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We play music 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 99% of the time our focus is on making sure it’s the right song, at the right time in the right place – nothing else matters.

A couple of times a year something happens which means we have to throw out what we normally do and change our considerations.

The biggest example happened last month with the news of the death of the Queen. However, a royal passing isn’t the only time we need to drastically change what we play.

Shocking events, important news stories and people behaving badly often mean that we must react quickly and with high standards.

Here’s an insight into how the music team at AVC Immedia handle those moments.

Keep your eyes peeled:

Several times a day, I’ll get news alerts on my phone. Each time I look at them and think, “do we need to change anything?”. The last thing we want is for our music to cause offence or sound inappropriate. Knowing what’s happening in the world is key to this.

Plan ahead:

If the worst happens and all the music has to be changed, is there a safe set of music sitting ready to be deployed? Who’s responsible for making the big calls?  If it happens in the middle of the night at the weekend, how are you going to handle it?

Be flexible:

No matter how hard you plan for events, there will always be something that happens that you won’t have foreseen. Just as having no plan would be disastrous, having a rigid plan that you don’t change as appropriate can be equally bad.

Remember that safe set of music? Is it truly safe or does it include songs or artists that, in this case, will sound out of step?

At AVC Immedia, all our services use livestreams, which means I can press a button on my laptop and change things instantly. If an artist hits the headlines for the wrong reasons, we can remove their songs for our services in a matter of seconds.

Use a team:

Make sure you have a team of people around you, not just to “do the work” but to use as a sounding board and to gauge the mood of the public.

Be cautious:

Don’t worry about taking things too far. It’s much better to get flak for doing too much than for doing too little. No one knows the songs you decided not to play or the things the presenter didn’t say. Everyone is aware of what you did do, and that’s what’s important.

You won’t please everyone:

People react in different ways. Some people will think you went too far, others will think you didn’t go far enough. They’ll all let you know! The key is to listen to both sides, but realise that making everyone happy won’t be possible.

Remember the power of music:

Music can drive powerful feelings. In times of crisis, the world is more emotional, and a well-chosen song can move an audience. There’s a great responsibly in making sure that the emotions you drive with music are positive ones, rather than making people feel down.  That doesn’t mean playing happy songs, it does mean playing songs that show unity, hope, and thankfulness.


If you would like tailored radio for your business, AVC Immedia can help. Contact us today to find out more!


Written by Euan McMorrow, Content Director at AVC Immedia.