LOYALSOCK?TOWNSHIP - Community radio station WXPI-FM 88.5 will team up with the Pig's Ear Pub, 939 Westminster Drive, to offer a five-week live music fundraiser series. Since WXPI-FM is a non-profit, the bulk of its revenue comes from donations from individuals as well as businesses and fundraisers like the concert series at the Pig's Ear. The series begins Saturday and will continue weekly until Oct. 15.
Although live music is a steady presence in the area, no other local radio station is involved with promoting local music with on-air play and a live music series.
"It's important for us to align ourselves with the live music scene," WXPI-FM 88.5 station manager Isaac Conner said. "The series will provide the area a chance to learn more about WXPI 88.5 and enjoy some great live music. We want to do these in different areas around town because we are for the area, not just Williamsport. It would be great to do music series fundraisers in places like Montoursville, Jersey Shore or South Williamsport as well."
Sun-Gazette File Photo
WXPI-FM 88.5 will host a series of concerts at the Pig’s Ear Pub, 939 Westminster Drive, Loyalsock Township, beginning with Mallory Scoppa at 10 p.m. Saturday.
The series promises to be an eclectic mix of music, kicking off with Mallory Scoppa and the Tall Tales at 10 p.m. Saturday. Other local talent playing the series includes Zach Baggett, Key of V and Clawfoot Slumber.
According to the man who's been booking the series, the goal was to really give the patrons at the Pig's Ear a nice sampling of the musical fare offered in the city.
"What's great is that the Pig's Ear already has a nice reputation for offering live music but it's not always local," Caleb Banas of WXPI-FM 88.5 said. "So we approached them about doing a series of strictly local artists that run the gamut of styles and sounds."
Pennsylvania has 266 FM radio stations between the 87 and 92 MHz frequencies reserved for educational, community and noncommercial use. Of those, WXPI-FM 88.5 is one of three community stations offering an eclectic format that is not centered on education or religion. A community radio station like WXPI serves its community by broadcasting content that is popular but often overlooked by commercial or mass media broadcasters.
Community radio stations are operated, owned and driven by the communities they serve. The financial support of the community is the difference between success and failure for a nonprofit radio station.
"It's great to have the opportunity to team up with Pig's Ear and come up with a fun way to raise funds for the station," Conner said. "We want people to know that WXPI 88.5 is not some kind of fringe media outlet broadcasting a specific agenda. Our only alignment is with the community. Any and everyone are welcome to participate."
In June, WXPI-FM 88.5 began that alignment when it hosted an opening party fundraiser at the Genetti Hotel, 200 W. Fourth St., with two stages of live music.
"We really want to position ourselves with local music in the area, in fact we want to be synonymous with it," Conner said. "WPXI 88.5 has the chance to become a catalyst in helping the local music scene reach the next level. That's why we feature local music every weekday from 10 a.m. to noon and for several hours every weekend."
Although the Pig's Ear Pub has been offering live music a couple times a month, the WXPI 88.5 series gives them a chance to see how a weekly serving of live music fits on their event menu.
"Well, we've only been open a little over a year now, but I've had live music or a DJ at least 2 weekends each month since last October," Bobby Vitko, bar manager of the Pig's Ear said. "I think there are so many bars in Williamsport that have live music, which is great for patrons who get to go out and enjoy live music, and for bands who get to play and get recognized."
For more information about The Pig's Ear Pub, visit its Facebook page. For more information about WXPI-FM 88.5, visit www.wxpiradio.org or its Facebook page.