City Brisbane, Queensland
Broadcast area Brisbane RA1 ()
Frequency 102.1 MHz FM (also on DAB+)
First air date 4 March 1975 (1975-03-04)[1]
Format community radio
Language(s) English
ERP 12,000 watts
HAAT 233 m[2]
Transmitter coordinates 27°27′47″S 152°56′49″E / 27.46306°S 152.94694°E / -27.46306; 152.94694
Owner Creative Broadcasters Ltd
Website Official website

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). The station broadcasts to much of South-East Queensland, parts of Northern NSW and web streams from its website.


4ZZZ was established to provide a radical alternative to mainstream news, to promote a sense of engagement and activism in community life and to promote Australian music.[3] 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(Dave Aberdeen). Founders included activist, Jim Beatson, journalist Marian Wilkinson, Arts Administrator, John Stanwell and academic Alan Knight. Announcer John Woods launched the station with The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" at Midday 8 December 1975. Along with 2JJJ and 3RRR, 4ZZZ has been a major promoter of independent and alternative music providing exposure for many Australian and international artists. Through the late 1970s and early 1980s the station also produced many groundbreaking and award winning features and documentaries.

On 14 December 1988, 4ZZZ was taken off air and forcibly evicted from its University of Queensland 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 was able to obtain a loan to buy the former headquarters of the Communist Party of Australia. 4ZZZ still broadcasts from these premises on Barry Parade in Fortitude Valley.

Station philosophy and funding

The motto for the station is agitate, educate, organise. They aim to "Provide a voice for marginalised communities" -[4]

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.[3]

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.

The station's volunteers have won many awards including Community Broadcasting Association of Australia awards and national media awards.


As a community radio station 4ZZZ broadcasts a wide variety of music, information and news. Presenters do not have to follow a playlist. Announcers personally choose the on-air musical content, or station subscribers request tracks.

All 4ZZZ announcers are dedicated volunteers who have completed the stations Announcer training.

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

The block programs on 4ZZZ include: Autonomous Action Radio, Jazz Show, Locked In - Prisoners' Show, Nothing But The Blues, Rock 'n Roll Show, Punk Rock Show, Eco Radio, Queer Radio, Dykes on Mikes, SkaTrek, The Movie Show, New Zealand Show, The Youth Show, Dark Essence (industrial), The Yard, Brisbane Line, World-beat, Megaherzzz, Folk Buddies.

4ZZZ events

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

Fundraising events include:

- Dub Day Afternoon (usually November)

- Brain Banana (usually queens birthday weekend- June)

- Birthday Party (near 8 December)

- Radiothon celebration gigs (usually August- September)

- "Market Day" an outdoor festival featuring local music (annually previous to 2003)

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

Winners of the Hot 100


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 and police from the Public Safety Response Team equipped with riot gear.[5] 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.[5]

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


  1. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-24.
  2. HAAT estimated from http://www.itu.int/SRTM3/ using EHAAT.
  3. 1 2 4ZZZ - 'About'
  4. It's All About Community - Documentary film, 2016 (In production, as of 29/09/16)
  5. 1 2 Russell Cooper to rock on, 27 October 1996, The Sunday Mail
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