Subcity Radio

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Subcity Radio
Subcity Radio logo
First air date1995
FormatStudent Radio
  • 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] It currently broadcasts online year round 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 broadcasts all year round, and from November 2015, the show application process was changed from being a twice yearly window to being open indefinitely.[19] 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,[20] 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.[21]


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.[22][23]

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[24]


  • February saw the station's second broadcast as Subcity Radio .
  • The station was later awarded Best Station at the inaugural UK Radio 1 Student Radio Awards.[25]
  • In July Subcity ran a 3-week RSL to cover that year's T in the Park festival.


  • In March, 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.[26]
  • In July Subcity joined forces with Edinburgh's Fresh Air FM to provide RSLs in Edinburgh, Glasgow and on site for the T in The Park festival.[27]


  • 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 licence was awarded. This allowed for permanent broadcasting to campus, rather than for just one month per year. However the AM broadcast was discontinued after 5 months due technical issues.[28][29][30][31]



  • In February 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 November, Subcity won the Student Radio Association Student Radio Award for Best Marketing.



  • In June the station hosted a stage in Lilybank Gardens for the West End Festival Opening Parade Street Party.
  • Beginning in November, the station ran a monthly club night during term-time at the University's Hetherington Research Club. This continued until June 2009.[35]



  • In February Subcity broadcast on 106.6FM across Glasgow for 28 days.[38]
  • In June the station again ran a stage at the West End Festival, this time in Kelvingrove Park.
  • In September the station broadcast on 106.6FM across Glasgow during Freshers' Week.
  • In October, part of Subcity's website was nominated for a Technical Achievement Award at the Student Radio Awards.[39]
  • In December, the station launched an archives podcast featuring highlights from sessions, events and the broadcast from the past 15 years.[40]


  • On 6 March 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.<[41][42]
  • On 19 March 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.[43][44][45][46] The story was the top UK story that day on the BBC News website and made the top 5 total.[47]
  • Between April and August, the station moved to temporary premises on South Park Avenue whilst the John McIntyre Building's roof was repaired.[48]
  • 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.


  • To celebrate its 20th year on air, the station ran a number of events at The Art School including an exhibition featuring print and audio archival content,[49] a party featuring DJs from the station's extensive throughput,[50] and a film screening of a documentary specially made to commemorate the 20th birthday.[51] Some controversy arose from the line up of the 20th birthday party, which initially featured exclusively male DJs.


  • In February, DJ and presenter (and ex-station team member) Sofay invited Ben UFO onto the station.[52]
  • In May, Subcity Radio held a party at Gourock Outdoor Pool to celebrate the end of the academic year.[53]


  1. ^ a b "Subcity Radio // About". Subcity Radio. Archived from the original on 22 June 2001. Retrieved 6 January 2009.
  2. ^ 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. ^ Glasgow University Students' Representative Council. "SRC : Volunteer : Student Media : Subcity". Retrieved 6 January 2009.
  4. ^ "The Guide 05/06" (PDF). The Guide. Glasgow University Students' Representative Council. September 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 August 2006. Retrieved 6 January 2009.
  5. ^ Mahoney, Elisabeth (24 January 2005). "Radio review / Media / The Guardian". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  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" (PDF). University of Glasgow. p. 21. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2009.
  11. ^ "Unofficial Mills - Laura". 7 January 2009. Archived from the original on 7 January 2009.
  12. ^ Profile page on the Unofficial Scott Mills website
  13. ^ "Sofa so good – Indepth". The Drum. 20 August 2002. Archived from the original on 7 August 2011. 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. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2009.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Warp Week: Hudson Mohawke melts genres like Butter!".
  18. ^ Devine, Rachel (22 November 2009). "Hudson Mohawke Dont call me just yet Kylie". The Times. London. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  19. ^ "Show Applications // Subcity Radio".
  20. ^ "SRC : Volunteer : Student Media". Glasgow University Students' Representative Council. Retrieved 6 January 2009.
  21. ^ "Full List – Member Stations – Student Radio Association". Student Radio Association. Retrieved 6 January 2009.
  22. ^ Mills, Gill (2 February 2001). "Radio". The Scotsman. UK. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2009.
  23. ^ "Subcity Radio's Wall". Facebook. Retrieved 26 January 2009.[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ 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 Archived 19 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine, link 2)
  25. ^ "The Student Radio Awards :: Student Radio Awards Winners". UK Student Radio Association. Archived from the original on 19 November 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2010. 1996 – University of London Union, presented by Jo Whiley and Steve Lamacq * Best Station: SubCity, University of Glasgow
  26. ^ "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.
  27. ^ Marshall, Tristan; Roberts, Eric. "The History of Fresh Air". Fresh Air. Archived from the original on 27 August 2008. Retrieved 26 January 2009.
  28. ^ "Subcity Radio 2003 broadcast". Subcity wiki. Subcity Radio. Archived from the original on 3 May 2008. Retrieved 26 January 2009.
  29. ^ "Notes of Radio Authority Meeting held at the Holbrook House Thursday 7 November 2002" (pdf). Ofcom. 7 November 2002. Retrieved 26 January 2009.
  30. ^ "UK Radio Licensees". Ofcom. Retrieved 26 January 2009.; "Long Term RSLs". Ofcom. Retrieved 26 January 2009.
  31. ^ "Ofcom RSL Annual Report 2002" (PDF). Ofcom. Retrieved 26 January 2009.
  32. ^ Kraines, Talia. "Digital Spy – BBC Radio 1 presents Student Radio Awards 2003". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on 1 August 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2009.
  33. ^ "Student Radio Awards 2005 website". Student Radio Association. Archived from the original on 18 December 2008. Retrieved 26 January 2009.
  34. ^ "City students on right wavelength". Evening Times – Glasgow (UK). 30 May 2006. p. 4. Retrieved 7 January 2009.
  35. ^ "subcity events". Subcity Radio. Retrieved 26 January 2009.
  36. ^ "about // Subcity Website Upgrade". Subcity Radio. Retrieved 26 January 2009.[permanent dead link]
  37. ^ "SRA 2008 winners". Student Radio Association. Archived from the original on 10 February 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2009.
  38. ^ "current RSL". Ofcom. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
  39. ^[permanent dead link]
  40. ^ "Subcity Radio // News // The Ghost of Christmas past". Subcity Radio. Glasgow University Students' Representative Council. 23 December 2009. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. 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.
  41. ^ Philip, Ray (26 February 2010). "Subcity Radio's 15th Birthday @ The Arches, 6 March". The Skinny. Radge Media Ltd. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  42. ^ "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.
  43. ^ Williams, Huw (19 March 2010). "Student radio show suspended over drink claims". BBC News. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  44. ^ "Radio show suspended over drink claims". The National Student. 19 March 2010. Archived from the original on 1 January 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  45. ^ Phillips, Tom (19 March 2010). "Student radio programme shut down over 'litre of tequila' show". The Metro. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  46. ^ "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.
  47. ^ "BBC News Most Popular Now". BBC News. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
  48. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 June 2010. Retrieved 7 September 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  49. ^ "Pure Radio Sex: A Subcity Radio Exhibition". Subcity Radio. Scotland: Subcity Radio. 26 February 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  50. ^ "20th Birthday Party". Subcity Radio. Scotland: Subcity Radio. 21 March 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  51. ^ "Coral Reef: A Subcity Radio Documentary". Subcity Radio. Scotland: Subcity Radio. 27 July 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  52. ^ "Self Service with Ben UFO". Subcity Radio. Scotland: Subcity Radio. 23 February 2017. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  53. ^ "Subcity Radio Pool Party". Resident Advisor. Scotland: Resident Advisor. 20 May 2017. Retrieved 21 July 2019.

External links[edit]

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