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Ed O’Brien responds to BBC 6 Music closure

Just the other day I thought of posting something here on BBC’s announcement that BBC 6 Music is threatened to be closed down, but Ed O’Brien just posted something [see below] about the 6 Music closure, and I guess he’s better with words than I am 😉

6 Music now entered into a process of public consultation which will be managed independently by the BBC Trust. You can leave your comments on the recent announcement or any part of the BBC Strategy Review here. Here you will find the full details of the Strategy Review and how to respond to the Trust with your views on 6 Music and the review in general. You can also email the BBC Trust about the Strategy Review at Or write to them by post at Strategy Review Consultation, BBC Trust, 180 Great Portland Street, London, 1W 5QZ

Ed O’Brien’s post

Mark Thompson, Herr Director General of the BBC, announced yesterday that 6 music was to be closed … which is obviously a ludicrous decision for those who actually love hearing great music on the radio … so I’ve written to the BBC Trust, who apparently have the ability to reverse the decision, and if you feel this way inclined the link is
Here’s what I wrote:

To whom it may concern,

I am writing regarding the news today that 6 Music is going to be closed, in the hope that you reconsider this decision. To be honest I, along with a vast number of other musicians, music industry types and real music fans, are completely shocked and baffled by this news. I wonder if those who made this decision are actually aware of the hugely important role that 6 music plays in fostering and promoting new bands, as well as still playing the likes of the band that I am in. It literally is the radio lifeblood for music outside of the mainstream. Not to denigrate Radio’s 1 and 2, but it really is the only station that puts music first, and that’s from a punters point of view and not some bloke in a band. Nowhere else can you hear an archived session track from T Rex juxtaposed next to Midlake’s latest release. As David Bowie, put it … it keeps the spirit of John Peel alive.

Please realise the impact and severity of closing this station down. It will be a huge blow for new bands and their labels. It’s not enough to ‘refocus’ Radio’s 1 and 2 as 6 music does a very specific thing. What you have with 6 Music is a gem of a radio station, it is doing what no other station in the world does or can possibly do. Remember it is also still relatively young, give it time. You also finally have a fantastic and seemingly settled line up of DJ’s. Please get behind it and from what I can gather about it’s annual budget of £6m, it surely punches way above it’s weight in terms of cultural relevance and importance.

Thank you for considering this.

Ed O’Brien (Radiohead)


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  • Here, here

  • He makes the point quite well. On the news I saw a senior member of the BBC reference 6Music as ‘doing pretty much the same thing as Radio 1 and Radio 2’ – which is completely incorrect.

    As Ed O’Brien says: “[6Music is] literally is the radio lifeblood for music outside of the mainstream”.

  • 6 music must be saved!

  • What’s radio6? Ohhh, I hope they play Nickleback!!!

  • Wow!Ed’s speech is so brilliant and huge!Go Edward!

  • Very eloquently put Ed. I just cannot believe the BBC would consider pulling the plug on 6Music, the only non-commercial station that actually seems to care about the music it plays and represent people with a passion for listening to music.

  • wow! just scored 2 tix for chicago show. face value and no ticketmaster molestation charges. thanks w.a.s.t.e.!
    now if only thom bleaches his hair blonde and performs creep my life will be complete!!! ha. ooops. wrong message board. nice change of pace for the readers i suppose…..

  • well done ed it can’t go! xfm does a good job too supporting indie but it’s not nationwide. I have to say that this maybe the deathnail for indie we had the halycon days from 2000-2008 where indie dominated the airwaves but now its electro-pop and urban. Indie has to step it’s game up or it’s over for bands.

  • No one wants to hear that Indie shit they play on 6music. It’s time to take the dying cow and shoot it between the eyes. Lord have mercy.

  • 6 Music isn’t an ‘indie’ station. They play (and love) Radiohead, for a start. I have never before found an easily accessible radio station that plays Let Down in the daytime.

    6 Music plays MUSIC. Radio 1 plays… not much, Radio 2 is basically a hit-parade (with some good presenters on both, granted).

  • I bet Ed has some rich musician friends he can convince to pool funding for the station to operate. When budgets get tight programs get cut. If the programs are so important to you then why don’t you put your money on the line instead of writing letters?

  • I’m just pissed that there’s no more Adam & Joe Show.

  • “it is doing what no other station in the world does or can possibly do”

    He’s going too far here…

  • It sounds like 6 Music is something like 3RRR (Melbourne, Australia) which in it’s 25yr+ history has become part of Melbourne’s very identity. It represents the pulse of music both locally and internationally and being subscriber supported is very much loved. Every city requires a station like this. Thankfully there are a few minds around as great as Ed and his mates who don’t cater for the lowest common denominator.

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