This article explores how cultural identities are negotiated in relation to the heritage of illegal radio in the Netherlands. The term ‘pirate radio’ commonly refers to the offshore radio stations that were broadcasting during the 1960s. These stations introduced commercial radio and popular music genres like beat music, which were not played by public broadcasters at the time. In their wake, land-based pirates began broadcasting for local audiences. This study examines the identities that are constituted by the narrative of pirate radio. Drawing on in-depth interviews with archivists, fans and broadcasters, this article explores the connection between pirate radio, popular music heritage and cultural identity. Moreover, it considers how new technologies such as internet radio provide platforms to engage with this heritage and thus to maintain these local identities. To examine how the memories of pirate radio live on in the present a narrative approach to identity will be used.

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Keywords DIY heritage, cultural heritage, cultural identity, cultural memory, offshore radio, pirate radio, popular music
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Series ERMeCC - Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture
Journal Media, Culture & Society
Note Authors version in RePub
van der Hoeven, A.J.C. (2012). The popular music heritage of the Dutch pirates: illegal radio and cultural identity. Media, Culture & Society, 34(8), 927–943. doi:10.1177/0163443712455556