With the BBC likely to announce the closure of 6 Music we’d like to think a nation mourns. However it seems according to the Times (here) that only 20% of adults even know the station exists. Hardly surprising considering it is a more alternative music station broadcasting on digital and internet only with very little exposure compared with the likes of Radio 1, 2 or a TV show such as X Factor. Maybe Lauren Laverne needs to have a lesbian affair with Cheryl Cole / Tweedy in the 6 Music offices and then mistakenly send the photos to The Sun in a text message. That would raise its profile.
So whilst a nation may not be saddened at its closure (or that of Asian Network which is also being culled) there is no doubt that its loss is tantamount to cultural vandalism. BBC 6 Music may not have the highest listening figures, but let’s not forget biggest is not always best. Small can influence. Drop a small stone into a pond and watch the ripples grow. We’ve learnt a little bit about that ourselves in the last year through this blog. BBC 6 Music is one of those stones. Commercial stations can’t be as inventive or take risks the way 6 Music can and has.
Even a site like Popjustice, which readily admits that the 6 Music playlist does not fall into its view of things, has concerns about its ending and can see the cultural impact it may have (here).
We firmly believe that a licence funded BBC is one of the reasons why the UK music scene has always punched above its weight. The closure of 6 Music is likely to lessen the power of that punch. There will always be an argument on how much of the nations budget should be spent on culture. But in this case we believe the BBC are making a huge mistake.
Very sad indeed.