Last night saw the ARIAS (Audio and Radio Industry Awards) at the First Direct Arena in Leeds. The radio industry comes together to celebrate the best of audio and radio over the past year. These awards are great because they do not just champion national radio stations but recognise local, community and student radio too along with the wider audio industry such as podcasts and online radio.

Hosted by Radio 1’s Scott Mills, the night saw awards being handed out to a multitude of stations including honours for Key 103 and BBC Radio London for their respective coverage of the Manchester Arena and London attacks and Christian O’Connell from Absolute Radio also picked up a couple of awards too for his Breakfast show which was great to see as I’m a big fan of Christian’s show and think he pioneers what a Breakfast show should sound like and he really connects with and understands the audience he serves. The entire industry can be proud of the content it produces and as creatives, it is great that we come together to praise each other for the work that we do. I may not be in a production or presenting role at the moment but just to be amongst these people in this industry makes me happy and spurs me on to make great audio content in the future and hopefully be nominated for an award at the ARIAS in the future.

There were also performances from The Fratellis, Sigrid, The Big Moon and the awards were closed by the one and only Busted. It’s been a dream of mine since I was young to see Busted live so to get the chance to see them for free as a member of the Radio Academy and get to be as close as we were to them was great.

All in all, this was a fantastic night and for my first taste of the ARIAS, I was really impressed and will definitely be going next year. I imagine the after party was good too but we unfortunately managed to navigate to the wrong bar which did have people in it but not as many as we expected. All the other people were next door in the other bar and neglected to notice! Next year, I will make sure I book a hotel because having to drive home and not drink meant I couldn’t stay as long after the awards as I would have liked.

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