Banging tunes in the basement: finding online community in COVID-19 lockdown

Helen Wolfenden, Howard Sercombe, Adrian Renzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unique restrictions on human sociability. In response, exceptional initiatives using a range of existing technologies and platforms have emerged to mitigate lockdown isolation. Basement Traxx, a kind of hybrid DJ set streamed from a Glasgow basement, was one of these initiatives. As the lockdown was extended, it became a virtual gathering space, with unexpectedly powerful impacts on its audience. This research seeks to define and describe this phenomenon. In this study, we find new permutations of engagement in space, in time and in presence. We find expressions of joy in the show’s particular sociability. In the isolation of lockdown, here is an experience in which participants felt affirmed, validated and re-constituted as subjects and actors. In their response, we find an enthusiastic push-back in favour of communal musical spaces and against a political economy of music that has pressed relentlessly towards isolation, individuation and commodification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-84
Number of pages20
JournalRadio Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • DJ
  • Facebook
  • liveness
  • music
  • pandemic
  • party
  • podcast
  • streaming


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