It's the small details not the grand gestures that matter.
When we started out with the crazy idea of building a radio station in the midst of a pandemic, despite so many uncertainties, there were a few things we were absolutely sure about.
The first thing was that the music had to take absolute priority over everything else.
The second was that the music had to bring people together in a way that only radio can do, but unfortunately has failed to do for so many years.
As kids, then teenagers, and moving into adulthood, listening to the radio was an integral part of our lives. It serenaded us through the days, accompanied us through the sometimes lonely evenings, it introduced us to new music, reminded us of classics we had forgotten, it prepped and primed us for the heady nights out on the town, and then eased us back down to Earth when we returned tired, weary and usually worse for wear.
But, what it really gave us through the years, was moments.
We don’t seem to have moments anymore.
Moments can only really happen in the present, in the here and now.
When everything else these days is on demand; we binge watch TV series; watch ‘live’ TV on catch up after the event; we can stream any song we want whenever we want.
All of these are incredibly convenient ways to indulge, but they are somewhat isolating rather than integrating. You don’t get to share the experience with other people live, in the moment, as it happens, and then revel in that moment with them afterwards.
Besides live gigs and events, which are sadly on hold for the time being, it seems that maybe Radio is the last bastion of hope for having actual live moments around music together.
So, we spent some time considering what the ‘moments’ of our music and radio life had been, so that we could identify what made them special.
It became clear that moments were about the small details and not the grand gestures.
One of the best stories about moments is about the Magic Castle Hotel in LA. It isn’t a magical looking hotel at all, in fact it’s an apartment block built in the 50s; the rooms are average, it has an average pool. But, somehow this hotel rates as number 2 in Trip Advisor for all hotels in LA.
The reason for this?
The Magic Castle Hotel understands the power of moments.
By the side of their average looking pool is a bright red phone with a sign above it that says “Popsicle Hotline”. When you pick up the phone, a voice tells you, “Popsicle Hotline, we’ll be right out,” and a few minutes later a man in a suit, like an English butler, wearing white gloves, will bring a silver tray with a selection of ice lollies for you to choose from, for free, as often as you like.
They also have a snack menu available from reception, a board game menu, movie menu, and magicians performing magic around the reception area.
And, The Magic Castle Hotel is one of the busiest hotels in the city, and people return time after time.
They can’t compete with the elegance of the big hotel chains, they don’t have seven digit marketing budgets to generate awareness, in fact they don’t have a marketing budget at all.
It’s David versus Goliath.
But, they understand the power of moments.
Moments make people feel something. Moments make people feel special. Moments make people feel like they belong.
And so we set out to build a radio station that created moments.
On-air moments, where the music alone made people feel happy, excited, inspired, even nostalgic at times; and often within the space of just three songs.
And other times on-air, when the DJs and presenters played exclusive sets, tracks and special mixes that needed to be heard to be believed. And, if you weren’t listening there and then, you missed it.
And off-air too, we wanted a place to talk and share, reminisce, and discuss things; share the experience of those moments together; a tribe of hive-minded people passionate about music and radio and Manchester; people who felt that the best moments of their life weren’t just in the past.
We genuinely only hoped that people would get what we were about, but we never expected the response we got.
One of the most glowing responses we received, which proved to us that people were experiencing those ‘moments’, came from a wonderful guy called Dave Bradley, who in the space of just over a week went from being a total stranger to us to becoming an integral part of the community and tribe that is gathering around The Buzz Mcr. Here is an excerpt of his beautifully poetic message, with his kind permission:
“You are the soundtrack to Manchester, the beating musical heart of the city. The inspiration for what is yet to come….You have brought us pure, unadulterated music….without any whistles and bells in between….that is continuously pushing us and yourselves forward….As it happens, you've come along at the right time, maybe not the best of times in general, but you are a much needed and very welcome distraction from all that is going on at the moment….You have created something where people can come together online and through the APP in a virtual, but vital way.”
The thing about moments though is that it is a two way thing. We can’t create moments if there is nobody to receive them and appreciate them; and you, in turn, by sharing your experience, create wonderful moments for us too.
That’s what true community is about.
That’s what we built this for.
But, we do need help continuing to get us out there to more and more people, so please share us with everyone you know.
We need to keep growing to keep going.