East Boston’s popular music and performing arts non-profit will host the Third Annual Zumix Radio Block Party on Saturday, Sept. 8.
Zumix’s free community block party will kickoff at 1 p.m. on Orleans Street from Sumner to Everett Streets with an afternoon of music, art and food to help celebrate Zumix Radio’s second year anniversary on the airwaves.
The Zumix Radio Block Party will feature live music on two stages, multi-media art installations, and small business vendors. Musical performances on alternating stages will span genres and will feature Zumix youth ensembles and local bands. Pupusas, beer, and other snacks will also be for sale. The event is free, with the option to purchase a VIP package.
Live acts include Pangea, Nakedly, Project Method, Zumix’s Divercity Band, and local band 3Nity who will headline the annual block party.
Jake Gilman, Zumix’s new Events Coordinator, said there will be some cool additions to the annual block party to help keep it running smoothly.
Gilman said Zumix has added not only a host for the first time, Amanda Shea, but also a deejay, DJ Manipulator, to keep the crowd engaged between sets.
“There was some downtime the last two years,” said Gilman, who has expertise in planning music and art events in the Back Bay. “By having a deejay and host it will keep the day moving and keep people out there and engaged in the event. Sometimes there’s a lull when one band comes off stage and the next band has to set up and do a soundcheck. Having a host and then a deejay will fill some of those gaps in the show.”
Gilman said he’s not trying to reinvent the wheel because the block party has become one of those community celebrations residents look forward to attending.
“It has been a success these last two years,” he said. “We looked at what worked and what didn’t work and tried to expand and improve something that is a great community celebration.”
The Zumix Radio Block Party will cap off what has been an event-filled summer for Zumix, including its annual Summer Concert Series in Piers Park.
Zumix Radio is a community radio station broadcasting the voices and culture of Boston’s youth through music, stories, and bilingual conversation. After streaming online for the past 10 years, Zumix Radio began broadcasting as a low power FM station 24 hours daily in 2016.
Currently 25 youth and 20 adults produce and host weekly shows featuring a variety of programming including talk radio and music.
“Since launching the FM station two years ago our radio shows are able to reach more folks,” said Zumix Director Madeleine Steczynski. “As more people become aware of Zumix, the more positive effect we can have on the community. We’re thrilled to have twenty professional DJs supporting us for this special event – it’s an opportunity for our youth to meet real DJs and for music and radio supporters to spread the word about Zumix’s important work both through youth radio and our other programs.”
In 2015 Zumix was granted one of two construction permits by the Federal Communications Corporation (FCC) for a Low Power FM radio station.
The station, which is shared with Winthrop Art Association, broadcasts on 94.9 FM. Its signal reaches a radius of approximately 3.5 miles from a transmission site atop East Boston High School. In addition to its new broadcast station, Zumix Radio continues to stream online at http://www.Zumix.org.
Zumix Radio is a youth and community station that serves Zumix’s mission of empowering youth to make strong positive change in their lives, their communities, and the world. Zumix radio produces and host weekly shows featuring a variety of music styles and topics such as teen life, local news, and labor rights.
Zumix Radio began in 2005 and initially broadcast on 1630 AM. When Zumix moved to the Firehouse at 260 Sumner Street in 2010 the radio station was only available online. With the new broadcast station Zumix Radio has been reaching a broader and more diverse group of listeners.
Zumix’s LPFM license is the result of a ten-year effort by media justice advocates to win passage of the Local Community Radio Act that mandates the FCC to issue new non-commercial FM radio licenses to community groups across the country. The Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by former President Obama in January 2011.
Since fall 2013 there have been 1,506 LPFM licenses granted across the country. Only two LPFM frequencies were available in Boston, and Zumix was chosen for one three years ago.