Forget LPs, CDs and MP3s: Foothill College's KFJC staffers are going straight to the source. Earlier this week, nine radio station employees and volunteers boarded a plane for the Netherlands to conduct their fifth international live remote broadcast.
Listeners can tune in to the award-winning KFJC at 89.7 FM in the Bay Area this Friday, June 5 between between 6:45 a.m. and 7 p.m. and Saturday, June 6, between 5:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Pacific Time to hear live music from the second annual Eindhoven Psych Lab in the south of Holland: a two-day festival featuring more than 30 psychedelic bands and DJs from around the world. Artists performing at this year's festival include The Telescopes (U.K.), Moon Duo (US), Warm Graves (Germany), zZz (Netherlands) and K-X-P (Finland). KFJC's broadcast will also be available at kfjc.org/netcast, and live video feed will be streaming at live.kfjc.org.
Founded in 1959, KFJC has long been known for pioneering broadcasts and has maintained a robust international web presence since the mid-1990s. In 2012, the station was named the best community college radio station in the United States by the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System.
In previous years, KFJC staff have traveled to South by Southwest in Austin, Texas; the Otago Festival of the Arts in Dunedin, New Zealand; and the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia in England among other locales to broadcast straight to their listeners.
As DJ and Assistant Publicity Director Cynthia Lombard (that's her "air name") explained, "It's very unusual for any radio station to do an international live broadcast, let alone a college radio station. KFJC is truly a pioneer and did its first international live remote from Brixton, England, in 1996. For comparison, free-form radio stalwart WFMU has been doing live broadcasts from the Primavera Sound Festival in Spain since 2009 and Seattle's major noncommercial radio station KEXP did its first international live remote from Iceland in 2011.
"I know of no other college radio station doing international live remotes, let alone live video," Lombard added.
Other station staffers, who also prefer to go by their air names, said they're thrilled to have the opportunity to travel to the Eindhoven Psych Lab.
"KFJC's remote broadcasts are one of the main things that set us apart from other college stations," noted Earl Grey. "We do it because we can, and it brings the station together in a unified effort for a challenging adventure."
Fellow staffer Maybelline called the remote broadcast "a fantastic learning experience on a variety of levels; technically, culturally, musically."
"I'm always amazed at how welcoming people can be," she added. "Music is definitely a universal language."
As for why they chose this particular festival at this time, Grey noted, "There's been a resurgence of psych in recent years which we have been solidly behind, partially due to some old farts that were around for the first wave and partially due to some young whippersnappers that are really into it."
Staffers and volunteers said they're proud of the hard work they put into the endeavor, particularly their ability to "build a replica station on the other side of the world from which we broadcast both high quality audio and visuals streams," Maybelline said.
"Most logistics are handled via email, text, phone calls and Skype," she explained. "This kind of project really defines KFJC."
Grey added that the station operates on a limited budget provided primarily by listener donations.
"Your local college station is going to prove yet again what can be done with a lot of hard work from a band of dedicated volunteers with an adventurous spirit," she said.
To learn more about the Eindhoven Psych Lab, go to eindhovenpsychlab.com.