By Ryan Lee, Staff Writer
The University of Maine at Farmington’s (UMF) radio station, 91.5 WUMF, has decided to broaden its horizons with more live DJing at local shows and events.
Joe Kelley, the vice president and production manager of the club, explained that the reasoning behind the new focus point for the radio station was to gain more publicity. “We wanted to do more around campus and improve the public image of the radio station,”said Kelley. “We are hoping the more events we do around campus, the more other clubs will want us to DJ their events.”
The changes seemed like a natural progression for the radio station. Kelley said an upgrade in equipment and facilities was a major reason behind the sudden changes. “We decided on these changes because in past years we have been mostly about working on the air. But two years ago we upgraded all of our live sound equipment and we want to use it,” said Kelley. “Last year we worked more events in a week than past years all put together.”
For the coming year, the radio station already has several events on and around campus that they plan to DJ. The next scheduled event for WUMF is Djing Green Beaver Fest, a free event on campus that features several local bands. The radio station is also in talks to discuss DJing the upcoming Ultimate Frisbee Tournament.
WUMF is additionally exploring the possibility of hosting another concert on campus. “We are in the process of planning a concert for this semester that will have some familiar names from around the Farmington area playing,” said Kelley. “It should be a great concert and I believe UMF students will enjoy having more opportunities to see live bands without having to leave the campus.”
WUMF is planning more than these local events, they also are in the process of sending radio station members to concerts and events to DJ in the Portland area and other parts of the state. Luke Deems, the tech director of the radio station, believes this could be key in helping the radio station expand its number of listeners. “This could bring in a lot more public eye to the radio station, and we need to do more events around the state so people don’t look at us as just another college radio station,” explained Deems.
Last year’s lineup of non on-air events included the “Battle of the Bands,”an annual event hosted by the station to showcase student musical talent at UMF. The radio station also provided sound and lighting for both the “Rocky Horror Show” and the “Drag Show.” The station provided sound for two charity events as well, The Relay for Life and a local walk for hospice care.
According to Kelley, the pressure of all these events wasn’t too much for the station. “Our E-board believes we can do more good if we keep getting our name out as not just a radio station, but as a sound provider for any event held on campus,” he said. Linsay Brochu, a sophomore at UMF, was impressed with the Battle of the Bands production value. ”I thought the radio station did an excellent job putting together the Battle of the Bands,” said Brochu. “I think it shows that they can have success in putting on more live productions.”