4ZzZ (pronounced "Four Triple Zed" or simply "Triple Zed") is an independent community radio station operating in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, at the frequency 102.1 FM. As a community radio station, 4ZzZ is a member of the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA).


4ZzZ grew out of Queensland's sixties civil liberties movement. It was established to provide a radical alternative to mainstream news, give experience to those who wanted to later join the mainstream media and to promote Australian Rock Music. The station began transmission on 8 December 1975 as the first FM community broadcaster in Brisbane transmitting in stereo. The station's first studios were constructed by announcing staff and volunteers, using second hand building materials and furniture. The first transmitter was hand built by the station engineer. Founders included activist, Jim Beetson, journalist Marian Wilkinson, Arts Administrator, John Stanwell and academic Alan Knight. The first track played on ZZZ was the Who's "Won't get fooled again!"

Brisbane bands popularised in the early days 4ZzZ included the Brisbane punk rock band The Saints and also The Go-Betweens.

On 14 December 1988, 4ZzZ was taken off air and forcibly evicted from its University of Queensland technological division premises by the then UQ Union ALSF and Young Nationals student union executive. While university students rallied to support the station, 4ZZZ moved to alternative premises on Coronation Drive in the suburb of Toowong. In 1992 the station moved to its current premises in the former Communist Party Headquarters on St Paul's Terrace, Fortitude Valley.

tation philosophy and funding

The motto for the station is agitate, educate, organise.

4ZZZ aims to challenge the mainstream media by providing access for the community to radio, by supporting local bands, artists and events, by providing training for station volunteers, and by disseminating alternative news and current affairs.

All fundraising is run by the station. The main sources of income are subscriptions, sponsorship, promotions and 4ZzZ events. 4ZzZ collaborates with local businesses, gig promoters, etc. to provide incentives such as discounts for subscribers.

In 2007, 4ZzZ won a national CBAA Award [CBAA Awards] in the category of Local Voices (Giordana Caputo) and was a finalist in supporting Local Music (Kate Walton).

In 2008, 4ZzZ will have webstreaming available.


As a community radio station 4ZzZ broadcasts a wide variety of music, information and news. Presenters do not have to follow a playlist. Announcers play the music they love or subscribers request.

The station supports 30% Australian, 15% Local content, 30% New Releases and 30% female content.

All announcers have been dedicated volunteers whom apply to become an announcer. Once approved the volunteers attend an internal announcers course (free of charge).

Programming is divided into two types of shifts, 'strip' shifts that broadcast a wide variety of music and information, news programmes and 'block' shifts that cater to a specific genres of music.

Information related shows include: Brisbane Line, Locked In (prisoner), Eco Radio, The Anarchy Show, At the Local, Radio Democracy, Megaherz, Strong and Deadly (indigenous), Dykes on Mics, Queer Radio, Art to Lunch and Televised Revolution.

Block shows currently (November 2007) on air include: Demo Show, Locals Only, Aussie Bar-B-Que, Punk Show, Blues Show, Skatrek (ska), Rock N Roll Show (rockabilly/ psychobilly), Jazz Show, World Music, The Method (Hip Hop), Hell Metal, The Yard (reggae), Forcefed Fistfuls, Dark Essence (Dark Wave/ Industrial/ Goth), MORF (Music for old rockin farts), Baron One Way Show (Drum N Bass), Electronic Goodness.

Past Presenters

As a community radio station, the on-air presenters have been drawn from their pool of volunteers, some notable presenters include.

John Woods
Michael Finucan

Patrick O'Brien
Rollo from Blowhard
Vincent Duffy (now heard on NPR in the USA)

4ZzZ events

Since New Year's Day 1977 the station has broadcast the results of a music poll called the Hot 100 created by ZZZ staffer Stuart Matchett who went on to introduce JJJ's Hottest 100 Fact|date=February 2007).

The Hot 100 is broadcast New Years Day from Midday to approx 8 pm. In 2007, 4ZzZ commenced online voting.

4ZZZ runs "Market Day" events which are an outdoor festival featuring local music. Until 2003, these were annual events. Due to a number of issues (including government permits and liability insurance), Market Days are no longer annual events.

In recent years the annual fundraising events include:

- Dub Day Afternoon (usually Nov)

- Brain Banana (usually queens birthday weekend- June)

- Birthday Party (near December 8)

- Radiothon celebration gigs (usually August- Sept)

4ZzZ annual fundraiser- Radiothon- is a subscription drive.

1996 market day riots

Cybernana Market day was held on 19 October 1996 in Musgrave Park, West End. During the night, a large police presence was seen patrolling the area outside the fence around the Park. There were several arrests for alleged drug possession and other minor street offences. At around 8.20 p.m. a severe storm hit without warning and organisers were forced to close the event. Within 10 minutes more than half of the crowd had left and police began to appear in larger numbers.

It is estimated that more than 100 police were mobilised, including mounted police, military police, and police from the Public Safety Response Team equipped with riot gear. [http://users.tpg.com.au/adslflfl/1996/zzz1.htm Russell Cooper to rock on, 27 October 1996, "The Sunday Mail"] ] The arrival of such large numbers of police at less than 10 minutes notice indicated that police were on stand-by for the event. Crowds sheltering in tents were physically forced from the park, people attending the event were beaten with batons and arrested.

Complaints were made to the Criminal Justice Commission but no police were ever reprimanded.


* Knight,A. 2000. Won't get fooled again. [http://www.brisinst.org.au/resources/knight_alan_zzz.html]
* Olah, P. 2003. 4ZZZ market day riots of 1996. [http://bmm.qut.edu.au/clientsearch.php?sid=qs&rid=126]
* 4ZzZ Homepage, About 4ZZZ [http://www.4zzzfm.org.au]
* Stafford, A 2004 Pig City
* 25th Birthday Celebrations [http://www.abc.net.au/rn/mediareport/stories/2000/216124.htm]
* Media Search (including map of studio location) [http://www.bmm.qut.edu.au/clientsearch.php?sid=az&rid=105]
* Poster Archive [http://www.alchemist.com.au/archives/archcont34.htm]
* CBAA 2007 Awards [http://www.cbaa.org.au/content.php/551.html]
* 4ZzZ myspace [www.myspace.com/4zzzfm]
* 4ZzZ Market Day 2006 [http://www.entertainmentdepot.com.au/news/4zzz-market-day-2006]

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