Strange Fruit Radio will “probably” close at the end of this year.

Strange Fruit Radio will 'probably' close this year.

Strange Fruit Radio the service founded to champion new artists and bands as well as remembering the classic alternatives will “probably close” at the end of this year (2017).

While the service can trace its roots back to 2004,the year the late Radio One presenter John Peel passed away, it was given a re-boot after Global Radio re-branded XFM to Radio X, and has been much more popular with listeners than could ever have been imagined.

“We’ve got approaching 500 followers on Twitter and over 1.200 ‘likes’ on Facebook admits Nathan King, the founder of the service, “that is unbelievable considering we are essentially a jukebox service, but lots of people have really bought into it, it’s a shame we will probably have to say goodbye”.

The reasons for the closure are not simple and straightforward: “For sometime we have been beset with technical issues, nothing major, in fact minor in some cases quite trivial, but there are a LOT of them, and it has got to the stage where we had to take a step back and ask “what do we do?”.

The situation has been brought to a head, admits King, by two major factors, “We lose our current hosting (where the website is based) in February of next year, which Stuart our webmaster has been kind enough to give us free, but at the end of this year, we lose the .net domain – which is where the service started from – and currently where the music is streamed (broadcast) from, after that, that’s it”, concedes Nathan.

While these issues are fairly easy to remedy, due to the technical situation, Strange Fruit Radio has lost a lot of its original volunteers. “Promises were made, most never fulfilled, and most of all our communication has been awful, to the point of non-existent, particularly on social media, which is very important,” states King.

King admits he has to take the fair share of responsibility and accountability for the situation the service finds itself in “I said to Damian (Davies, former Business Manager) a long time ago, that I feared Strange Fruit Radio might eventually become Radio Nathan and effecively collapse in on itself, so even if these website problems weren’t about to raise their head, I think the service as it stands at present has gone as far as it could”.

Howvever, King has already stated he intends to return at some point with another radio service, with the same aims and objectives, but Mr. Davies has already advised caution:

“The problem with Strange Fruit is that it had unrealistic hopes and expectations from the start, he suggests, “Nathan wanted to turn the service into a professional radio station on a shoe-string budget and very little financial backing in a very short time. This is totally unrealistic, if for no other reason than the music licences payments (P.P.L & P.R.S.) work on a reverse economics basis, essentially the more listeners a station gets, the more money it has to pay out in royalities until it becomes economically unviable”.

While King hopes to bring back Strange Fruit Radio at some point, Davies is more dubious “When you’re relying on volunteers, one has to give something back in return, such as a deeper involvement with the service, usually via programming, which by his own admission, he is in no position to do. Until a new server is in place, with more people willing to help, I cannot see Strange Fruit Radio returning anytime soon”.

As the situation currently stands, Strange Fruit Radio will close at the end of this year.