Thursday, June 16, 2016

Dry ice

The latest attempt to revive a set of UK radio awards looks certain to wreck summer holidays for a range of producers.

The Radio Academy has teamed up with Leeds Beckett University (formerly Leeds Metropolitan) and Leeds Business Improvement District to host the first ARIAs (the Audio and Radio Industry Awards) on Wednesday 19th October. The event will be held at the First Direct Arena, opened in 2013 on Claypit Lane, a former Leeds Met carpark.

The business model is entertaining; the area seats up to 13,000, and tickets will be £36. Taking 13,000 people out of the UK radio industry on the same day might lead to some loss of service, so one suspects family, friends and many others will need to be enticed to the event by a big line-up of pop performers. Co-chair Bob "Think Big" Shennan may have to call in some favours from Radio 2 trusties.

There will be a total of 16 awards - the Sonys used to have 36 categories. I've yet to find the full new list, but imagine a pop concert audience might shuffle in their seats a little at awards for Best Speech Broadcaster or  Best Community Programming - hard to give them the MTV treatment. I'm trying to imagine Jenni Murray and Jane Garvey emerging from the smoke and fireworks to accept a gong in front of a whooping mosh-pit eager for celebrity selfies.

Those summer holidays ? Entries close on August 15th; hours of compilation work when the rest of us are at the beach...

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