Demon Media members weren’t just the centre of attention at the Student Radio Association (SRA)’s Demo Factor last week – they were running the show.
De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU)’s community radio station DemonFM welcomed hundreds of students to the annual SRA Conference at De Montfort University (DMU) last week for the first time since 2013.
Some of the biggest names in radio – including Greg James, Mistajam and James O’Brien as well as Stephanie Hirst, Christian O’Connell and Steve Lamacq – headed to DMU for the event which saw keynotes, breakouts and other sessions designed to help students make their mark in the radio industry.
There were also two massive nights of celebration, including Demo Factor – where students could submit their demos to be judged by a panel of industry experts – and the I Love Student Radio Awards, where DemonFM were nominated for six national awards.
Demo Factor, described as ‘radio equivalent of the X Factor’, has a reputation for picking out the next big thing in UK radio – and while DemonFM presenters Abi Gibson and Lydia George were given some incredible feedback by a panel of industry experts, the show was being stitched together by members of the student media group.
Dan has worked on many of Demon Media’s biggest events this year.
Dan Wildman, Head of Live Events at Demon Media, was tasked with vision mixing (alongside DemonTV Station Manager Jonny Norton) and operating the videos – or VTs – being played to the hundreds of students and industry big wigs in The Venue@DMU.
“It’s certainly one of the most professional events I’ve ever worked on,” he said. “A highlight for me was right at the very start, as soon as we hit zero on the countdown timer.
“We held off starting the VT for a couple of seconds and let the suspense build, and you could definitely feel the excitement in the room!
“But I don’t think anything quite comes close to hearing what the judges had to say about Lydia and Abi, it’s so lovely to see your friends do so well when you see just how much work they put into everything.”
The group – who won a staggering FOUR awards at the National Student Television Association (NaSTA) Awards earlier this month – also used roving cameras in the crowd to and a separate ‘green room’ to get the reactions of the ‘lucky’ students who had their demos played.
The event, hosted by Absolute Radio’s Ben Burrell, was won by Sylvia from Verve Radio at London Metropolitan University Students’ Union.
“By the time the event came around, we’d done enough rehearsals to know the show like the back of our hands,” Dan continued.
“We’ve had feedback from staff at The Venue@DMU and SRA that were really impressed by the standard of the production, which is always lovely to hear!
“From speaking to some of the conference-goers it was really well-received there too.”
So well-received, in fact, that on the final day of the conference Dan was voted in as the SRA’s new Deputy Events Officer. He reacted: “It feels amazing!
“I still haven’t quite processed it fully yet, but it was a bit of a shock when I first found out. I formally start in July and I’m very much looking forward to it.
“I’ve worked heavily on a quite a few events now within Demon [Media], such as heading up The Great RAG Challenge and directing our coverage of the DSU Elections, so I can’t wait to take what I’ve learned here and apply it to the SRA.
“My main goal is to take the elements of what made this conference so successful and make sure that the Awards and Conference next year are just as spectacular!”
As well as setting up DemonFM in 1995, Chris holds the honour of being Demo Factor’s ‘head judge’.
Chris North, part of the team who set-up DemonFM and the founder of North Media Talent – who represent radio personalities including BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and Jordan North as well as BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq – formed Demo Factor in 2008.
He said: “We’ve done Demo Factor in so many places around the country, but never at DMU. To see the reaction to the show on the night, I couldn’t have been prouder to say I used to be a student here.
“I’ve never walked off stage to a green room with the team so happy. I know the guests from the industry thought it was brilliant. DMU nailed it.
“It was also brilliant to get to work with so many from Demon Media who became integral in the run up, rehearsal and on the night.
“They had it all covered, from vision mixing, graphics, sound, cameras (so many cameras) that when I was writing the names for the credits it was a stellar list of Demon members.
“Both DSU and DMU should be very proud of such talent Demon Media has in its ranks – and how industry-ready they all are.
“Demon raised the bar so high that it was unanimous by all the judges and radio industry guests that we feel sorry for the poor hosts of next Demo Factor 2018!”
You can read more about the SRA Conference, hosted by DemonFM, here.
DemonFM welcomed hundreds of students and some massive industry names to the annual SRA Conference. Read more here.