MANCHESTER — For decades, WEQX-FM has been Manchester’s independent home for new music.
Now the radio station has created a way for people to share music, a way that doesn’t require an internet connection.
The ‘FREEQX Library’, a box perched outside the Elm Street station’s offices and studios, will officially open to the public on Thursday during the alternative rock radio station’s annual parking lot party, between 4 and 7 p.m. h.
All formats of recorded music are welcome in the FREEQX library: vinyl records, CDs, cassettes, even 8 tracks and reel to reel tapes if you want to get rid of them.
The station’s program director, Jeff Morad, had the idea of driving in Northshire, when he saw a small free library – a place where people can pick up or leave a book – and realized that the station could do the same with its music collection.
“Every year, during the annual sidewalk sale, we put free albums at the curb. Why not make it a year-round activity? Morad said. “So many records come to us and we love sharing music.”
Morad also had the materials for the library.
“I had a new deck put on the house last summer, so I had endless supplies of scrap wood,” he said. He and station engineer Eric Mazur set up the library.
The box has an overhang to help keep the elements out and will have a solar powered fan to regulate temperatures and keep the music from melting. But Morad and station staff will keep an eye on the weather and pull content indoors if conditions threaten the music.
“Really, there are no rules, other than not damaging it and not abusing it,” Morad said.
The unveiling will take place during the party, which Morad says is an opportunity for the station and some of its major sponsors to get out and meet its neighbors in historic Manchester.
“It’s something we started a few years ago,” Morad said. “It’s a fun way to hang out with our advertising partners in the craft beverage world and a cool way to get to know the neighbors we have to hang out through the studio window.”
The independent station, through its antenna atop Mount Equinox, reaches listeners in Glens Falls, Saratoga Springs and New York’s Capital District to the west, the Berkshires to the south and New Hampshire to the east. Airing an alternative rock format on 102.7 FM on the dial and online on its website, the station also offers shows featuring jazz, jam band music, recovery-focused hip hop and music. local musicians.
There was a strong sense of community at the shows and events the station is promoting and sponsoring this year, Morad said, as well as strong attendance.
“We have never felt more connected to the community,” Morad said. “A lot of people are feeling this because of the pandemic. That’s certainly how we feel.
The station plays music from some of the artists scheduled to perform at the Green Mountain Bluegrass and Roots Festival on two of its weekly programs, “The Coffee House” (Saturdays, 7-9 a.m.) and “Jam ‘n Toast” ( Thursday 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.). They will also be streaming live from the festival site in Hunter Park on August 18, as the festival prepares for its August 19-21 run.