James Orriss reporting on the biggest night of the year.
The Student Radio Awards were first mentioned to me by the board of Insanity, advertised as a time of pure joy, comradery and overall, a celebration of what student radio is and can achieve. Now, usually I am not one for going on nights out to central London, especially on a Wednesday night, knowing full well I have early morning classes the next day, but there was just something about the excitement in the voices of those who had attended the SRAs in years past which managed to spark enough interest in me to throw caution to the wind and buy my ticket.
When I walked into the grand hall where the event was being hosted, bowtie round my collar and jacket buttons fastened, I was taken aback by the lights that shimmered all throughout the room, dancing off anything and everything: silver sequins, champagne glasses, the metal frames of the chairs. It was all such a dazzling sight to behold, figuratively and literally dazzling. Soon enough each station member found their seat, students from all over the country, representing their little corner of the airwaves, gathered in one place: Insanity radio, Phoenix Radio, URY, URN, Xpress, Spark and Shock as well as many more. When the awards ceremonies began, the room erupted in noise, hundreds of cheers for the SRA’s two presenters that night: Jack Saunders of BBC Radio 1 and Rio Fredrika from Capital, who each graced us all with the tales of their own journeys through student radio into a radio career. During each award category, we were given the pleasure to hear the many stories of former students who now have their own place in the industry of radio through perseverance and dedication to doing something they love. All throughout, the tension of the room built up and up on who would get third, second and first for each award.
Among a night of absolute fun, friendship and celebration of achievements, I did learn one important lesson. Student radio can do so much, we can do so much, using our platform on the airwaves to get the important messages out into the world, helping the people who feel like they are alone in their struggles. Whether it’s from behind a computer monitor or behind a microphone, we can all achieve something that before we might have seen as unobtainable, but our potential can be unlocked and mastered into something beautiful, that is why I am proud and so incredibly grateful to have the opportunity and privilege of being a part of student radio.
Whilst Insanity were nominated for Best Station, and best Technical Achievement, it was our Deputy Station Manager Kinga Stusik who took home the bronze for best Newcomer. We are incredibly proud of our amazing achievements in the past year!