Vote in John Peel’s festive 50, now hosted by Dandelion Radio

Vote in the festive 50 hosted by Dandelion Radio
Vote in the festive 50 hosted by Dandelion Radio
It’s that time of year again. Or, to be precise, it’s that time of year again a month later then usual. Yep, it’s time to get your votes in for the Festive Fifty. As I’m sure most of you know the Festive Fifty was the end of year kneesup on John Peel’s ‘wingding’ wherein he asked all his listeners to name their favourite three tracks from the previous year and send them in to him to be compiled into a chart of, almost exclusively, the best independent releases of the previous year.

When Peel died his production team, headed up by Alison Howe (now better known as producer of Jools Holland’s ‘Later’ programme) didn’t want a tradition that stretched back to 1976 to finish so, after one year of it being hosted by Radio 1, they asked Dandelion Radio to become the new home of the annual Festive Fifty. If you’re familiar with Dandelion Radio you will know this is the most natural fit in the world. The station was setup by people inspired by Peel & who were adamant they wanted to preserve his legacy. In their own words they are “dedicated to serving the needs of the people who create and distribute new and interesting music” and they “provide a unique listening experience, with the spirit of Peel running through all we do”.

So, you probably know the drill. The track must’ve been released in the previous year but it can have been released on any format; an album track, a session track from either Dandelion Radio itself or one of the many BBC sessions during the past year, a digital download, an exclusive dubplate or a single. Your choices don’t have to have been played by Dandelion Radio but it would be preferable if it had. We all know how irked Peel used to be on the occasion of tracks he’d never played scoring an entry in the Festive Fifty. To help you out in choosing tracks you can visit Dandelion Radio’s track listing.

So get your thinking caps on folks. As it takes a while to compile all the results into a list voting closes at the end of November (30th Nov) so basically you have just over a week to get your results in. As in previous years everyone who votes will be entered into a competition to win various prizes including CDs and copies of Mark Whitby’s book ‘The Festive Fifty’. Although I’m sure you don’t need an incentive to help create Festive Fifty history.

The results are traditionally broadcast on Dandelion Radio on Xmas day, starting at midnight. So if you’re the kind of person who goes to midnight mass I’d suggest you smuggle in an idevice & headphones so you can listen in using the free Dandelion Radio App.

If you want inspiration in the form of a trip down the Festive Fifty’s memory lane some clever devil (@davenolan) has setup the “Peelplayer”. Mary Anne Hobbs tweeted a link to it on the anniversary of Peel’s death & it’s well worth a look/listen. It’s a beautifully rendered online player that rotates through every track that ever got onto the festive fifty. Check it out at

To vote visit Dandelion Radio here: & remember voting closes on 30th Nov.

Oh, and if you haven’t ever listened to Dandelion Radio hang around on their site for a while after voting. I promise it’ll be worth your while.

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Guy is a former full time member of the Louder Than War editorial team, who's since moved on to pastures new. Music's been a large part of his life since he first stumbled across Peel on his tranny as a fifteen year old. His whole approach to music was learnt from Peel in fact, which includes having as inclusive a taste in music as possible. Guy devotes most of his time looking for new music & although he's been known to say "the only good music is new music" he pretty much accepts this is bollocks. Favourite band The Minutemen.


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