Hello. We’re getting close now; it’s almost time. We’re on the final countdown now for the Student Radio Awards 2019, supported by BBC Radio 1 and Global, and I’m so excited to tell you what a treat you’re in for this year! As your events team, we’ve been working away on the awards for over six months, and I wanted to give you a little insight into what awaits you on the night. Suffice to say, heaven is a place on earth, and it’s at Indigo at the O2 on the evening of November 7th.

First things first, you’ve probably heard about our theme for this year – Retro Arcade. And if you’re sat there wondering if that means you need to dress up like Pacman, and you’re thinking ‘I can’t go for that’, then don’t worry, you don’t have to. I mean, you can if you want, but straight up, think 80’s and that will steer you in the right direction. I’m basically going dressed as Sonny Crocket, so I’m treating it as a Miami Vice theme. It’ll be like going back in time to an arcade in 1985.

Last year we removed the sit-down meal, and we felt the power of love that you showed for that decision, which is why we’ve kept it our again this year. When it comes to eating before the ceremony, don’t worry; be happy that we’re at the O2 where there’s a smorgasbord of culinary delights for you pre-show, including Slug and Lettuce, TGI Fridays, and Nando’s. If there’s one thing that I’ve learnt in the last couple of years, it’s that radio people have an endless love of Nando’s.

Once you’ve taken dinner, it’s time to head inside. We’ll get you checked in and give you the chance to have your arrivals photos taken. We’ve updated our process for arriving at the awards this year to help reduce the amount of time that you’ll be right here waiting, and giving you more time to frequent the bar. You’ll find the main show hall to be beautifully appointed, bespoke for our theme, and if you’ve got a cabaret ticket you can then find your table for the show. We’ll keep your station together, and if you don’t all fit on one table, we get you on tables as close as possible.

It’ll then be time for the lights to drop and the show to start – at this moment, you can feel the energy multiply in the room! The ceremony is going to be very special this year, thanks to our incredible voices who will be guiding you through everything, and our brilliant hosts from the industry to present the show. We’ve been getting everything ready and the way it is sounding is wonderful – hence our excitement! It won’t be long until our winners are on the stage to collect their awards to the thunderous applause of everyone around, and they’ll probably then try to find a quiet space to phone their mum to tell her about it, and hopefully not getting too lost in emotion. It’s going to be a special night indeed.

For me, the music is really important, and we’ve got some fantastic music for you throughout. Before the show, you’ll hear a playlist that I have specially cultivated of one of my absolute favourite periods – the 80s. If you’re worried that, on this playlist, there’ll be sad songs to make you cry, then fear not; there are none, as the evening is a celebration. With some of the very best tracks from this incredible decade, we really will be holding back the years. I guarantee that it will leave you satisfied.

A hugely popular introduction last year was live music, so we’re delighted that we’ve got two live music slots again this year! We don’t charge you money for nothing, which is why we’ve really pushed the boat out this year and got you two fantastic acts who take my breath away to perform for you live on the #SRAs stage. You’re in for a real treat. Two live music acts, a massive party, the biggest student media awards in Europe – sweet dreams are made of these!

After our headline acts, our decadently delicious DJs will take to the decks so that you can party all night long. The ceremony over, and the bar open, it will be time for you to let your hair down. It’s normally at this stage that I wanna dance with somebody, as the dance floor is awash with people getting into the groove, and normally with a glass of red, red wine in their hands. We know that all of our radio boys and girls just want to have fun, students and industry alike, so there’s plenty of time for the afterparty before we head for home sweet home.

Every year, we work hard to make the event even better than the ones that went before. We’ve taken on all of your feedback to find areas to improve, and we’re committed to creating the best show for you; not anyone else, but our members, and we’re never gonna give you up. As a result, we’ve got something that I know you’ll thoroughly enjoy. I’ve had the time of my life attending the #SRAs before – there was one year where I had no voice for the following three weeks – and this much is true: if you attend them in 2019, I can’t fight this feeling that you’ll look back in years to come to find that this is the one that you love most out of all the awards shows you’ve ever been to.

If you’ve got any questions on the night or before you get there, I’ll be there for you and the rest of the SRA team are as well, so feel free to get in touch as I’ve got my mind set on you having a fantastic evening. I look forward to seeing you at the Student Radio Awards 2019, supported by BBC Radio 1 and Global, and don’t you forget about me when it’s time to hit the bar after the show!

Get tickets to the #SRAs here!

If you don’t know me by now, I’m Thomas Rowson, the Production Officer for the Student Radio Association, and am part of the Events Team responsible for the Student Radio Awards 2019 supported by BBC Radio 1 and Global, the Student Radio Conference, and the port of call for all our member stations for any production-based query. I’m slightly obsessed with 80s music.