Burst Radio

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Bristol University Radio Station
Burst Red 2012.jpg
City of license Bristol
Frequency Online
First air date 1998
Format Music & Speech
Owner University of Bristol Union
Website www.burstradio.org.uk

Bristol University Radio Station (Burst) is the radio station run by students of the University of Bristol, England. Its studios are located within the University of Bristol Union building, and it broadcasts online.[1] The station was initially known as BURST FM, but this name has now been dropped as the station no longer regularly broadcasts on FM. The station is generally not on air during university vacations.[2]

The old logo for Burst Radio
Burst presenters in the studio, March 2012

History[edit]

In 1995, students from Bristol University and the University of the West of England (UWE) co-operated to run Fresh FM. After Fresh FM ceased to exist, BURST FM was conceived by Bristol University students in 1997. When sufficient funds had been raised, a one month licence to broadcast on 106.6 FM was awarded for March 1998.[3] Housed in St Paul's Church in Clifton.

However, the unavailability of further FM licences due to the launch of a new full-time station (The Eagle, now renamed Star) prevented further broadcasts. In early 2000 speakers were installed within the Union building, and broadcasts mounted for during Fresh (Bristol University's Freshers' Week) 2000. At the same time, a grant from the Alumni foundation and fundraising through advertising and sponsorship allowed BURST to build new studios inside the Union and stream programming onto the internet around campus.

While all this was happening an application was made for a further FM licence for Autumn 2000, the subsequent award of this meant that BURST was back on 106.6 FM with a Restricted Service Licence.[4] An application was made for another one-month licence in Summer 2001. This licence was also awarded, as well as a subsequent one in November 2001. These broadcasts were promoted by club nights and attracted coverage in student and local press.[5] In 2003, BURST began broadcasting via the internet permanently.[1]

In 2005, a move was made to start broadcasting on AM. After preparation, broadcasting on 1134 AM began for the first time in October 2007, with a transmitter in Stoke Bishop. .[6]

The start of AM broadcast coincided with new management and re-branding of the station. Burst went from an orange/ blue logo to a new orange/red/white colour scheme. This has now been replaced by a 'Headphones' style logo. In the academic year 2010/2011, the colours of Burst were changed to Red and White.[7]

In 7 September, the station made moved to update its studios and computer systems in advance of the new academic year and in preparation for the launch on AM. Under the flag of Project Excalibur, the on-air studio was refurbished and new IT equipment was installed.[8] This culminated in a live broadcast with BBC 6 music.[9]

Over Christmas 2007, the technical team revamped Burst's production studio, bringing it fully up to date with advances in technology since the station was founded, and in line with the changes in the next door on-air studio.[10]

In 2008, the team launched the first ever student radio soap, The Arches, in collaboration with the student newspaper.[11][12] A new union show was also launched.[13] This was however cut short after a multiple computer meltdown in 2008 left Burst with no equipment or software.

The 2009/2010 academic year brought with it various studio-related technical problems, meaning that Burst Radio did not start airing again until January 2010.

Academic year 2010/2011 was a big year for Burst under the guidance of station manager Simon Burrow as the station rose from the ashes of the 2008 meltdown.

Facilities[edit]

The station's facilities consist of the On-Air Studio from which most programmes are presented, also containing the station's webcam. There is a secondary Production Studio which is mainly used for recording and editing sessions for both live music acts and speech. It also contains a custom-built recording booth. It can also be used as a backup live studio should the On-Air Studio be unavailable.

Alumni[edit]

Notable former broadcasters include the comedian Marcus Brigstocke, BBC presenters David Sheppard and Chris Cox, Classic FM's Nicola Bonn, Theofanis Gekas and GWR Bristol breakfast host Paris Troy.

References[edit]