Foothill College station KFJC is inviting fans to meet the faces behind the microphone at a listener appreciation party this weekend, a nearly all-day event hosted at Sunnyvale Baylands Park.
The free event, starting at noon on Saturday, July 27, will include live performances and DJs, games, a rotation of food trucks and a chance for long-time listeners to meet the curators of the local, rare and occasionally bizarre sounds broadcast by KFJC. It's the first listener appreciation party in years, and is part of the ongoing festivities celebrating KFJC's 60th anniversary.
The tradition of holding listener parties goes back to at least the 1990s, said Eric Johnson, the station's general manager, and it's a pretty rare opportunity. Other Bay Area college stations hold benefit events aimed at raising money to keep the lights on, but Johnson said he wasn't aware of any other station doing an explicit meet-and-greet and celebration for the fans.
"It's a chance to see the faces of the folks who do the shows," he said. "And there will be a lot of DJs and a big chunk of the staff there."
KFJC is run by a nearly all-volunteer team, many of whom have been DJing or working in the background for decades. The station acts as a conduit for local bands to reach more listeners and gain exposure, and routinely promotes upcoming concerts throughout the Bay Area.
It's no surprise then, that the party Saturday will include five live performances from local bands playing a broad cross section of genres including punk, rock, hip hop and experimental tunes.
This year's version of the event is a bit of an experiment itself. Johnson said the picnic-style park venue is a divergence from past listener appreciation parties, which have been evening events held in a pool hall or -- more often -- in bowling alleys, which can easily accommodate a trifecta of bands, food and activities.
It may take a little bit of work to figure out who's who and put a face to a name. DJs won't be wearing name tags or anything like that, Johnson said, but most people tend to figure it out pretty fast.
The party will be at the Eucalyptus Grove picnic are at the park from noon to 7 p.m., 999 E. Caribbean Drive, Sunnyvale. Though the event is free, parking is $6. No dogs, balloons or kites are allowed at the park. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, frisbees, balls and stories to share about the station. More information can be found at kfjc.org/events.