Radio Free Lexington. WRFL turns 25.

Radio Free Lexington. WRFL turns 25.


WRFL, or Radio Free Lexington, as the University of Kentucky’s student-run station at 88.1 FM is often called, is celebrating a milestone on Thursday, March 7.

On that date, at 2 p.m., 25 years will have passed since the station’s inaugural broadcast. The current staff has planned a  commemorative broadcast at 2 p.m. Thursday. Original WRFL DJs will be on hand as the station airs once again its first song — “C’mon Every Beatbox” by Big Audio Dynamite.

On Friday, March 8, a celebration party is planned for 8 p.m. at Al’s Bar & Sidecar and will feature performances by WRFL-affiliated local bands including Hair Police, Big Fresh, Jovontaes, Pezhead, and Trance Substantiation, in addition to WRFL DJs.

Another 25th anniversary salute will take place on Thursday from 7 to 9 a.m. as Mick Jeffries’ “Trivial Thursday” program welcomes some of the people instrumental in starting the station. Jeffries himself is an original WRFL DJ and served as the station’s program director in the 1990s.

The station, founded in 1988 by a group of students and community members who worked tirelessly to raise money, license, build and staff the alternative format broadcast FM station recently upgraded its signal from 250 watts to 7,200 watts. Playing a wide variety of musical styles and genres in a very open format in addition to specific “block” programming, national and local news, the station reaches much of Central Kentucky.

WRFL sponsors “Boomslang,” a three-day festival of music, art and culture each fall. The festival, now entering its fifth year, has presented scores of alternative music and performance groups including Os Mutantes, Mission of Burma, Death, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Tom Tom Club, Ty Segall, Kurt Vile, Negativeland, and others.

Matt’s Metal Mortuary returns: For one night only, to get you mentally and physically prepared, original WRFL DJ and legendary host of the Metal Mortuary, Matt Dacey, will be joining Flying Kites at Night on Tuesday for an evening dedicated to heavy metal cover songs.

It’s what Dio would have wanted.

Tune in! (that’s 88.1 on an FM radio)

Related WRFL archives

WRFL Tower Sculpture Unveiled 7.18.2012

WRFL Tower Sculpture Dedicated at University of Kentucky 8.25.2012

Click here to read Kakie Urch’s 2008 Ace piece, WRFL Was Everyone’s Good Idea.

Click here to read Mark Beaty’s 2008 Ace piece.

Click here to read Matt Dacey’s 20th anniversary piece in Ace in 2008.

Click here to read Mick Jeffries’ piece about the new tower in 2010 and here for Megan Neff‘s, and here for Matt Dacey’s.