012? For Morgan the answer is obvious.

“Tune into some other stations in 2012 and that should satisfy your answer. Unless you like listening to Matthew Ellis or whatever his face is… On the VBC the

presenters will never be your parents… I am only 32, I’m not quite old enough to be your parent.”

Morgan also gives listeners an offer they can’t refuse.

“Also – if anyone has any lost pets, and I know that shitty little pets run away from their owners from time to to time… I want the distressed owners to know that we will broadcast their ‘lost pet’ messages for free. No contra involved.”

All things considered, the VBC seems like a horse worth backing in 2012. Keen to get amongst? Tune into 88.3FM; rock on up to the Student Media Centre on Level 3 of the Student Union Building to volunteer, or head along to the VBC’s first show of the year, featuring Badd Energy, Terror of the Deep, and The Golden Awesome at San Francisco Bath House, Thursday 1 March, from 9pm for just $5.


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