The idea for a radio station in Northside that plays independent artists and brings prominent local people on air came about two years ago, long before WNKU went off the air.
The radio station, Radio Artifact, will be a 24/7 station based out of the Rectory, which is next door to Urban Artifact. It will broadcast all kinds of music — from independent artists on the local and national level to interviews with artists and prominent figures in the Cincinnati area. The brewery will also use this platform to market its beer.
Scott Hand, one of the founders of Urban Artifact, had an idea to start a small radio station that pays homage to the arts back in 2015 when the brewery opened.
“I think he just wanted a cool little pirate station to be able to feature all the good music that we have around town,” says Urban Artifact's booking coordinator, Jeremy Moore.
Urban Artifact is also a music venue. Moore has booked local acts like The Skulx and the Blue Wisp Big Band. Touring musicians include Emily Davis and John Nolan from Taking Back Sunday.
With many touring acts coming to Cincinnati, Moore wants to be able to get them on the radio “to better promote themselves,” he says.
Radio Artifact will not just play music, but will feature all sorts of content. “The main goal is to get as much music-like programming out there, but we also want to focus on all parts of the arts community and just the Cincinnati community in general,” Moore says.
The station will air in a 2.5-mile radius. For those who do not live within that radius, online streaming will be provided on its website.
Radio Artifact won't necessarily fill WKNU’s space, considering it will only broadcast throughout Northside, parts of Clifton, Westwood, Camp Washington, Mt. Airy and Norwood. WNKU had a much wider reach.
But Moore says, “We’re just really trying to do something very independently.”
Radio Artifact will eventually broaden its antennas to reach a wider audience, but it's heavily relying on reaching listeners through online streaming.
“That's kind of how people listen to stuff at work nowadays, anyway — it's usually on the computer,” Moore says.
The radio station has received many original music submissions, but it's been experiencing trouble with its servers. You can still submit original music, and the station plans to officially launch during the first week of October.