A Hull plumber and teacher who launched a new radio station during lockdown have seen their project soar to new heights – attracting global DJs and several thousands of listeners.
Alex Render, a plumber from Hull, and his cousin Andy Bolton – a secondary teacher in North Yorkshire – decided to launch Lockdown Radio Station (LDR) “when everyone was having such a rubbish time” in the height of the first lockdown in April 2020.
At first, they streamed to mostly family and friends, but now they are getting ready to host their first live event – Unlocked- at Furley & Co in Hull this bank holiday Sunday.
Andy said: “We have several thousand people watching/listening to us each week, have a roster of over 30 global DJs, have a website that acquires over a quarter of a million visits each month, and we are about to hold our first live event at a bar in Hull.
“The journey we have been on since the first lockdown has been amazing and we are very proud of what we have done.”
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Andy, who performs as Rebs, said it was Alex’s idea to launch LDR on Facebook after seeing him DJ-ing on a live stream on the social media platform.
“It was just us two streaming some live sets on that first weekend,” he said. “Guest DJs began to be booked for broadcasts and the station began to acquire resident DJs from outside of the UK, mainly the US.
“In May 2020, LDR held their first marathon event with eight residents broadcasting one hour each in an eight-hour stretch.
“Our highest figures for listeners/viewers have been at around 10,000 over a week and our Mixcloud page regularly attracts thousands of viewers.”
Andy said: “Neither of us have any professional experience, we have loved everything we have done and are extremely proud of what we have achieved so far.
“We still don’t even know where this will take us, but we have some big ideas. It was just a hobby with two lads DJ-ing off camera phones that has grown into something professional.
“One of the nicest things has been that it has brought us as family members closer together as 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 night.
LDR owners Andy and Alex (who DJs as Rendez) will be playing alongside LDR resident DJs Mark Healey and Mimi at the Unlocked event, which starts at 8pm on Sunday and will be hosted over two floors.
The cousins hope it will be the first in what will be a monthly collaboration with the bar, featuring a variety of LDR resident DJs over the coming months.
“We are also hoping to host other events at available establishments as we continue to grow our brand,” said Andy.
In late 2020, LDR began working with Nat Donougher, of CQ Management Online Promotions, which began to promote the station streams with advertising and links to the broadcasts and also provided guests to work with LDR.
In May this year, LDR acquired its own website, which continues to develop with more information and features about the brand.