Tune into Big Issue vendors live on Boogaloo Radio

London vendors are swapping pitches for a radio studio in the iconic The Boogaloo pub where they have been presenting their hand-picked playlists every week

Big Issue vendors are the hitting airwaves thanks to a team-up with Boogaloo Radio.

The online radio station is streamed live from The Boogaloo Pub, known as the old stomping ground of Pogues icon Shane MacGowan, and now the bar has opened its doors for vendors to take charge of the microphones every week between 10 and midday every Tuesday.

Dave Martin, who sells the magazine outside Tesco on Barb Mews, Hammersmith, became the second vendor to tries his hand at broadcasting today.

And he insisted that his small taste of radio presenting has inspired him to return to the mic at the first opportunity.

“Seeing as though it was my first time on the radio, I thought it was brilliant,” Dave told The Big Issue. “You just end up wanting to do more basically. I’m keen to put my second playlist out there. My favourite track on the show was reciting every word of American Pie.”

As well as the Don McLean classic, Dave also gave The Proclaimers’ I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) a spin. The Hammersmith vendor played the studio’s first Christmas track of the festive season – Bing Crosby’s White Christmas – in his 25-song playlist, saying: “It’s the time and I thought it was a great chance to wish everyone a happy Christmas.”

Dave is no stranger to the arts – this year his striking artwork was put on show in an exhibition this year. Meanwhile he is a regular in The Big Issue magazine’s Street Art section.


Our vendors buy every copy of the magazine from us for £1.25 and sell it on to you for £2.50. Which is why we ask you to ALWAYS take your copy of the magazine. We believe in trade not aid.

Another vendor, who asked to remain anonymous, kicked off the partnership last week. He told The Big Issue: “I really enjoyed it. I certainly want to do it again. It was fun! I liked the fact that I got to do what I like doing best and that is playing music.

“It was great to go back to DJing again. I’ve got over 20 years of news radio experience so it’s nice to DJ again! I like the format, it’s free form where I select the music. Being online is great because it is global so everyone can tune in. I love the venue Booglaoo pub.”

Boogaloo radio station is run by Gerry O’Boyle and DJ Jenn Crothers, who told The Big Issue that the team-up is a chance to show that “music is for everyone”.

“Everyone loves music and I didn’t want inviting Big Issue vendors on air to be a charity case,” she said.

“I wanted to show that someone living on the streets would still have a great taste in music.

“We’re like a family here at Boogaloo and music has really helped some of our presenters in their lives and they are on the other end of the spectrum from what Big Issue vendors are facing. Doing music is special to everyone.”

You can listen to vendors on air at Boogaloo Radio’s website.