radio free fedi blog


Debrief: The New Years Day 24 Stream Parade

radio free fedi (RFF) works to foster and amplify:

  • community building
  • artist advocacy
  • consent and agency
  • transparent discovery
  • promotion and seeking of direct support for independent artists present on the fediverse
  • comradery

To extend some of that community building and comradery in the form of a mega marathon streaming party event, we knew we were up against a few challenges based on our learnings from experiences to date.

It was the “holidays” period. It was kind of an extension of a weekend. Due to rhythms of the internet, these can both be detrimental to forming a fedi crowd. However, given those very limiters it seemed a perfect time to offer the wider community a chance to see some of the amazing makers, doers, enthusiastic community folk, teachers, performers and more in the alternative and open streaming space.

Why not also do so in an organic, safe, comfy, fun and remote togetherness community way in the spirit of #joinIn?

What was it?

What a ride! The #NYD24Parade was a coordinated community distributed stream marathon that clocked in at 26 hours. It was our take using nicer terminology on a stream raid –> par-raid –> parade, but with organic methods due to the open and mixed nature of the platforms invoved, Owncast and Peertube. Rather than just randomly saying “I'm ending my stream” and dumping viewers to another, this was much more intentional and organic. As such it felt much like a parade with something of a route and traffic control and more of a festive event vibe. And it felt welcoming.

That's an important point, the vibe. Nothing about the day was metrics driven, there were no intrusive corporate ad breaks, no performative pressures to be anything other than exactly what you wanted to share or explore. Just organic community discovering and celebrating each other!

“I can't remember the last time a year started off in such a wholesome way. I don't need fireworks, overpriced beer or crammed city squares. Just radio Free Fedi.” -Adam

Literally every single streamer was happy to both welcome new friends AND graciously send them off to the next streamer. With a bit of upfront screening, tone check and some clear expectations for the event to be celebratory, inclusive, discovery friendly and welcoming, holy heck did that materialise by the bucket load. How we discover and know more about who else is out there broadcasting is a challenge we'll re-ask in the conclusion as ongoing work to do.

“The lounge chat elves helped usher us between streams and we ended up thundering into them like a loose herd of Internet rhinoceros, driven by some unknowable instinct to stampede every hour. We were showered with a varied selection of material including a B-Movie watch-along, a blind gaming stream and a some fascinating generative music, alongside live DJ sets and more personal, traditional tunes. Since the artists are on the Fedi I can follow them all from one place, even though they're on other servers or even different types of services! I've since caught a few streams going live through a notification right in my Mastodon app.” -Adam

While the posted schedule made it easy for folks to specifically drop into the parade for things they knew they might like or were keen to try out, many participants and viewers were actually amped and excited to hang out with each other at the next parade stop NO MATTER WHAT IT WAS. That is awesome with probably a few things to futher unpack and explore. Whether due to strong comradery, variety or general trust in the community offerings all those are great as far as we can see.

“The diversity of the streams were fireEmoji. It wasn't strictly music, strictly one genre, strictly one anything, and it was , heh, often 'weird' as in 'keep fedi weird'.” -Jessica

Many friends came into streams and chats throughout the day, some caught some sleep and came right back. It was truly a rolling party of nice people checking out cool things and just having a blast.


As with most things classic/natural/organic fedi, and certainly with everything we've experienced via the RFF project and community, small can be BIG. Quality over quantity has found so many ways to percolate for RFF as a project and for so many contributing artists and community members out there over the past year. Our collective power and strength may be feel individually small. The collective power and energies from many small offerings become BIG when they include love, respect, a kind word, material support, and especially in the case of the parade, togetherness. When we realise we are not alone in so many of our struggles and hopefully celebrations as well, community manifests and rallies.

From RFF's perspective the #NYD24Parade was a bit hard to do in a way we felt was safe and correct and as good precedence. We are happy to report, aside from some of those self-imposed parameters, we consider the event to have been a resounding success.

The Great:

  • Every single weird, wild, wonderful, informative, enthusiastic, entertaining streamer and broadcaster participant
  • Every single friend that showed up to celebrate the streamers, a friendly fun time, and each other
  • Having a central schedule and lobby. While most everything about what we did was decentralised content, having a clear parade route, a lobby, stream preview embeds based on schedule as a launch/rally/fallback point proved handy.
  • The joy and lift for streamers to just have a friendly and fun crew just pop up “en masse” straight away

As a non-streaming punter I loved everything about it. The lobby worked great, was full of friendly folk and it was always clear where to go next. The parade had some excellent content – if I was forced to pick a favourite I would be unable to choose between Meljoann's live set and RadarBox, but there was so many more great streams! The banter in the rooms was what really made it as well! -AxWax

The Less Great:

  • The scale was a bit much for a single organiser to coordinate, produce/moderate. Again much of that was self imposed due to having so much event support services and fallbacks and things like that. Some of these things are absolutely and technically optional, but at risk and peril of the vibe and success for all the participants. Running RFFs video channel as a chat lobby the entire time to be info kiosk, comfy alternative if the current stream was not to taste proved useful. Having a strong community vibe and each others' back, safe places to rally, from our perspective leads to infintely better experiences for all involved. For now quality over quantity, but with the model in place to grow in awesome and safe ways.

  • The length insofar as a nap for the coordinator. Thanks to some RFF contributors for being lovely parade amabassadors to this end. If there is a next time, it looks like since many have seen what this kind of thing can or might be, we anticipate more hands up for help.

  • Absolute minimal tech glitches anywhere and for the few that crept in, the parade community was helpful, understanding and quick to amplify considerate info to braodcasters, to the RFF lobby and each other to help keep the parade rolling and the amazing vibe undeterred.

The Bad:

  • Nothing, literally nothing, no kidding.

my feedback on the party is that it was great, had lots of fun. A lot of different stuff so there was something for everyone. I only worried a) about missing out on some stuff becasue i had to sleep b) about ctrls amount of rest and sleep. Next time a big event like this happens i think i will volunteer to keep an eye on the chat, time zone permitting of course. -xunxym

Was it a bit of a task to undertake? Yes.

Can we do it again so large on our “own”. Not really.

Did it set some precedent for what a considered, open yet organised, safe, rolling, engaged, comfy, and fun fedi version of a stream “raid” can be? Hope so.

Has it opened up discourse on how to roll the vibe on. SUCH YES!

It is also worth noting from our view of the feeds, there have been a non negligable number of fedizens that have since the event aligned with a broadcaster, rekindled or freshly stood up their own open streaming server quoting the experience of the event as insipiration. That is testimony to the friendly, welcoming, organic and awesome community vibe you all brought.

The biggest single challenge to good organic community building and organising things like this on the internet are often not the raw technical tools. We can mostly help each other with that. RFF as well as other collectives and broadcasters are most happy for good fedizens to utilise our audio and video platforms for any type of original programming or live events inline with our ethos.

The challenge as is often the case is communication and discovery. Specifically, knowing who else is out there and collaborative organising.

From this parade experience we are confident the potential exists to collectively foster and rally more and wider interest. Interest in more friends taking to the streams to share, attending events, helping to bridge technical and communication hurdles, and putting hands up to generally help make more communities, events, and things organically vibe and be awesome.

Just back of the envelope maths here but if we were to scope an RFF's Heirarchy of Needs for community and independent art and media it might shake down something like this:

  1. Vibe
  2. Organic Community
  3. Content
  4. Technology
  5. Metrics

That's probably a direct inversion for the divisive, silo'd, rifting, tracking world of the attention economy thieves. And good!

Having a blast. So many memes and genres were born

The vibe over the entire duration of the event was so friendly, celebratory, inclusive, helpful, and often hilarious. There were memes formed, many new genres pitched, the utterly infamous radar box and more creative callbacks throughout the day than you can shake a stick at. Most of the quotes we've assembled for this debrief report and so many more comments out on the feeds specifically highlight the absolute fun and friendly chat and general comradery. Awesome!

“This song is inspired by the events of the Radio Free Fedi New year parade and all the cool and wonderful people in the chat. Samples are taken from the movie we watched on New Ellijay TV – 'Santa Claus Conquers The Martians'. This is most likely not bonkwave, as it is post-ironic lo-fi radarbonk. lol” – Fish

Wrap it up captain and work to do

Did we expose new things to each other? Did we follow and bookmark new and interesting streams? Did we make new friends amongst broadcasters? Did we make new friends in chats? All yes!

How we continue to find, link up and think about who else is out there in ther alternative and open broadcasting spaces is going to require some trial and error. Whether parades, mini parades, gliding or surfing a #fediWave of streams, there are so many ways to feel less alone out there in the bitstream.

We absolutely do not believe it will be any kind of automated or unscreened directory, signups, or middle layers acting as auto teleporter. That is just way too rife for being not a good vibe and crashed by bad actors. Our friends are worth a level of care that will ensure not just safety and inclusivity but a quality over quantity that can disprove many notions of scale at all cost while actively achieving community and support, which by way of an engaged and friendly population can very well include the material variety. RFF have bore witness to this positive methodology in the growth of our community.

Let's think about smaller blocks of regular programming that we might as streamers wiggle our schedules ever so slightly to create some contiguous distributed blocks of programming between us. Turns out an organic handover is actually really cool!

Let's do more impromptu or scheduled hangouts in the #joinIn spirit.

Let's remember there are some awesome 24/7 alternative broadcasters out there such as parade participants New Ellijay TV, Retrostrange TV and of course RFF that make it quite easy to assemble for a watch party and only needs someone to ingnite the spark and hopefully mod some chat.

If you want to get involved in broadcasting, streaming, supporting the community in any way at all for 2024 please reach out. Technical, non technical, street team, moderating, there are many ways to participate other than just on-air facing. |

RFF are very happy to provide platforms for all manner of original broadcast programming or live streaming or help find a suitable partner. If you are already streaming and would like to get more involved and linked up with other streamers and broadcasters on the open source and fedi side of things, also reach out and we'll do our best to align you with some kindreds.

Join us every day at radio free fedi for discovering awesome independent fedi artists. If you are able to support our community services to sustain and grow in 2024 you can help with various tasks or donations to sustain the organic human power if you are able and willing.

Keep exploring, sharing, promoting, supporting!

We've kept the basic schedule from the event up in the hopes anyone still running across it, or maybe could not join on the day, might discover and checkout the streamers that took part.

Thank you to every broadcaster that enthusiastically heeded our call to join the parade and share.

Thank you to every single listener and viewer that dropped in for some or heaps of the event.

Thank you to everyone that resonated with the vibe and is hoping, discussing and scheming how to roll it into more processes, events, platforms, all the things.

Thank you to Owncast and Peertube for the platforms that give RFF and others the platform to help give even more a platform to share, learn, entertain, enjoy and damn it have some fun too! We deserve it.

Stay awesome out there. Lift each other up. Punch upward. Keep fedi weird. Let's do more community, more comradery, more fun.

-the hamster sprinting in the wheel powering the transmitter

“Radio Free Fedi's New Year's Day parade was an enthusiastic revelry of sonic delight which left me impatient for 2025. The lean towards the Fediverse meant the streams were devoid of adverts or snooping trackers, just music and sound with welcoming, fun people in the chat rooms.” -Adam