WTUL marathon rocks around the clock

Bess Turner, Staff Reporter

Tulane’s radio station WTUL has begun its second week of its annual Rock On Survival Marathon. The fundraiser got its start somewhat unconventionally, as a form of rebellion against insufficient funding.

“It’s actually a great story,” WTUL general manager Ben Samuels said. “One DJ back in the ’60s decided to go on air for 24 hours as something of a protest. He carried a microphone and the radio with him all day. He had a condom on the microphone as he took showers. It was 24 hours straight.”

The day-long marathon has now been stretched into an eventful two weeks. Students can look forward to a variety of shows, including a funeral for longtime show “Judah Fest,” complete with a coffin at One Eyed Jacks on Saturday and a variety of sets during Throbbin’ Thursdays at Handsome Willy’s including DJ Space Cat’s Axis of Evil-themed set.

In homage to the original 24-hour fundraiser, the marathon traditionally closes out the final weekend with three pairs of DJs on air for 24 hours each from noon Friday until noon Monday on the Gorson Porch of the Lavin-Bernick Center.

“We have a ton of bands and people stopping by for interviews [and] live performances,” Samuels said. “It’s ranged from people having fruit punch chugging contests on air to people getting tattoos live on air.”

The marathon is expected to raise one half to two-thirds of the station’s annual operating costs. Donations are accepted on air and online. All profits raised from event attendance also go directly to supporting the station.

“People should support WTUL because we are one of the few realms of real rock & roll and freedom of music in today’s world, where everything is really controlled and mediated and people are really trying to push you in certain directions,” Samuels said.

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