Dublin indie rock station Phantom FM have been granted a 30 day temporary licence to broadcast on the FM band by the BCI. The station, who have in the past applied twice for a permanent licence but been turned down, plan to spread the 30 days over 14 weekends running from 18th October until early next year – and will also include broadcasts on Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day. They will continue to use the name Phantom FM.
The return of the influential station will be welcomed by thousands of musically disenfranchised young Dubliners in a city where a licensed specialist modern rock service has so far been lacking.
Phantom FM will continue to offer a “modern rock” programme schedule consisting of Irish and international indie/alternative rock artists with a heavy emphasis on emerging talent from the Dublin scene that are under represented on the playlists of existing commercial stations. Live interviews and in studio sessions will be a regular feature of programming that will be presented by enthusiastic and informed presenters. A measure of the calibre of the new broadcasting talent nurtured by Phantom FM is the fact that key music programmes on Today FM, 2FM and FM104 are all presented by ex-Phantom DJs. The station also plans to host number of live concerts in Dublin venues that will be broadcast live along with a series of music workshops for new bands and artists.
“We will be championing the local music scene and are proud to do so,” says Simon Maher, Phantom’s station manager. “There is a wealth of local bands and artists who are recording music, filling venues and have healthy CD sales yet are rarely heard on local or national radio. Radio airplay is crucial to nurturing this talent who are a valuable micro-economy in themselves. We’re grateful to the BCI for giving us this opportunity.”
Maher cites the thousands of survey forms received from online listeners who want to hear new Irish music on the air and broad support from the music industry.
Phantom FM will broadcast on 97.3 MHz FM across Dublin city every weekend commencing on October 18th right through until the final broadcast in the series on January 18th, 2004. Programming will run each weekend from midnight Friday until midnight Sunday. Outside of these hours the station will continue to transmit via the web at www.phantomfm.com. The station will be funded by revenues generated by programme sponsorship.
Wireless Media Ltd., the promoters of Phantom FM have recently made a submission of interest to the BCI to operate a similar radio service on a permanent basis in Dublin. The station twice applied in the past for a Special Interest Radio licence, narrowly losing out to Country 106.8FM in 2001. In its current submission to the BCI, Phantom FM has emphasised the need for a medium sized station that would provide a specialist modern rock music with a low cost base and that would be independently owned. The promoters are undeterred by the many larger radio interests who have become suddenly interested in operating a Phantom FM style service.