107.9 could be local music haven

Musicians in Cayman hope to use the 107.9fm radio transmission for round-the-clock local content.

The basis of the concept is to have pre-recorded material and content that will be updated periodically. It will air alongside the weather reports already delivered on 107.9

The pre-recorded material will mean talent will not have to be hired for extended periods of time, which means more money could be allocated to increase the power of the station’s band to reach all households in the Cayman Islands.

‘Everything is subject to Government and once they make a decision, they simply have to mobilise and see it through,’ said local musician Barefoot Man.

He proposed the idea to the previous PPM administration and is now approaching the new UDP-run Government.

Though the idea has been floated for some time now, its resurgence has been the result of an increasing contingent of local acts consistently increasing the quality of material produced on the Island, said Cayman Music and Entertainment Association President Jean Eric Smith.

He plans to meet with the Minister with Responsibility for Broadcast Julianna O’Connor-Connolly.

Barefoot says the idea is positive for the local music industry, as well as for the marketing campaign to tourists, whose rent-a-cars could display a sticker reading, ‘Tune in to 107.9 fm for local music and weather.’

He said the approach would cover all bases by allowing tourists to access entertainment and information that are both particularly unique to the Cayman Islands.

While making inquiries into the feasibility of using the frequency in question, Barefoot said he was told the station was started by utility companies such as CUC and Cable and Wireless to give people up-to-date information in the event of a storm.

There is a memorandum of understanding between radio stations in Cayman and CMEA that requests all stations to play local content for at least one hour each day.

However, this has not been strongly adhered to by many stations, said Eric Smith.

CMEA members are pushing for another MOU that would require three hours of local programming.

The musicians say they are not optimistic about the results of this latest endeavour but insist that if they ask for three and get two they will have come a long way.

They added that with the advent of this new station becoming a reality, local acts could take responsibility for themselves and their art.