Like all great ideas, the seeds were sown for Christmas FM after a pub conversation between four friends.
co-founders Daragh O’Sullivan, Walter Hegarty, Paul Sheppard and Garvan Rigby decided to start a station that only played Christmas songs while raising funds for charity.
“We said to each other, ‘What can we do for fun related to radio while doing something useful for charity?’ So that’s how we started,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
Over the years they have raised more than 3 million euros
“So we were trying to find a sponsor and some studio facilities the first year and that was 15 years ago. So there’s always an element of charity in what we do but this year we wanted to make a bigger impact.”
The popular station, which has a license for only 30 days, went live yesterday afternoon when the first carnival song was broadcast. Located at the Clayton Hotel in the Liffey Valley, their sponsors have paid for their glittering studio while a group of volunteer hosts will keep listeners entertained for the next month.
Heralding the impending Christmas season for many, this year the station will raise funds for four children’s charities including Barnardos, Barretstown, Make-A-Wish Ireland and Community Foundations for Ireland.
Over the years they have raised more than 3 million euros and this year saw them launch the ‘Miracles of Christmas’ initiative, with the hope of raising 1 million euros to help 10,000 children in the next three years. People can listen and donate via the Christmasfm.com website.
“That was our goal so we overcame it,” Mr. O’Sullivan said.
“So far, the response from today’s launch has been amazing and we’re 100% sure that people will be as generous as ever.”
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Half of the fundraising came from the station’s donation day on December 20, and Mr O’Sullivan said “the Christmas spirit pervaded that day”.
The station is famous in the UK and US but also works well in Germany, Bulgaria and Australia
Listeners have grown steadily over the past few years, and separate FM listeners from streaming. On average, Christmas FM receives 10 million streams worldwide each year with four million of those coming from Irish listeners.
The station is particularly popular in the UK and US but also works well in Germany, Bulgaria and Australia.
As for why it’s been such a hit during the Christmas season, Mr O’Sullivan said it’s a bit of lighthearted radio fun, providing some much-needed respite from the show. heavy news.
“We want our listeners to feel like there’s a little bit of magic coming out of the radio, which is what we want them to get when they listen to Christmas FM,” he said.
Co-founder Garvan Rigby said the response so far has been “amazing”.
“We play nothing but Christmas classics continuously and we are here to bring joy to people around the world for the next 30 days,” he said.
“People always tell us that as soon as the station airs, it’s like turning on Christmas and that’s what we did today. One of the things we are aware of is that there is no hard news and current affairs.
Mr Rigby said it also provides a valuable connection with Irish people around the world including Korea, Congo and even Antarctica.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/radio/people-tell-us-its-like-switching-the-festive-season-on-popular-radio-station-christmas-fm-is-up-and-running-42180743.html ‘People tell us it’s like turning on the festive season’ – popular radio station Christmas FM is up and running