SRA Con 2024

Written by on 18th April 2024

This week Spark Sunderland headed to the University of Leeds, to attend SRA Con 2024.

Spark Sunderland SRA Con 2024

Arriving on Monday afternoon, the event kicked off with a keynote talk from University of Leeds alumni – with Jaguar Bingham, Mo Ayoub, Helena Webb and Sammy Jones all talking about how student radio impacted their careers.

It was then time for the eagerly awaited ‘DemoFactor’ awards, an X-Factor-type show that allows industry professionals to judge student’s radio demos.

Three Sparkies had their radio demos played out (Lewis Smith, Hamish Smith and Joe Carney), sadly none received the famous golden buzzer, but they all received some valuable advice from the star judges. Lewis in particular received some nice words from Paul Sylvester, the Content Director at Absolute Radio, who admitted he should have pressed the famous golden buzzer in hindsight.

DemoFactor 2024

Tuesday’s events consisted of a number of talks from industry professionals, with the likes of Andi Durrant, Danny Mylo and Rosie Maddison providing students with advice and tips on how to kickstart their careers. The keynote talk was delivered by Capital’s Jordan North, Lee Sevenoaks and Calum Hider – which was particularly inspiring to Spark volunteers as they were all former Sparkies.

Guest talk from Capital’s Jordan North, Lee Sevenoaks and Calum Hider

Spark compliance manager, Scott McGerty, who worked alongside Jordan, Lee and Calum, believes they are an inspiration to current and future Sparkies.

“It is really inspiring to see three former Sparkies on the stage who all helped form the station (Spark) and even though they have gone on to work for different brands, to now see them all back together at Capital and see that their friendship has remained, is amazing!

“They are the face of these Spark successes but behind the scenes, they are even more Sparkies who have used Spark to develop their talent and grow.”

Former Sparkie and Sunderland University student Jordan North poses with Spark’s Chrissy Cameron

Tuesday evening then played host to the Amplify awards, with a number of Spark volunteers being nominated.

The award ceremony saw Spark pick up five awards (three bronze, two silver).

Best Outreach Project (BRONZE): Bobbi Bunker & Dom Aberdeen – Mental Health Minute
Most Supportive Students Union/ University (BRONZE): YourSU
Best Training Initiative (BRONZE): Grace McDonough & Bobbi Bunker
Outstanding Contribution (SILVER): Isaac Jukes
The Student Radio Resilience Award (SILVER): Chrissy Cameron

Amplify Awards 2024

Isaac Jukes, who picked up the Silver Outstanding Contribution award, spoke to Spark after collecting his award.

“It was surreal getting a Silver Amplify Award for Outstanding Contribution. I want to thank Spark for giving me a platform to start my journey in Radio and Student Radio, especially Meg for nominating me”.

Following the ceremony, Isaac DJ’ed the afterparty as Spark celebrated a successful awards night.

Isaac Jukes DJ’ing SRA Con 2024 afterparty

Wednesday included several more talks from industry professionals with a highlight q&A from TalkSport which saw the likes of Sam Matterface and Faye Carruthers attend.

TalkSport’s Sam Matterface and Faye Carruthers

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