Line-up announced for the Community Media Festival 2023

September 5, 2023
The Community Media Festival 2023 will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the UK representative body for community broadcasting.

The theme of the festival is ‘Legacy and Tomorrow’.

CMA Festival organiser Jason Rosam, says “Having successfully lobbied for the creation of community radio licensing in the UK the CMA’s focus has always been to support and represent the best interests of not for profit broadcasters in an ever changing landscape. We hope to bring some history and a bit of nostalgia to the day as well as discussing and exploring the exciting future ahead for local, community broadcasters.”

The Community Media Festival will take place on Saturday 28th October at the St Martin’s Conference Centre in the heart of Leicester which is the birthplace of local radio after BBC Radio Leicester launched in November 1967.

The festival is being sponsored by and Broadcast Radio underscoring their commitment to supporting community-driven initiatives in the ever-evolving world of radio.

Twelve community radio stations from across the country will take centre stage with managers and volunteers presenting success stories from their community media projects.

Funding and Finance is the biggest focus for not for profit community radio stations and former CMA chair Danny Lawrence will lead a presentation and panel discussion with tips on gaining grants for radio projects. Danny has been very successful in achieving financial backing for Gateway 97.8 in Basildon.

Music licensing firms PPL and PRS are sponsoring the refreshments and the hot lunch buffet at the festival, with a team from PPL taking to the stage and answering questions from the audience; as will the radio historian and Boom Radio co-founder David Lloyd.

CMA Chair Terry Lee, says “David Lloyd speaking at the festival is set to be an interesting affair. In November 2018 he wrote a report for Radiocentre: ‘Small-scale radio in the UK: How local commercial and community radio can co-exist’. Amongst other things, the report scrutinised Ofcom’s decision to award more community radio licences in areas served by small commercial stations. Many things have changed in the last 5 years. Perhaps David’s views have changed too! But it is clear he knows a lot about the UK radio landscape, and the role of community radio within it. A huge part of what the CMA does is about promoting the positives of our sector to influential figures – let’s make sure he leaves the event with a refreshed perspective. I am excited to see what comes up in the conversation.”

Former CMA chair and Sound Vision Charity founder Dom Chambers will host a panel discussion on ‘The Future of Local Radio’ with a representative from BBC Local Radio attending as well as Keri Jones who runs the innovative, all speech based community station Alfred in Dorset along with other experts who focus on internet and commercial radio stations launching on new SSDAB multiplexes.

The new managing director of the Radio Academy, Aradhna Tayal Leach will speak and former BBC 6 Music presenter Liz Kershaw will reveal some of her best stories during her long and distinguished career which started in local radio in the early 1980’s when the Community Radio Association (now CMA) was being formed.

CMA member Kevin Field will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Radio Wanno the first prison radio project in the UK which was launched in January 2004 at HMP Wandsworth and they’ll be other sessions on where we are with SSDAB from Dr Lawrie Hallet, station sound, technology and education and training the next generation of broadcasters.

Riverside Radio director and presenter Fayon Dixon who’s a champion of introducing children and young people to radio will be hosting alongside local Leicester based musicians and artists who’ll be performing their music throughout the day.

Early Bird Tickets to the Community Media Festival are available till Sunday 10th September with discounts for CMA members and those under 25.

You can purchase tickets here -

In the evening the CMA's 40th Birthday Party will be held at the 2Funky Nightclub which is owned by the same team who run one of Leicester's many licensed community radio stations Radio2Funky. Festival goers will be urged to go back to the 1980’s and celebrate with drinks, dancing and snacks.

Public Letter to the Labour Party from CMA Chair

Read more →

Follow up letter to candidates

Read more →

Letter to candidates standing in the General Election 2024

Read more →

CMA responds to Ofcom consultation on Key Commitments

Read more →