on the airwaves since 1993
~ Airplay TIps ~

Here are some comments from a conference back on October 18, 2002 
in Ottawa, Canada which may prove helpful when trying to improve airplay. 
(Trans) MISSION: Getting Radio Play 4:20 - 5:30pm Quebec Room 
“Folk DJ's from both sides of the border discuss the how-to’s of accessing, managing, and making the most of the public, campus and community radio.” 
Chopper McKinnon - host of Canadian Spaces on CKCU FM in Ottawa,  
Sonny Ochs WRPI College Radio Troy , New York
Angela Page  WJFF Hydro-powered Public Radio. Host/producer of Folk Plus
Mike Regenstreif – CKUT, Montreal.  Producer/host of Folk Roots/Folk Branches  at that time
Bill Stunt - CBC 

Before looking at who to access, or how to make contacts here are some tips on the product that you have to market in the first place. Nothing specific will guarantee airplay, but some tips can maximize your chances.

1. You are the product. You will be investing precious time and energy  to “compete” for exposure. Make sure you are ready to demand the airplay or gigs that you are expecting. Ask many people. Ask more than your good friends. Ask people who listen to a lot of music; Djs, venue operators, festival promoters. 
Attend festivals and listen to other people.

2. Have a clearly labeled CD that represents you. Include your name, cd title, song titles, e mail contacts, web sites all clearly written for contact. Expect that any papers you send with the cd, will not travel with it.

3. Check font sizes and colors with your production staff if its out of your hands.

4. A song summary of the theme, style or message in each song is helpful, and any language alerts is essential for avoiding fines. College & community radio have different allowances for this.

5. Song length is very important. Make sure the songs are numbered and that the times are on the CD back. Sometimes I cannot play a cut because I can’t be sure it will fit before the arts calendar or before noon. Radio is limited by time.

6. If you don’t have an instrumental cd, many djs want to see the lyrics. This can be in any form that fits inside the jewel case.

7. Disks should be labeled as we have them out of cases often.

8. Quick one sheet bio notes that fit on cd sized paper is helpful. I look for home town, goals, messages…IT is never, never important to me who you opened for, or “shared the stage with”. Many of us play ourselves and have opened for people, and it’s a sign of very little. The CD is about YOU.

9. Glossy photos are a waste of your money, unless I’m booking a local gig for you and need press materials for newspapers and flyers.

10. Do not include every review you have ever gotten.

11.  Consider sending CDs with the shrink wrap removed. Don't worry that I'll think it's a "used " CD, I open roughly 10 - 30 CDs a week and sometimes hundreds coming home from conferences. I want to get to the music.

12.  Make good use of your spine, sometimes its all programmers see.

Accessing : Finding out Who

Some HOW TOs of Contacting:

Watch the setlists posted from the sites listed above. You’ll see the style and types of works played on each show. Get a name and make sure you’d be a good match, before making any contact. Then you can chose to send one letter to a list by way of introduction. You can then either introduce yourself to the whole list and see who responds to you, or geographically, or otherwise, isolate who you think would play your type of music. 

An extra CD, sent to the home of a DJ that plays your type of music is not wasted.

Have a web presence. Don't send everything in the mail. Give enough basic information and hope that the contact will want to search your website to get other details.

Refer to the CD tips above when mailing packages. 

Managing and Making the Most  /  Keeping Up with Folk

Have a website. Keep it current.

Post gigs Musi-Cal <

Set up interviews, researching geographically. Don’t expect this if the DJ doesn’t know your stuff. If you do make an interview appointment - show up! No show news travels fast, and its discourteous.    Sing Out   POBox 5460 Bethlehem PA 18015  Monthly comprehensive list of acoustic performance in NY City areas. MP3’s , reviews, articles, essays, thousands of folk music related links…  North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance     music matters online Folk Music Festivals

Upstate NY Festivals: Turtle Hill Folk Festival,Mendon, NY (Rochester) 
Great Blue Heron Music Festival; Sherman, NY (Jamestown) Buffalo Irish Festival, Lancaster (Buffalo), 
 Rochester Irish Festival Williamson Summer Folk Fest  Old Songs Festival, Altamont, NY / Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Hillsdale, NY (MA, NY, and CT Tri-State Corner) / Clearwater Great Hudson River Revival, Poughkeepsie, NY /  Grass Roots Festival of Music & Dance  Listing of NPR Radio Station Album reviews of new releases ..contemporary folk, Celtic, bluegrass, traditional, and a variety of ethnic styles. Artists and reviewers from around the world contribute. Woodsongs Live Webcast

Many stations air their shows

Internet Folk Festival is a streaming folk music broadcast. Tune in anytime at: 

Grassy Hill  Radio stream

Folk Times Addie & Olin Boyle 959 County Rte 10, Cornith, NY 12822 
A listing of area clubs from a publication based near Albany.

Ceolas celtic music archive, The home of celtic music on the net, with reviews, 
biographies, guides, audio samples, hundreds

Rowatworks – Folk Music Now List of RealAudio Internet Radio ... 
FOLK MUSIC NOW Day and Time List Of Internet Folk Radio Programs 
(STREAMING – most are RealAudio) 1) Click today’s day

Balkanmedia magazin - Internet radio 
Balkan Folk Music Balkan Pop & Rock Music Balkan Alternative Music Balkan 
Etno Music

IUMA: Discover unsigned artists, independent bands, local talent,BULLETIN 
BOARDS. RADIO IUMA. ... Rock, ·, Nathan Sheppard mp3 | real Rock, Folk, 
Internet Underground Music ... Featuring over 2500 indie artists from 
around the

Folk Music Radio 
Play folk and shanties? This Folk Music Radio Station will 
broadcast your music on the Internet.

Celtic Music Internet Radio Stations 
Check out these streaming internet radio programs. 
Celtic Music Internet Radio Stations. All Celtic MP3 stations ...

Independent Music Owners in Favor of Internet Radio 
.. they would like to enter into discussions with internet radio to allow 
their music to ... Harvey Reid, Woodpecker Records,, 

WUMB is Boston Folk Music Radio 
The only full time folk music radio station in the USA. Schedule 
information and live radio stream.

Spinner,  Radio@Netscape Plus. 
streaming music on 120

KPIG Radio Online 
Folkscene - Playing a mix of folk, rock, alternative, blues and comedy, 
plus commentary. Live online through 


  • Example of letter of introduction to a list would identify quickly who your are, and give song track summaries of types of instruments used, theme summaries of songs and musicians names that were involved with the production. A quick quote or two from a notable source is helpful if you have some press.
  • Create your own personal match list of dj shows after deciding on types of shows, or geographical areas you wish to target. Use a name whenever possible and send the cd to that person at the station. OTherwise the cd sits in a large pile with who knows what to who knows who.