Have you ever wondered what radio might sound like in Uzbekistan? Or what songs are getting airtime in Lichtenstein? If yes, then tune in to Radio Garden.
As journalist Tim Jones stated in 1998, “radio on the internet is yet another worldshrinking example of what communications analysts call the death of distance.” Since then, the web has come a long way, and this statement could not be more accurate for this non-profit Dutch radio, which is gaining momentum during the pandemic.
Founded in 2015 through the joint efforts of different media institutes and Studio Puckey, Radio Garden lets users tune in to more than 17,000 radio stations worldwide. It aims to overcome boundaries through this fascinating medium, and “help radio makers and listeners connect with distant cultures” as Jonathan Puckey, one of the founders of the project, said to NPR.
Upon opening the app or website, you will find a digital rendition of our beautiful planet, which is very similar to the one on Google Maps. Yet, it is scattered with thousands of bright green dots: those are the radio stations. Zoom in and click to listen to a mambo radio in Slovakia, some traditional Tajikistan music, or an Asa in Pop radio in Jeju-si, South Korea.
Your sonic explorations will be accompanied by a typical radio tuning sound effect, and the interface will showcase the name of the radio and its location. However, in the past, Radio Garden did not only broadcast live but allowed users to relive some of the most crucial events in the history of the medium by visiting the section History. For example, you could listen to the 1977 police irruption into Radio Alice, a former station from Bologna, Italy, or learn more about famous jingles and radio personalities. Hopefully, these features will come back soon.
Still, Radio Garden makes the perfect companion for your virtual tours around the world while you wait to board a plane again.