Subcity Radio

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Subcity Radio
Subcity Radio logo
Media Type: Student Radio
Launched: 1995
Member of: Student Radio Association
University: University of Glasgow
On demand archived episodes interviews, sessions
Live stream 24/7 during term time

Subcity Radio (formerly Sub City and SubCity) is a non-profit freeform radio station, arts collective and events promoter based at the University of Glasgow which is run by volunteers from the University and local community with the aim of providing an alternative to commercial and mainstream radio providers.[1][2] Its live broadcast runs online 24/7 during term time and until September 2009 also on temporary short-term FM Restricted Service Licence broadcasts.[3][4][5][6] The station also hosts a large catalogue of audio for on-demand listening and podcasting, including recordings of the live stream, sessions, interviews, news and live recordings. Off-air, Subcity runs various events and club nights throughout the year, with previous venues including the Sub Club, Art School, Research Club and The Arches.[7][8][9]


Subcity is run by volunteers and has over 200 weekly contributors from all over the city. Contributors include current students and staff of the university, students from other institutions, former students and others from the local community. Many previous contributors have gone on to jobs at commercial and BBC radio stations most notably: Laura Sayers (BBC Radio 1),[10][11][12] Dougal Perman (Radio Magnetic),[13] Annie McGuire (BBC Scotland)[14] and Adam Uytman (XFM).[15] In addition to those who have gone on to high profile careers in radio, many Subcity contributors already had or went on to achieve fame in other areas most notably: Hudson Mohawke,[16][17][18] Optimo, Boom Monk Ben, Slam (band) as well as many other Glasgow clubs and DJs.

Subcity has no playlist, instead each show is largely autonomous from station management and presenters have full choice in what music they play as well as the format sound and branding of their shows.[1] The station does not broadcast during the summer holidays and at the start of the new broadcasting year takes applications for shows (also requiring all existing shows to reapply if they wish to continue). Applicants are invited to submit proposals for a radio show with an outline of what music would be played and what style and format the show would take. Musical specialism, non-mainstream music and under-represented musical styles are encouraged. This contributor autonomy is extended to most areas of the station's output including podcasts, reviews, design, photography, comedy and current affairs output.

It is a part of, and partially funded by, Glasgow University Students' Representative Council. It is one of four student media organisations who receive support from the SRC,[19] who provide both a service and opportunities to students at the University and to the wider community. Subcity is also a former member of the Student Radio Association.[20]


Subcity logo 1995-2001 and 2003-2012

Subcity was founded in 1995 after the initial Glasgow University radio brand, Sweet FM, was used by former members of the team who had graduated. They encountered regulatory problems during their broadcast in 1994, leaving the Sweet FM brand tarnished and in dispute with the University student authorities over naming and logo rights. Subsequently, the official university station was rebranded as Subcity Radio.[21][22]

The University's first broadcast was as Sweet FM in September 1993 for one month on an FM RSL from an un-let University flat in the Murano Street Student Village. The next broadcast was under the Ton and a Half brand in conjunction with the Glasgow School of Art who were celebrating their 150th anniversary in the Winter of 1994, with a subsequence joint venture with the School of Art in the winter of 1995 under the "Art School Radio" brand.

Its first broadcast under the new SubCity brand was in October 1995 from an unused University apartment in Park Circus on a minimal budget. As part of this inaugural broadcast the K Foundation gave their only radio interview about their burning of a million pounds on the SubCity show "Everything You Know Is Wrong" on 3 November 1995 at 6 pm[23]

  • February 1996 saw the station's second broadcast as Subcity Radio.
  • In July 1996 Subcity ran a 3 week RSL to cover that year's T in the Park festival.
  • In March 1997 following the station's awards win the year before, John Peel and Steve Lamacq presented shows from the station's studio, which at the time was in a student's kitchen.[24]
  • In July 1997 it joined forces with Edinburgh's Fresh Air FM to provide RSLs in Edinburgh, Glasgow and on site for the T in The Park festival.[25]
  • In 2000 the station was able to move into a new, purpose built permanent studio on campus which allowed for year-round broadcasting and training.
  • In 2002, a 5-year low-powered AM license was awarded. This allowed for permanent broadcasting to campus, rather than for just one month per year.[26][27][28][29] Since 2003 the station has not broadcast on AM, but has an online web stream which performs a similar role.
  • In February 2004 the station celebrated its tenth birthday with a large event at The Arches in Glasgow. The line up featured DJs from Subcity's past who had gone on to bigger things. 1800 people filled the venue – the largest crowd a student station had ever attracted to an event. It was later discovered that the station's tenth birthday would be in 2005.
  • In July 2005 the station hosted a small stage on Byres Road at the West End Festival Opening Parade Street Party.
  • Between November 2007 and June 2009 during term-time the station ran a monthly club night at the University's Hetherington Research Club.[33]
  • In Freshers' Week 2008 the station launched a new website featuring dynamically updated navigation of its listen again content based on playlist data from every show.[34]
  • In February 2009 Subcity broadcast on 106.6FM across Glasgow for 28 days.[36]
  • In June 2009 the station again ran a stage at the West End Festival, this time in Kelvingrove Park.
  • In September 2009 the station broadcast on 106.6FM across Glasgow during Freshers' Week.
  • In October 2009 part of Subcity's website was nominated for a Technical Achievement Award at the Student Radio Awards.[37]
  • In December 2009 the station launched an archives podcast featuring highlights from sessions, events and the broadcast from the past 15 years.[38]
  • On 6 March 2010 Subcity celebrated 15 years of broadcasting with a sold out birthday party at The Arches, the first time the station had returned to the venue since the Block Party era ended in 2006.<[39][40]
  • On 19 March 2010 an episode of the 'Party Party' show on the station was the subject of a news story run initially by the BBC and later in the day by other news outlets including Reporting Scotland. The articles focused on a drinking game feature and the provocative language and nature of the presenters in the episode.[41][42][43][44] The story was the top UK story that day on the BBC News website and made the top 5 total.[45]
  • Between April and August 2010 the station moved to temporary premises on South Park Avenue whilst the John McIntyre Building's roof was repaired.[46]
  • In September 2010 the station produced a 60 page hand illustrated guide book to Glasgow, called "Subcity's Guide to Staying Fresh 2010". The station also ran an open top bus tour of the city for freshers' of the Art School and University of Glasgow.


  1. ^ a b "Subcity Radio // About". Subcity Radio. Retrieved 6 January 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Dean, Will (22 October 2005). "Analysis Student: Radio Stations". The Independent. UK. Retrieved 1 June 2010. "One of Britain's most musically rich cities can be proud to have a station as edgy as Glasgow's Subcity. Although no longer on AM (people sharing the building with the station kept getting the station playing down their phones), Subcity uses its FM broadcast to cement its position as a genuinely left-field broadcaster. There are specialist grime and hip-hop shows, alongside music from Thelonious Monk to Echo and the Bunnymen to DJ Format. Although let down by its single-minded focus on music, Subcity, which funds itself through its own club nights, is adventurous and stylish and, more importantly, successful." 
  3. ^ "SRC : Volunteer : Student Media : Subcity". Glasgow University Students' Representative Council. Retrieved 6 January 2009. 
  4. ^ "The Guide 05/06". The Guide. Glasgow University Students' Representative Council. September 2005. Retrieved 6 January 2009. 
  5. ^ Mahoney, Elisabeth (24 January 2005). "Radio review / Media / The Guardian". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 6 January 2009. 
  6. ^ Taylor, Marianne (20 January 2005). "BRIEF ENCOUNTER WITH PHILL JUPITUS". Evening Times – Glasgow (UK). p. 20. Retrieved 7 January 2009. 
  7. ^ Zaak Jones (October 2007). "GUM • Subcity Radio". Glasgow University Magazine. Retrieved 6 January 2009. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Subcity Radio // Events". Subcity Radio. Retrieved 6 January 2009. 
  9. ^ "Hitlist – The best dancefloor action". The List Issue 561. The List. 12 October 2006. Retrieved 7 January 2009. 
  10. ^ "Choose Glasgow Our Faculties Apply to Glasgow". University of Glasgow. p. 21. Retrieved 6 January 2009. 
  11. ^ Laura's Diary
  12. ^ Profile page on the Unofficial Scott Mills website
  13. ^ "Sofa so good – Indepth". The Drum. 20 August 2002. Retrieved 6 January 2009. 
  14. ^ "Determined to broadcast, annie mcguire". determined to broadcast. The Scottish Government. Retrieved 6 January 2009. [dead link]
  15. ^ Joe Lenski (30 June 2007). "The Infinite Dial – 30 Under 30 Winner Profiles: Adam Uytman". 30 Under 30 2007. The Infinite Dial. Retrieved 6 January 2009. 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ Devine, Rachel (22 November 2009). "Hudson Mohawke Dont call me just yet Kylie". The Times (London). Retrieved 4 May 2010. 
  19. ^ "SRC : Volunteer : Student Media". Glasgow University Students' Representative Council. Retrieved 6 January 2009. 
  20. ^ "Full List – Member Stations – Student Radio Association". Student Radio Association. Retrieved 6 January 2009. 
  21. ^ Mills, Gill (2 February 2001). "Radio". The Scotsman (UK). Retrieved 26 January 2009. 
  22. ^ "Subcity Radio's Wall". Facebook. Retrieved 26 January 2009. 
  23. ^ Dower, John, and Greer, Dave, "The K Foundation: Why we burnt a million pounds", Thee Data Base fanzine, 1 March 1996; based on an interview with Drummond and Cauty on Subcity Radio, Glasgow, 3 November 1995 (link 1, link 2)
  24. ^ "DJs cook up a real storm; How a Radio 1 duo were made to feel at home.(Features)". Daily Record (Scotland). 6 March 1997. Retrieved 6 February 2009. 
  25. ^ Marshall, Tristan; Roberts, Eric. "The History of Fresh Air". Fresh Air. Retrieved 26 January 2009.  [dead link]
  26. ^ "Subcity Radio 2003 broadcast". Subcity wiki. Subcity Radio. Retrieved 26 January 2009. 
  27. ^ "Notes of Radio Authority Meeting held at the Holbrook House Thursday 7 November 2002" (pdf). Ofcom. 7 November 2002. Retrieved 26 January 2009. 
  28. ^ "Long Term RSLs". Ofcom. Retrieved 26 January 2009. 
  29. ^ "Ofcom RSL Annual Report 2002". Ofcom. Retrieved 26 January 2009. 
  30. ^ Kraines, Talia. "Digital Spy – BBC Radio 1 presents Student Radio Awards 2003". Digital Spy. Retrieved 26 January 2009. 
  31. ^ "Student Radio Awards 2005 website". Student Radio Association. Retrieved 26 January 2009. [dead link]
  32. ^ "City students on right wavelength". Evening Times – Glasgow (UK). 30 May 2006. p. 4. Retrieved 7 January 2009. 
  33. ^ "subcity events". Subcity Radio. Retrieved 26 January 2009. 
  34. ^ "about // Subcity Website Upgrade". Subcity Radio. Retrieved 26 January 2009. 
  35. ^ "SRA 2008 winners". Student Radio Association. Retrieved 26 January 2009. [dead link]
  36. ^ "current RSL". Ofcom. Retrieved 22 December 2008. 
  37. ^
  38. ^ "Subcity Radio // News // The Ghost of Christmas past". Subcity Radio. Glasgow University Students' Representative Council. 23 December 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2010. "Just in case you've been a bad boy or girl this year and Santa gives you a dingy, for the 12 days of Christmas (they start on the 25th by the way) Subcity will be delivering a new daily "from the archives" podcast to make you feel better. The team have been digging through dusty boxes of DATs, VHS tapes and MiniDiscs picking out the highlights from the last 15 years of broadcasts and events. Finds so far have included everything from our 2004 Franz Ferdinand session to a cassette of a fabled interview with the KLF from 1996." 
  39. ^ Philip, Ray (26 February 2010). "Subcity Radio's 15th Birthday @ The Arches, 6 March". The Skinny (Radge Media Ltd). Retrieved 1 June 2010. 
  40. ^ "Subcity Radio // Shows // Subcity's 15th Birthday // 2200-0315 06.03.10". Subcity Radio. Glasgow University Students' Representative Council. 6 March 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2010. "Right last night was ridiculous. 1300 people squeezed into The Arches, danced to 15 acts over two rooms and 4 hours on a massive sound system. It was epic." 
  41. ^ Williams, Huw (19 March 2010). "Student radio show suspended over drink claims". BBC News. Retrieved 1 June 2010. 
  42. ^ "Radio show suspended over drink claims". The National Student. 19 March 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2010. 
  43. ^ Phillips, Tom (19 March 2010). "Student radio programme shut down over 'litre of tequila' show". The Metro (Associated Newspapers). Retrieved 1 June 2010. 
  44. ^ "Uni radio show is suspended after claims presenters boozed and swore on air". Daily Record (Scotland: Trinity Mirror). 19 March 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2010. 
  45. ^ "BBC News Most Popular Now". BBC News. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  46. ^

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Coordinates: 55°52′20″N 4°17′20″W / 55.8722°N 4.2888°W / 55.8722; -4.2888