Quick, what do you think is most common question people ask a WRIR volunteer? If you thought, “Hey, how can I be on air?” Well, you’re probably right. So, what’s the second most common question? How about: “How do I get my band played on WRIR?” WRIR DJs – Anna, Bill and Mike – share their tips.

In a nutshell: Listen to the station, find the show that plays artists similar to your music and contact the DJ directly.

It Starts and Ends with the DJ

All three agree that your best bet is to contact a WRIR DJ. But not any DJ. You need to know the DJs who tend to play your style of music. There’s an easy way to find out. Listen to WRIR! Check out our daily schedule which lets you sort shows by genre. Click individual shows for a description and recent playlist. Listen to the archives and stream any WRIR music show that has aired over the last two weeks.

Once you know the DJ who is partial to your music, contact them. Some DJs have their email on WRIR’s website. You can search for a show or DJ on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Bill Lupoletti, host of Global A Go Go and World Music Director, suggests that you call during their show. (But not when they are on mic nor at the top of the hour. Wait for a song to start. Be mindful that they are producing a live program. Be brief and courteous.) Mike Rutz, host of Activate! and WRIR Local Music Director, advises you not to ask a DJ, “When can I come in and talk about my music?” Bill dislikes when someone says ”My music would be perfect for such and such show.” Those are big assumptions. It’s up to the DJs to choose their music.

Music Library

Anna hosts the Monday Morning Breakfast Blend. She also spends countless hours managing our music library. She’s seen and heard it all! Anna says the station receives 30-40 releases a week. She suggests that you don’t send us vinyl, cassettes, singles or EPs. We don’t have enough shelf space for these formats. A tried and true CD or download is her preferred format. She compiles the new releases and sends them out to the WRIR DJs. 

It helps if you include a one-sheet about your band. One-sheets are literally one sheet. Radio isn’t like print media, so put your glossy photo in a frame and give it to your mom. You don’t have to send it to WRIR. At a minimum, we need to know your contact info, a brief description of the music style or genre, a few recommended radio-friendly tracks, and any notes about FCC-prohibited language. Bill likes liner notes and credits. “We’re music nerds and we really care about that stuff!” 

Local Musicians 

In 2017, six of the ten most-played albums at WRIR were by artists from the River City. If you are in a local band, it is important that we have your latest release in our library. If your music is in our library then our DJs can play it during their shows. Shows like Activate!, Commonwealth of Notions and River City Limit feature local music.

Performing Live

Playing live on the radio is an exciting experience, but not all DJs have live performances on their shows. Again, you have to listen to the station to know which DJs invite musicians to play. If you can’t perform, a DJ may ask you to come in for an interview. The real lucky ones might co-host a show with the DJ. Listen to the station and build your relationship with our volunteers. 

Send your music with a one-sheet to WRIR, ATTN: Music Director, PO Box 4787, Richmond VA 23220 or email digital music to md at wrir dot org. Do not expect a reply back. If you have a specific DJ in mind, you can address the envelope or email to them. If you’re a Richmond band, address it to Local Music Director. Email your local music to activate at wrir dot org or local at wrir dot org. Anna emails all the volunteers with a list of what’s new in the station library. Then, she shelves the releases in the main studio. The studio line is (804) 649-9737.

This is a lot of information to digest. Mike reminds us, “The music is what matters and will determine what gets played.” Good luck. We look forward to hearing you on WRIR.