Radio-station pledge drives, though necessary, are generally not fun for the listener. Local public-radio outlet KKFI 90.1 has a more creative spin on a fundraiser, and one that's slightly more entertaining: its annual band auction.
Every year, a handful of local artists and bands sign up to donate a two-hour show to the highest bidder, with the proceeds going to KKFI. Bill Clause, the station's Special Events Coordinator, breaks it down for us over the phone.
"It's like this: We invite individual bands to come in and showcase their music for 30 minutes with the appropriate music show - a blues band on the blues show, a jazz band on the jazz show - and during that 30 minutes, we play the band's music," Clause says. "Whenever we can, we do it live - so we play live on the radio, which is unusual these days - and we showcase the music for 30 minutes. During that time, we encourage people to call in and bid. Bidding starts at $200, and at the end of the 30 minutes, the highest bidder is the owner of the band for any gig within the next two months. The bidder gets the band, the band gets the exposure, and KKFI gets the money."
All told, Clause expects and hopes that this year's band auction will live up to the success of the previous years. Clause is retiring from KKFI shortly, after the conclusion of this band auction, so for him, it's extra-special.
"It really builds a connection between us and the local music community, and we love that a bunch of local artists from the community from all different genres step up to support KKFI," Clause says. "It's grown every year, and this year, since it's my last one, I was really intent on seeing if I could make this the best one ever. I think we're at about 120 bands and solo acts. It's a reflection of the community-radio station, that we try to reflect the culture and music that you don't find anywhere else on the dial. It's a pretty diverse lineup."
The KKFI on-air band auction starts Thursday, April 10, and runs through Monday, April 28. For more information on the band auction or to see the full schedule so that you can call and bid, go here