Last week we launched Radio Life & Style, Ballito’s first commercial radio station and what a week it was. The studio is a custom designed structure build out of used containers repurposed to architect Mabette Vermaak’s design. Mabette is one of Ballito’s most exciting architects and to have her design the studio was just awesome. The containers that were custom converted in Gauteng, arrived a week late which put our launch date in jeopardy and it was by supreme effort from many different people, that it all came together in time for the official launch on Tuesday 9th of December.
The launch party was huge fun and the turnout was amazing. It may sound hard to believe, but we hadn’t properly tested the equipment before the official switch on because there was a major electrical glitch in the system that had to be sorted…and it was…just before we went live to the world!
A local radio station is a huge asset to a town like Ballito. Not only are listeners able to catch up regularly with what’s happening in the surf and on the beaches, weather info, fishing reports and local sport but now they are also able to instantly access traffic news, civic alerts, and social happenings along with the best music on the airwaves. As far as advertising goes, it’s a real winner, particularly if the campaign is run online and in print with us as well.
The station is currently broadcasting live from the Lifestyle Centre in Ballito on 88.0FM locally and streaming digitally online worldwide from www.lifeandstyle.fm
This means that if you lose radio reception when you enter a radio shadow or travel out of range, you can take us with you on your travels on your cell phone, tablet, laptop or any other connected device. We have listeners all over the world as we speak.
But setting up a radio station is no mean feat. For starters, the licensing procedure is long and arduous and there is absolutely no guarantee of success once you start the process. Application feesto ICASA, the licensing authority, are non-refundable and expensive, the paperwork is overwhelming and even if you manage to successfully wade through all the red tape, unless there is a frequency available, it all comes to nothing. We were lucky – we secured the only frequency available in this area and our radio application was granted after an agonizing wait. But because we are transmitting our own signal, we needed another license and that was a mission all of its own. But, we were lucky again and with the requisite licenses in place, we set about sourcing the equipment needed for broadcasting on this sort of micro-scale.
Had we known the full extent of the costs involved, we might not have been quite so “gung-ho” in our quest to take the Life & Style brand to air, but, once committed, you can’t really stop the bus so we bit the bullet and soldiered on until we eventually hit the button and filled the world with love!
I have always loved radio. I suppose you could say it’s in the genes. My grandfather was one of the first professional voices on air in South Africa and he stayed on the air for over fifty years. I am the proud custodian of a large antique microphone presented to him by his colleagues at the SABC to mark his 50th year behind the mic. I joined the professional broadcast ranks when I was recruited by Radio 5 in the eighties and my sons have been working as deejays at a radio station in Cape Town – the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, I’m afraid. Luckily they have returned to Ballito to help establish Radio Life & Style because technology has advanced way beyond my present level of expertise and I have to pretend that I don’t hear them killing themselves with laughter every time I fall into a technological pit…and there are so many to fall into!
Still, I am getting the hang of things and I hope you’ll join me, weekdays between 7 and 9 in the morning for a little home-grown info and a lot of the music that I love (hopefully you will too)!