The Party After the ACRAs

Peter Saxon crashes the ARN party

As the ACRAs has grown in excitement and prestige, the After Party event which has surfaced in its wake, is emerging as the ultimate definer of who’s hot and who’s not. Or who’s cool and who’s not. No one has yet been able to explain to me how these opposites can mean exactly the same thing. Merely winning an ACRA is no longer enough to catapult you from nerdy intern to radio star. You need to be seen at the right after party.

In recent years it’s been DMG that has rationed out the most desired wrist bands to the anointed few considered hot (or cool) enough to inhabit the same room as Fitzy & Wippa,  Smallzy and Lachlan Murdoch. Last Saturday though, the hottest, coolest and most exclusive ticket was held tightly in ARN’s clenched fists.

Only one busload made the trip from the ACRA’s function to super hot/cool club, The Met, and onto a special platform that floated above the jungle themed mosh pit of nubile revellers high on the music, the caged dancers, forbidden urges and un-prescribed medications.

In truth it wasn’t me but radioinfo’s Admin Manager, Wendy Whalley who was invited onto the bus by Amanda Keller and given an official wrist band. I was merely a stow away with a Raymond Weil watch, powerless, in this situation, compared to a bracelet made from green paper. Clearly, Wendy is way more cool/hot than me. It was only by sandwiching myself between the ARN celebrities that I was able to get my portly frame through the velvet cordon and into the club undetected by the bouncers. I hadn’t felt this way since I snuck into the pictures to see Gorgo when I was nine.

Within the rails of our private aerie above the paying plebs, juggling bar tenders skilfully mixed the fanciest of cocktails while Jonesy and Amanda held court as they held close their ACRAs for Best Syndicated Program, the MCM produced My Generation.

But it was a night not just for on air stars and their support teams, but also for those in sales who punched well above their weight, or put more exactly, earned a share of revenue above the audience share of the stations they represent.

We were told that DMG’s event was a much lower key affair this year and was for staff only, which seemed a shame given how much the network had to celebrate, having scored the highest ACRA count in the metro markets they contested with 11 against SCA’s 10 and ARN’s 7. Nonetheless we did bump into a few people not on their payroll who had somehow managed to wangle a ticket, including  SCA’s Jules Schiller, the soon to be ex-Highway Patroller. Perhaps, at this point in his career, it was the hottest/coolest/smartest place for him to be.

 Peter Saxon

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