The 8 Best Online Radio Stations to Listen to During Lockdown

30th April 2020

Our NoticeBORED series is here to keep you busy and your brain active with all things music-related throughout this lockdown period. So far, we’ve had some stellar recommendations from BIMM staff and students for the best music documentaries to watch, the best music podcasts to listen to and the best music biographies to delve into. Now, we’re onto the best online radio stations to keep your ears happy throughout lockdown. 

Our students and staff have recommended everything from local online radio stations set up to lift people’s spirits during the COVID-19 pandemic, 24/7 mixes from studios that cross oceans, a tool that allows you to experience music depending on time and geography, and online radio stations that are perfect for discovering new tunes. 

1) Brum Radio

Birmingham’s independent radio station is broadcasting online 24/7 with a mix of music, arts and conversation, featuring hosts such as Pete Steel, Dave Massey and Danny de Reybekill. Every Saturday from 2 pm, they play ‘The Brum Radio A-List’ that features the latest Birmingham releases before anybody else. 

And they’re particularly perfect for lockdown times; we’re loving ‘Second City Sounds’ that’s on alternate Tuesdays from midday. Hosted by Brum Radio’s head of music Pete Steel, this is two hours of homely music with new tracks from the likes of Stone Foundation, Paper Buoys, The New Righteous Mood and loads more. 

Listen live here

2) Elara FM

With episodes such as ‘The Best Music You’ve Never Heard’, Elara FM streams shows live as they’re happening – and then provides a nice collection for you to listen to at another time too. Broadcasts start at 1pm through till evening, giving you plenty of music to listen to on these lockdown days.

Take a listen here

3) Isolation Station

Providing you with those needed quaran-tunes, Isolation Station is an online radio station that streams shows every day Monday to Friday. As well as playing all that lovely music, hosts and DJs Archie Manners, George Lawton and Hannah Sackville-Byrant are regularly joined by guests. Past guests have included Ollie Locke, Alan Cumming and Kem Cetinay. 

The team also give you the chance to join in using their Chat Box, or via their Instagram channel

Take a listen here

4) Lock Down Brum

If you’re after some community spirit mixed in with your music, you can’t go wrong with Lock Down Brum. Launched across Facebook and Instagram, it aims to inform, entertain and bring together the people of Birmingham during the COVID-19 pandemic with virtual quizzes, comedy and plenty of music. 

They regularly feature live stream musical performances from local DJs and artists as well as their weekly music quizzes in collaboration with Stoo Pittaway (every Monday at 8pm via Zoom). 

Find out more here

5) NTS Radio 

If you’re after 24/7, non-stop underground music, then NTS Radio is where to head. The team are based in London but have studios in Los Angeles, Shanghai and Manchester. You can tune in live or listen back to their music archive of radio and mixes.

Their regular shows feature intimate bedroom pop, lo-fi indie ballads, DIY rock epics and more. Their ‘Explore’ feature also allows you to get rather niche and segment by genre and sub-genre to search for past episodes. For example, we searched ‘New Club’ followed by ‘Gqom’ and found plenty of episodes to keep us happy. 

NTS Radio also offer ‘Infinite Mixtraps’ with music-only themed radio streams, made from NTS residents and guest shows. Choose from ‘Memory Lane’, ‘Poolside’, ‘100% Hip Hop’, ‘Slow Focus’ and ‘4 to the Floor’.

Take a listen here

6) Radiooooo

Okay, so not your typical online radio station, but we love this site so much that we had to feature it in the list. You know how typically you might scroll through artists and songs alphabetically? Well, what if you could explore them historically and geographically?

With Radiooooo, your way of listening to music just got way more creative. Presented with a world map, you pick a country and select a decade in the 20th century or the 00s (or listen to contemporary music via the ‘Now’ option). You’ll then be hit with a wonderfully curated playlist of crowdsourced songs from that particular place and time in history. 

You can go anywhere in the world. Curious to go back to Cuba in the 1920s, sixties Paris or eighties Berlin? It’s all possible. You’re also given the option to explore in different speeds: ‘Slow’ for chilled music, ‘Fast’ for more dancing beats and ‘Weird’ for bugging out. You can also select ‘Taxi Mode’ and select multiple decades and countries to curate your own playlist. 

Go around the world countless times or spend hours in one decade. We’re grateful for this discovery for sure. 

Take a musical tour around the world here

7) Rate Your Music 

Again, this isn’t an online radio station per se, but a member of the BIMM staff recommended Rate Your Music, and we couldn’t really not include it. Rate Your Music is an online community of people who love music and catalogue, rate, tag and review music. 

It’s a fantastic platform for discovering new music and browsing how people have ranked music, such as the Top Albums of All-Time, Top Albums of 2020, and any Custom Chart you can think of. Each entry has its own Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud and YouTube link so you can stream online. Plus, anyone’s free to sign up, become a user themselves and start rating music. Prepare to say goodbye to a fair few hours of your free time (in the best way possible). 

Browse those music ratings here.

8) Threads Radio  

With a diverse and unique selection of music alongside socially, politically and comedic talk-based content, Threads Radio is sure to cover everything you could need. 

Pre-coronavirus, the team ran the show from The Cause music venue in Tottenham and were at the forefront of the district’s exciting cultural activity, while simultaneously engaging with the area’s difficult issues. 

Throughout lockdown, the team are introducing fresh music shows, such as new releases in UK hip-hop and left-field dance and afro-jazz. They also showcase live guest mixes, film-and-TV-music specials, ‘In Session’ sets, guest takeovers and loads more.

Take a listen here. 

Have a burning recommendation for music films. tutorials or music YouTube channels? Keep an eye on our social channels for your favourites to be included in our upcoming NoticeBORED lockdown lists.


BIMM University

BIMM University provides an extensive range of courses in modern music, performing arts, filmmaking, and creative technology to over 8,000 students across 14 schools in the UK, Ireland, and Germany. We have a long-standing commitment to providing the highest quality in creative industries education, allowing students to maximise their career potential in an inclusive community built on a culture of shared passion, creativity, and collaboration. Berlin | Birmingham | Brighton | Bristol | Dublin | Essex | London | Manchester