A plumber and teacher in Hull who launched a new radio station during the lockdown have seen their project reach new heights – attracting global DJs and several thousand listeners.
Alex Render, a plumber from Hull, and his cousin Andy Bolton – a high school teacher in North Yorkshire – decided to launch Lockdown Radio Station (LDR) “when everyone was having such a bad time” at the height of the first lockdown in April 2020.
At first they mainly streamed to family and friends, but now they are preparing to host their first live event – Unlocked – at Furley & Co in Hull this Bank Holiday Sunday.
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Andy said, “We have several thousand people watching / listening to us every week, have a roster of over 30 global DJs, have a website that gets over a quarter of a million hits every month, and we are about to organize our first live. event in a bar in Hull.
“The distance we’ve come since the first lockdown has been amazing and we’re very proud of what we’ve done. “
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Andy, who plays as Rebs, said it was Alex’s idea to launch LDR on Facebook after seeing him DJ live on the social media platform.
“It was just the two of us playing live sets that first weekend,” he said. “Guest DJs began to be booked for shows and the station began to acquire resident DJs from outside the UK, mostly from the US.
“In May 2020, LDR hosted its first marathon with eight residents broadcasting one hour each over an eight hour period.
“Our highest numbers for listeners / viewers were around 10,000 over a week and our Mixcloud page regularly attracts thousands of viewers.
Andy said: “None of us have professional experience, we have loved everything we have done and are extremely proud of what we have achieved so far.
“We still don’t know where this will take us, but we have big ideas. It was just a hobby with two guys DJing with camera phones that turned professional.
“One of the coolest things was that it brought us closer as family members because we didn’t really know each other when we were younger.”
LDR is a “real mix of music”, according to Andy, with everything from house to drum and bass and a dedicated rock party.
LDR owners Andy and Alex (who are the DJs as Rendez) will perform alongside LDR resident DJs Mark Healey and Mimi at the Unlocked event, which starts at 8 p.m. on Sunday and takes place over two floors. .
The cousins are hoping this will be the first of what will be a monthly collaboration with the bar, featuring a variety of LDR resident DJs over the coming months.
“We also hope to host other events at available locations as we continue to build our brand,” said Andy.
At the end of 2020, LDR started working with Nat Donougher, from CQ Management Online Promotions, who started promoting the station’s feeds with advertising and links to the shows and also offered guests the opportunity to work with LDR.
In May of this year, LDR acquired its own website, which continues to grow with more information and features about the brand.