Wyldwood Radio

Folk, World, Spiritual & Ethnic Music

10 Years of Wyldwood!

It’s had for me to look back now at a time when I wasn’t involved with Pagan Radio. Wyldwood began as a simple idea, a momentary flash of inspiration from which I didn’t expect anything to manifest.

One thing I can say is that nothing is as I expected it, in so many good ways.

I can pinpoint the moment I was first inspired about Internet Radio, back in 1998 I got access to the internet for the first time and I began looking up everything I could about my chosen spiritual path and during my search I found a shop by the name of TripleMoon Withchware (sadly closed in 2016) which used an embedded web player to broadcast Pagan music to its visitors. Bands like Inkubus Sukkubus, Kate West and Damh the Bard were the backdrop for browsing and it really added atmosphere to the experience.

I didn’t start learning web design for another three years but in 2001 I built my first blog about my Pagan path and I wanted to try having music there too. Of course without licenses it would be illegal to broadcast music from a website and so I gave up rather than paying expensive fees or fines. That’s when I came across the (now closed) Pagan Radio Network which broadcast music professionally, was set up with playlists and shows and had presenters. Soon after I discovered Live365 which provided a service for people to run their own stations and I would listen to the various Pagan and Gothic stations available, but it was still priced beyond my reach at that time.

It wasn’t until October 2011 that I was able to try and to be honest I had forgotten about the idea. I had recently moved to Staffordshire and was walking on Cannock Chase when the idea rushed back into my head, I guess I could say that the ancient woodlands inspired me. That very evening co-founder Nemetona (who left the station in 2017) came home from University and told me that she needed a project to work on for her course, it seemed a perfect fit and so we began. I used my skills in web design and development and Nemetona brought her past experience in broadcasting, social media and even magazine layout with her.

Of course back then the station was called Grove Radio as I wanted to focus it toward Druidry. I used Live365 as the platform for streaming, it was really limited on storage and so many of our playlists were very repetitive and we could only afford to have five listeners at any one time. We continued the station for one year after which the cost was too great to continue and we announced its closure. However, our listeners would not let us go that easy! Within a few days we learned that our ‘five’ listeners at any one time turned out to be hundreds of listeners coming and going throughout the day, some of whom were the very bands and artists that we had been playing! We received enough donations to be able to move platform and keep the station going and on November 6th 2012 Wyldwood Radio is born.

So in a way Wyldwood is only nine years old this year and my career in radio was ten years old last month, but it makes sense to celebrate it this way as one month after we began Grove Radio, the idea of what the station could become began to take shape with live shows and a newsletter.

Over the last ten years members of the team have come and gone, some ex-wyldwood team members went off to form their own stations and new members came to take their place. At our peak we hit 21,000 listeners per month, which for me feels huge! We have had listeners in literally every country on the planet apart from perhaps North Korea, Dubai and Borneo. We have had photographs of our bumper stickers on cars in America, our mugs in Australia, fan mail from Russia and song requests from China. People from the middle east reached out to feature their work in Wathanism (an ancient middle-eastern Pagan path), listeners in Africa, Haiti, New-Zealand, Russia and all across Europe told us that they broadcast Wyldwood as a background for their art or at their shops.

Nothing makes me feel more proud to have been able to create a source of inspiration for people’s creativity and spirituality and I hope to be able to make that more useful in the future.

So Happy Birthday Wyldwood Radio and Happy Anniversary to all the Wyld Folk who have been with us on this incredible journey! Here’s to many more years!

Bright Blessings,

Herne