Keeping live music on campus

(Photo: Johnny James)

CHSR has been hosting live performances in their lobby in an effort to bring bands back to campus.

CHSR 97.9 F.M. is Fredericton’s campus community radio station for both University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University campuses. It began as a student club in 1961 — which makes it one of the oldest campus stations from all Canada — and now is a volunteer owned and operated station. It has been streaming online for ten years.

“A long time ago, the campus bars, The Cellar and The Social Club, used to host live music,” said Erin Bond, the station manager. “Last year, I reached out to The Cellar over the summer and asked them if they were going to bring some bands because they haven’t in the past little bit. They are not doing it this year.”

The Cellar’s management did not respond in time for publication.

Matt Harris, manager of Social Club, says that the lack of live performances at their establishment was not by choice.

“We haven’t stopped, we just don’t get a lot of it,” said Harris. “We just never had a lot of bands coming through.”

Harris said they were happy with CHSR’s initiative to bring more live music to campus.

CHSR clears the furniture out of their lobby to give Fredericton bands a space to play. (Johnny James/AQ)

The bands brought in by CHSR are all Fredericton-based. They set up in the radio station’s lobby, room 223 in the Student Union Building, and play on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. for about half an hour, completely free.

The idea is to promote live music on campus, so students can get excited about it and go downtown to attend live music performances.

“Being a radio station here and such a huge supporter of the local music scene, we really want students to get involved with the musicians, the music scene, and go out and see some shows,” said Bond.

The Abbey Café and Gallery, located on Queen Street in downtown, is sponsoring these events. That way, CHSR can pay the performers.

The first and second shows took place on Sept. 19 and 26, and will continue until Oct. 24. The performers include Jane Blanchard (Oct. 3), Property// (Oct. 10), Brookside Mall (Oct. 17) and Chillteens (Oct. 24).

CHSR is hosting live performances for only six weeks as a trial.

“We just thought we would do it as a try out once school started just to excite the students go see live music. Hopefully, by the end of October, our job is done, and people will go out to see live music and support the music scene,” Bond said.

Even though Bond would like the on-campus live shows to become a permanent thing, she is not sure they have the capacity to do so.

They need people to help with the setup of the gear and the microphones and the audio engineering, and sometimes they do not have enough people to do it.

“Anyone is welcome to come and get involved and volunteer, whether they want to work behind the scenes or if they want to have their own radio show or podcast.”



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