SOLANA BEACH — Deciding which concerts to attend at Solana Beach’s iconic Cedros Avenue music venue just got easier thanks to Belly Up Tavern Radio, a streaming station on the facility’s homepage that allows live music junkies to hear artists who will be performing in upcoming shows.
The station is from DeliRadio, a free service that has attracted more than 13,000 artists since it began about two-and-a-half years ago.
Members of DeliRadio who will be performing at the Belly Up are automatically featured on the radio station. Listeners can filter music by genre.
“The artists control their presence,” DeliRadio founder Wayne Skeen said. “They upload tracks and photos and a slide show plays while the music is playing.”
Skeen said one of his goals for the station is to allow touring musicians “to get their music out in front of them, like a wave.”
There is also a smartphone app that allows users to share their likes, see what their friends are listening to and follow the bands.
“Seeing music is a social affair,” Skeen said. “With the app you can see who might be interested in going to the concerts.”
DeliRadio is privately funded with sponsors rather than commercials. “Think (National Public Radio),” Skeen said, “where something is brought to you by …”
Skeen graduated from college with a finance degree and started his career in hedge funds and investing. He eventually left that world when his music hobby led him to start a record label.
“I recognized what I felt was missing and that’s what DeliRadio is,” he said.
Part of his motivation to start the business was a consolidation of radio stations in the 1990s.
“There wasn’t a lot of diversity,” he said. “Current music sounds so manufactured. This brings you real bands that are coming into town in a van or a bus. It doesn’t get much more local than this.”
DeliRadio has stations worldwide. Close to home, in addition to Belly Up, they include Porter’s Pub at the University of California San Diego and the 710 Beach Club.
Going forward, Skeen would like stations such as Belly Up Tavern Radio to include live announcers who are “interesting and compelling to the listeners.”
“It would be great to get back to the heyday of radio interviews,” he said. “There was a time when DJs were educators. That was surely a good time.”
To listen to Belly Up Tavern Radio, visit the website at bellyup.com.