Yesterday I met with Sam Lyons and Emma Carroll of OpenFM a temporary station that will be broadcast in Dublin over the pride season and will also be online.
The idea behind the station is to create an open space for discussion on LGBT issues, mental health issues and anything else. It wants to create a community space. It wants every one to be open. This is a laudable goal.
They have managed to recruit 72 volunteers who have come together to form the different teams that the station needs to operate. They have tapped into this network and hopefully it will pay off for them!
A look at schedule shows that it is not gay dominated which is something that I actually like about the station. The only definite gay show is Panti’s on a Sunday night and of course the day of the Pride Parade will see it covering the parade live which is a great idea and will bring the parade to those who can’t make it.
This idea hasn’t been tried in Ireland before. Though it does follow the successful model which was set by Christmas FM and Radio Rí Rá. This has been tried in Berlin, Melbourne and Manchester, but all those stations were “very gay”, while OpenFM promises only “a touch of gay” according to Sam. That is even demonstrated in the logo!
It is worthwhile to note that the station is completely voluntary and that in fact two charities have been selected to gain any of the money made from the venture. They are headsup.ie and GCN Forever.
It was interesting to see the logic behind the coupling up of Mental health with pride. And while speaking to Sam you could see the passion he has for this. He and Emma are right to link LGBT (especially youth) and mental health.
I wish OpenFM the best of luck!