From late 1982 Horizon Radio ventured out of those hidden radio studios and into clubland with the creation of the bankholiday special alldayers. The events ran from early in the afternoon right up until midnight. Horizon Radio Events took place at many locations across London with Kisses Nightclub in Peckham being Horizon’s first alldayer. The club was full to the rafters within minutes of the doors being opened at 4pm. Every bankholiday thereafter saw an Horizon event, which always featured top PA’s from the Soul and Reggae artists of the day and the Horizon Radio DJ’s.
Horizon Radio never envisaged the pavements and roadways of London suddenly turning into dancefloors, but they did when the first live outside broadcast took place from the Podium 9 Elms Lane Vauxhall August 1983. Full to capacity inside, so the Soul Family Listeners just parked their vehicles opened their car doors and cranked up their stereos which where locked onto the Horizon Radio 94.5fm and 102.5fm transmitters. Horizon Radio was not only the most successful unlicensed land based broadcaster of all time, but also an innovator as many of the stations ideas are still being used today, some 30 years later.
Bringing The Soul Family Together
The Horizon Radio Events started in late 1982 with the first event being held at Kisses Night Club in Peckham. This was a way of seeing just how much support Horizon Radio really had. The event started at 4pm and ran until midnight on a bank holiday Sunday. This event was not broadcast live but was still full to the rafters with Horizon Radio supporters
After this event the Horizon Radio telephone was bombarded with listeners asking the question “When is the next gig and can we buy tickets in advance”. An answerphone had to be installed, as there where so many calls.
Because of the feedback Horizon Radio received, they decided that on every bankholiday an event would be organized to bring the Horizon Radio Family together. Event two also came from Kisses nightclub during Easter 1983, again with no live broadcast as the main transmitter on shootuphill fell into the hands of “Eric the killjoy” (DTI) that afternoon.
Even with no live broadcast, Kisses was full within minutes of the doors being opened with queues outside over 100 yards long. The next bank holiday was early May of 1983 and Horizon knew a larger venue was needed. So a move to the Podium at 9 Elms Lane Vauxhall took place. The venue was full to the rafters again. Horizon had many PA’s from the top artists of the day including 5 Star, plus many more.
August Bankholiday Sunday of 1983 saw the first live outside broadcast take place. This again came from the Podium with a link going back to the studio in Camberwell and then out live over London via our main transmitter, which was located on Peckham Rye. This event saw Vauxhall grind to a close, a real roadblock. Capital Radio, LBC and Radio London where putting out road traffic reports warning there was an event going in Vauxhall that had blocked all roads within the vicinity. Horizon Radio showing the need for a broadcaster with the love of the music, just like it’s listeners.
Horizon Radio Events, The gig That Created The Phrase The Soul Family
This was the event that coined the phrase The Horizon Radio Soul Family. Inside full to the rafters outside via the live broadcast thousands had parked their cars and where dancing and partying in the streets. Chris Stewart was looking out of the Podium widow and saw the people with their car doors wide open, they where dancing on the pathways and in the road. Chris said “my God the Horizon Radio Soul Family have come to party today”. That day will never be forgotten and there where many more from the Podium, Dougies in Clapton, Horizon Radio Soul Train with Limited Edition and many others. They all had one thing in common, the Family came out to party and support Horizon Radio, Roadblock and Horizon Radio, new words to learn.
Soul On A Summers Day
1984 The Soul on a Summers Day event put on by Showstopper Promotions and Horizon Radio under the Big Top Circus Tent located in King Georges Park Wandsworth was truly one of the most memorable events in the history of Horizon Radio Events. We came in on this promotion very late, just two weeks to go. The live band line up was from the USA, It was Yes the brilliant Change and Ingram with PA’s by Loose Ends, David Grant, Evelyn Thomas, Hi-Tension, Working Week and many more, A live broadcast “possible” “did happen” but our friend the policeman was keeping an eye open for us? Superb event and only cost £5 to get to see Change and Ingram play live and the Horizon Radio DJ’s crank up the party.
Outside Broadcast Aerial being installed.
Horizon Radio Events The Close Down Party 15th of September 1985 Harrow Leisure Center
The event of all events was The Horizon Radio Close down party of 1985. Held at the biggest venue Horizon Radio could hire at that time. The Harrow Leisure Center event featured 25+ Artists/Bands who came to do farewell to Horizon Radio PA’s. A live band 911 and all of the Horizon Radio DJ’s of 1985 who where simply brilliant and many as you know went on to legal radio after Horizon closed.
To get the live link in all the way from Harrow and safeguard the new studio at Westow Hill which had been created to train broadcasters after Horizon Radio had closed, there was no chat on changeover as the studio link had to be dropped and transmitter removed for security of the studio. Barry Jones Horizon Radio’s Drive Time DJ took over at Harrow and just like his radio shows he was brilliant. He got the Horizon family to fever pitch and the party started and rocked until 2am.
Steve Walsh (RIP) even dropped in to say goodbye and said on the mic live over airways “Horizon Radio was by far the best radio station ever in London and possible the world, no one ever has come close” Steve later said to Chris Stewart why did you not ask me to come on Horizon Radio I could have brought you many listeners. Chris replied Steve, Horizon Radio is bigger than all of the DJ’s, so you should ask to become a member of the family and should you have asked, you would have been a member. Steve replied “Oh S>>> wish I had known that”.
Horizon Radio Farewell Party Advert Full Page Black Echoes 14th of September 1985
Why Horizon Radio Closed Down And The Commitment To Our IBA Statement
The Horizon Radio closed down was to apply for a radio license under the new IBA rules. (we will show you that application and letters of acceptance soon on another page). We stuck to our agreement that we would cease broadcasting and take the legal route to become a much-needed broadcaster. We did not get the radio broadcast license, but we stuck to our agreement made to the Independent Broadcast Authority (IBA) that we would not broadcast again unless we where offered a license. Horizon Radio was the only Radio Station of the era that said it would accept the decision of the IBA and the only radio station that stood by its statement.
For those of you who want to know what happened to the Studio complex Horizon Radio created at Westow Hill Crystal Palace to teach people how to use a radio studio and create demos tapes to send to radio stations (An idea Chris Stewart came up with after attending the final National Broadcasting School Course of 1985 before that closed). Well it is sad news, just after Horizon Radio closed the complex, which was a good size with 2 studios, all with top class equipment was broken into and the equipment stolen. Two former colleagues of old phoned to say they saw another radio station (pirate) breaking into the studio complex. We always wondered why they did not just call the police and then Horizon after. Then within a few weeks of this website being launched, an email arrived telling the names of the two people who broke into the studio complex and stole the equipment,. The email also said where the equipment went and pointed to a facebook page where you can see some of that equipment today (2018).
But lets leave this page on a positive note with the memories of the Horizon Radio Events that gave so much joy to thousands of its listeners. No one else can claim what Horizon Radio with its family of listeners achieved.
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