The Baltimore Band Block Party (BBBP) is WTMD’s signature, mission-driven fund-raiser. Each year, 15-20 local bands are given the tools to raise money for WTMD in the form of ticket sales and donations, much like crowd funding and peer to peer fund raising. During the three-week period, we provide a ton of exposure to these local bands by putting them in heavy rotation. This is real, substantial on-air support that builds familiarity among our listeners. At the end of the three weeks, we have our BBBP concert, There the top ten fund raising bands play live with the top three, winning substantial prizes including a recording package at a top notch local studio, gear, in-studio performances and a coveted spot at WTMD’s First Thursday summer concert series, putting them in front of 18,000 people! There is also a merit award for the best performance of the night with a prize of $2,500 cash from a local arts foundation.
The BBBP is one of the most rewarding events for the entire staff each year. The bands participate because they love WTMD. They want to give back to the station that has supported them so much in the past or to become part of the WTMD family. Several bands have told us that if any other Baltimore organization came to them and asked them to solicit donations from their fans or sell tickets to an event, they’d say ‘no way.’ But they’re more than happy to help WTMD. The Block Party itself is a marathon day from start to finish, but it’s worth it just to see how thrilled the bands are to perform live on-air in front of a live studio audience. That happens so rarely in radio today. And the event also allows the musicians an opportunity to show their appreciation for what WTMD brings to the local music community.