What is the "Strawberry Hog"?
The Hog Ranch Radio crew" operates a low power fm radio station, which exists only at the Strawberry Music Festivals. Affectionately known as "The Strawberry Hog", its frequency is 88.1 Mhz, and it's always in stereo! Besides transmitting virtually all of the live music from the main stage, the Hog's mission is to reflect the spirit and sounds of Strawberria back to itself. The only guidelines for the station are to be tasteful (as should all things Strawberry) and to broadcast only live performances or recordings made live at Strawberry.
The Strawberry Hog Says It All
As any Strawberry festival goer knows, the Hog ads a dimension to our experience that can be explained, but when felt, makes all the difference. Collected here are broadcast moments that helped unite the Strawberry community wherever they roamed throughout camp.
The Hog's typical broadcast day begins with The Breakfast Club from 7 to 11 AM. These four hours of live entertainment originate from the Jack Spring and Son Dining Hall, where a tasty breakfast is served each morning, and the first optimistic notes of music help to open sleepy eyes. Any camper or group may sign up to perform for the diners, and the Hog sends the music out to everyone else waking up in camp! (Sign ups are held the preceding afternoon, at the Hog tent.)
From 11AM to 11PM, the Hog transmits live music from the Main Stage and workshops from the Amphitheatre Stage, with the occasional interview or extra event added to the mix as flavor boosters. This allows festival goers to stay in touch with the concert, even if playing at Birch Lake, hiking on Sunrise Trail, grabbing a bite to eat, or just lounging around at their camp.
On Friday and Saturday nights at 11:30PM, the Hog is back at the Dining Hall, to present Amy's Orchid Café. This is a special concert, in a nightclub setting, showcasing some of the Strawberry acts. Tickets prices help to support the Hog Radio broadcasts, and the music is (as always) free on the air at 88.1.
Late into the night, sometimes before, and sometimes after the Café, the Hog broadcasts Campfire Jams, from one of the campsites around Mather. This intimate setting allows the listener to hear great picking up close, as well as the unique ambience... people playing, listening, and responding to the music and enjoying one of the best parts of any festival, Strawberry Jamming!
From about 2AM to 7AM, the Hog remembers in Stereo! Favorite moments from past Strawberries make a great lullaby.
The Hog airs the first live music of the festival, the Band Scramble, on Thursday afternoon. Hosted by Cactus Bob and the Prairie Flower, musicians are invited to bring their instruments and get randomly blended into a band for a few hours! Their task is simple: come up with a band name, learn 2 songs and a joke and create a Hog Radio ID all in one hour. Then, after the hour of practice is up, it's a live show on the radio! The new bands play in random order, and the champion is chosen by audience response. It's a fun event to see live, and it makes a great warm-up for those who are still setting up camps! (Sign ups take place Thursday at Noon, at the Amphitheater stage.)
Sunday mornings, from 9AM to 11AM the Strawberry Hog brings you the Revival at Birch Lake. It’s Strawberry's way of getting your spirits soaring on the final day of each festival. Not just a gospel show, you'll see and hear plenty of dancing, laughing, and even swimming.
Interspersed between the scheduled events, the Hog brings you many of the special sounds of Camp Mather, putting microphones in front of the people and events of the festival, and replaying snippets from the History of Strawberry. A crew of over 30 people works hard to make this extraordinary pirate radio station sound the finest!
Saturday morning, you can take the Hog Ranch Radio Tour. Lasting approximately 90 minutes, the tour inspects the entire audio chain, from the microphones on stage, to the mixing boards and loudspeakers, then through the Hog system, stereo generators and rf modulators, and finally emerging from the tree-tops as fm. The philosophy and history of the Hog are recounted along the way, and usually the entire tour group winds up doing a live ID, right in the middle of a festival segue!
The Hog Ranch Radio broadcast studio is in the large tent located to the right of the Main Stage in Music Meadow. Feel free to go by and tell the Hogsters how much you appreciate their efforts and how far away you were able to tune in. Also, be sure to purchase a Hog Ranch Radio Tee Shirt. These shirts are collectible one-of-a-kinds, created specially for each festival.
For more Hog Ranch Radio photos visit the Hog Ranch Radio Photo Gallery. If you want to visit Hog Ranch Radio between festivals, for a history of the station and more background, you can check out their own web pages at http://hogranch.com/radio/ .