This year’s Vinylthon took place during a very difficult time for most radio stations. COVID-19 meant that many participating radio stations had to figure out how to participate remotely or to have fewer than normal staff broadcast for the event. This meant that for many radio stations, it was a very challenging year.
Last year’s Vinylthon Station of the Year, KFJC in Los Altos Hills, California, operated by Foothill College, found a way to still celebrate the event. KFJC has a reputation for wholeheartedly celebrating Vinylthon, as well as producing programming initiatives that are exciting and unique. The station has a rich history.
We caught up with Charles Kestler, the Program Director of KFJC, to find out how it went this year.
How did COVID-19 impact your plans for Vinylthon this year?
CK: In this crazy situation, we have been doing a mix of live shows and pre-recorded shows, sort of a hybrid radio station. The weekend that we did Vinylthon was easier because we had a full schedule unlike some other days of the week, so we were able to have a live DJ playing vinyl for 52 straight hours. We went for a week last year, so a couple days under this situation seemed reasonable.
How was the experience? What kind of things did you play?
CK: Our weekend schedule is already pretty varied, and has a lot of long running shows, so those DJs dug in and found great vinyl sets, fantastic stuff from every genre. Techno, electronic, psych, metal, noise, surf, stream of consciousness, jazz, blues, reggae, just to get started. In all the sizes and colors you can imagine. 7 “,10″,12”, Flexi, we did it.
How did it go for you personally?
CK: Personally, I did a Soul Patrol show and set up a DJ rig in The Pit, where we typically set up bands and guest musicians. I joked with our Chief Engineer that it was silly of me to essentially recreate our Master studio, but it was a fun challenge and cool to be surrounded by all those records. KFJC has 45,000+ pieces of vinyl.
We congratulate KFJC on another great Vinylthon celebration and hope that by the time Vinylthon 2021 comes around, we’ll all be in a better place to celebrate the event more normally!