Radio, Radio - 60 North Launches online
by Tom Morton -
“Welcome to The Beatcroft Social, live from Lerwick on 60 North Radio, from Shetland to Shetland and the world...I’m Tom Morton, and these are The Revellers...”
Every Saturday night between 8.00 and 10.00pm, amid the sound of squawking seabirds and the occasional ship’s hooter from the harbour below our Lerwick studio, my Beatcroft Social music show goes out live from Promote Shetland’s new studios at 4 Market Street. There’s a selection of tunes from a’ the airts, always including some Shetlandic content, and a look at what’s been happening in the isles during the week, as well as upcoming gigs, artistic events and most important of all, imminent Sunday hall teas...
But that’s not all. On the same webpage where you can find The Beatcroft Social Live, there are videos, live webcams - a host of visual delights reflecting every aspect of island life.
Because Promote Shetland has decided to start a radio station. Or a “r@dio” station. Or a combination of video and audio, available on the internet and providing an outlet for Shetland folk interested in broadcasting, film, radio, recording and music.
This is all under the 60 North banner, along with the quarterly magazine of that name, which provides writers and photographers based in the isles with international exposure. Like 60 North Magazine, the radio and video streams, often combined, play their part in displaying Shetland’s wildlife, culture, geography, natural and industrial resources to a worldwide audience. 60 North is a multimedia platform for all things creatively good about Shetland.
The date chosen to kick things off was Saturday 25 June, and the great Midsummer Live experiment started at noon, live from Market Street, before 12 hours of special programming commenced with ‘Inga’s 80s’ - a choice selection of tunes from Inga Walterson of our local commercial station SIBC. She was followed by Shetlander David Lewis, former Original FM DJ, with his own story in music and words.
Meanwhile, a small team dashed south to Sumburgh Head, where a two-hour live extravaganza was presented by yours truly, fuelled by the Lighthouse Visitor Centre’s splendid home bakes and with on-site interviews and interruptions by puffins. We linked up too with Unst, where the homebakes were again flowing at Victoria’s Tearooms in Haroldswick, and as we all made out way back to Lerwick, listeners were able to remain in Unst via a special musical tour of the island in the company of North isles Tourism Development Officer Kellie Naulls.
The custom programming continued with a trip around the recent Classic Car Show in Lerwick, and then two hours of rock’n’roll with former Shetland resident Mike Marwick. From 8.00 until 10.00pm it was the first Beatcroft social, with a live session from local singer songwriter Adam Guest and a link-up with expat Shetland musician Duncan Phillips in Australia.
Taking us up to 11.00pm was The Virtual Conductor with Eamon Watt, a fast of classical music, and finally Northmavine’s Drew Ratter began what will be a series of programmes about American music with a look at the history of Gospel.
These programmes can all be listened to on our archive Mixcloud site, and of course a fresh new Beatcroft Social goes out every Saturday, keeping you up to date with events in Shetland, and with some great music and pictures.
Promote Shetland’s Andy Steven said the platform had been two years in the planning and represented a “major step for us in promoting Shetland as a destination to live, work and of course visit to enjoy the land, sea, food, culture and people – especially the music”.
“The webcams, specifically the puffin cams and aurora cams, have been a worldwide success. We’ll be able to accompany those and other pictures from Shetland with music and conversation, both live and recorded, all reinforcing a positive message about the isles.”
HIE is supporting the project and Shetland area manager Rachel Hunter said: “Our rationale for investment was two-fold. First we want to push the boundaries of digital technology in marketing and promoting Shetland as a place to live, work, study and invest.
“Second, we are keen to support the development of the creative community in Shetland, and the 60 North platform offers a vehicle for creative people, across a range of disciplines, to collaborate and innovate.”
“We see this as both a fantastic marketing tool for Shetland,” said Andy, “and a great way for our creative community to connect,” he added. “Many people, especially young folk, from throughout the Shetland community are involved with us, as film makers, writers, broadcasters and photographers.”
Would you like to get involved? We’re looking for guest presenters, people prepared to compile playlists, help with engineering and production. If so, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep listening. And watching!
Posted in: Creative Scene