Year in Review: youth community station FBi

Community station FBi 94.5 FM, the new radio station for Sydney youth music, arts and culture, has been gaining momentum since its launch last August. The new station, which is being watched by community broadcasters around Australia, looks back over the achievements of the past few months in this week’s ‘Year in Review’ feature.

With positive listener feedback, strong membership numbers and increasing page impressions online, FBi has “certainly made an impact on the city’s broadcasting scene,” according to FBi’s Stuart Buchanan.

In 2002, the Australian Broadcasting Authority granted FBi the strongest license ever given to a community station in Australia, with transmission reaching from Gosford to the Blue Mountains to Wollongong. FBi is committed to playing 50% Australian music, with half of that from Sydney and supports all the diverse activities that the city’s arts and cultural industries have to offer.

Visits to the FBi web site back up the high interest level in the station, reaching 450,000 page impressions throughout September. 2,500 registered users have completed the demographic survey on the site and results show that 90% of listeners are under 35, with 40% aged between 18 and 24, 10% under 18 – indicating that FBi’s mission to target Sydney’s youth has been successful.

Buchanan says: “FBi also took to the streets of Sydney for a high-profile and well-attended series of fundraising gigs entitled ‘FBi LIVE’, taking place at the Metro (for Sydney Morning Herald’s METRO 21st Birthday), The Annandale, The Hopetoun, The Bat & Ball and The Mandarin Club, further strengthening FBi’s commitment to the Sydney music scene.”

In November, FBi took home the ‘Contribution to Local Music Award’ at the 2003 CBAA Community Broadcasting conference for Dan Buhagiar’s The Bridge : Sydney Retrospective program which – in the last four months – has featured contributions from Tim Rogers, Frigid, Homebake, Ivy League Records, Wayen Connolly, The Harbourside Brasserie, Tim Pittman and more.

According to Buchanan: “FBi has also attracted the sponsorship support of several top music industry names such as EMI/Virgin Records, Sony Music, Michael Coppel, Shock Records, Big Day Out and Rock Circuit Promotions.

“Additionally, FBi have secured partnerships with a number of music and arts organisations in Sydney including Bondi’s Live Bait Festival, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Livid Festival (who gave the fledgling station its own stage in September) and the 2004 Sydney Festival – FBi’s Sydney Festival night takes place at the Becks Bar at the Hyde Park Barracks on January 16th.”

FBi is optimistic about what the station has achieved in the past year and is positive about 2004: “With these established relationships and a newly secured sponsorship agreement from Coca-Cola in place, it is clear that FBi is consolidating its position as a major attraction for businesses and listeners alike.”