by Hannah Miller
March 13, 2013
For the thousands of musicians, sound guys and gals, record labels and DJs now streaming into Austin for SXSW Music, the world has a chance of getting a little brighter (and louder) in a few years.
The expansion of non-commercial community radio known as Low-Power FM to a possible 5-15,000 new radio stations should create space for unheard voices across the U.S., reversing the consolidation that has most commercial radio stations recycling canned playlists.
Sabrina Roach of Brown Paper Tickets is on a mission to unite cities around a vision of getting new stations on the airwaves, and has so far found that local and public funding is definitely available for creating this infrastructure.
In Seattle, where BPT is based, several million in funding is available to possible applicants for community radio stations, from arts and culture funders but also government programs aimed at creating infrastructure and emergency-services backup communication.
This week, Sabrina went to South By Southwest to get cities imagining what new stations could be added…. especially in Austin, which could boast another 3-4 local stations in a couple of years.