Belfast to celebrate digital radio

Digital Radio UK is pleased to announce Doing the DAB: Belfast, a special event celebrating the growth of digital radio in Northern Ireland which will take place as part of the Belfast Media Festival on 17 November.

The session is a first bringing together senior speakers from the BBC  and commercial radio in Northern Ireland including Bauer’s Downtown Radio, Downtown Coutry  and Cool FM; BBC Radio Ulster and  BBC Radio Foyle; Wireless Group’s U105; and RTE, as well as Digital Radio UK.

Confirmed speakers include local broadcaster John Rosborough; Stuart Robinson and Mark Mahaffy of Bauer Radio, Northern Ireland;  Michael Tumelty of BBC Northern Ireland and Larry Deeney of  BBC Radio Foyle; Jimmy Buckland and Peter McVerry of Wireless Group;  JP Coakley from RTÉ; Bryan Coombes from Arqiva; and Ford Ennals from DRUK. The session is open to all attendees of the Belfast Media Festival which is free to register and registration will open shortly here.

Digital radio listening in Northern Ireland is now growing faster than the rest of the UK and the availability of DAB has been transformed with over 54 stations available, and coverage expanded.  The last 3 years have  seen the launch of local stations Downtown Country, BBC Radio Foyle and most recently U105 on DAB, as well as the launch of the second national DAB network, Sound  Digital, with 18 stations. This investment in content and coverage has accelerated the growth of DAB ownership to 40% and digital listening to 30%, behind the rest of the UK but growing fast.

Doing the DAB: Belfast  will hear about the future of digital radio in Northern Ireland and how  local stations BBC Radio Ulster, BBC Radio Foyle, Downtown Radio,  Downtown Country, Cool FM and U105 are using digital platforms to reach new audiences. Additionally,  the Republic of Ireland’s public service broadcaster, RTÉ, will talk about future plans for digital radio.

Doing the DAB: Belfast follows the successful series of digital radio events held in Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham and Liverpool which have all been well-attended and stimulated debate and interest for digital radio.

The Belfast Media Festival is in its eigth year and attracts 500 delgates from the media industry and creative industries across Northern Ireland. It is free to register and anyone wishing to attend Doing the DAB: Belfast must be registered to attend the Festival (, as well as confirming your attanedance with Digital Radio UK in by contacting:

Ford Ennals,  CEO, Digital Radio UK , said : “We are delighted to have the opportunity to hold a special ‘Doing the DAB’ event at the prestigious Belfast Media Festival.  It’s going to be a fascinating morning as we hear from the BBC and commercial radio about their experience launching services on DAB and what the future holds for digital radio in Northern Ireland. We can’t wait.”

Mark Mahaffy, Regional Managing Director of Bauer Radio, Northern Ireland, said: “There’s no better place, and no better event to talk about the ever increasing importance of digital radio – it is already delighting more listeners than ever with greater than ever choice. DAB listening in Northern Ireland is enjoying terrific growth and Bauer Media is proud and excited to be a part of ‘Doing the DAB’ at the Media Festival in November. If you’re interested in the future of radio in Northern Ireland, best to book your place soonest!”

Michael Tumelty, Head of Radio, BBC Northern Ireland, said: “Radio is a key medium and a service which enriches the lives of listeners. This is an exciting and challenging time for radio as it is for all media. BBC Radio Ulster/Foyle is looking forward to participating in the Doing the DAB event at the Belfast Media Festival and meeting, listening and sharing ideas with all those who are passionate about radio and its future.”

Jimmy Buckland, Director of Strategy,Wireless Group, said:  “Northern Irish listeners have never had greater choice of national and local digital stations to listen to, so it’s timely that the Belfast Media Festival have arranged this session celebrating the sector’s progress. I’m looking forward to hearing from the other speakers and to sharing updates on U105’s recent DAB expansion and Wireless Group’s wider investments in digital radio.”

Event details :

Friday 17th November 2017, 11am

Belfast Media Festival

The MAC, Belfast