A shop that banned cheesy Christmas songs last year is now sponsoring a radio station that only plays festive hits.
Last Christmas, York Gin made international headlines by banning Mariah Carey, Slade and Wizzard from its shop in York, one of the UK’s most festive cities.
The U-turn – sponsoring and playing the XmasMix station which plays back-to-back cheesy Christmas songs – is designed to raise Covid-hit spirits.
The city’s Town Crier Ben Fry says the move has ‘literally saved Christmas for Mariah fans’.
Last year’s ban on Christmas hits was designed to spare shop staff from having to listen to the same tunes several times a day on a loop for weeks on end.
But this year the company says it wants to help everyone get into the Christmas spirit – and will be playing the XmasMix station in the shop.
Bosses have cleared the move with staff who want as much Christmas cheese as possible.
Gin expert Alex Mather, who advises customers in the shop, said: ‘Anything jolly and happy has to be a good thing after the year we’ve all had.
‘Last year seems like a lifetime ago, and the cheesy tracks ban is but a distant memory. The whole shop team says: Bring on Mariah and co this Christmas.’
York Gin co-founder Emma Godivala said: ‘This is the year of the U-turn, so we wanted to get in on the act. Seriously, though, 2020 has been frankly awful – with the pandemic, lockdowns, and so much uncertainty. In York, even our Christmas market has had to be cancelled.
‘So when the call came to help bring some festive cheer, we knew we had to do a complete U-turn on last year and save Christmas in York. And we hope the Christmas station will lift the spirits of everyone, everywhere who loves Christmas. You can listen and dance along to XmasMix online from literally anywhere in the world!’
XmasMix Director and York Town Crier Ben Fry said: ‘We absolutely love Christmas in York and with everything happening we knew the city needed a Christmas radio station this year, but we couldn’t do it on our own. So we approached York Gin, and their sponsorship has literally saved Christmas for Mariah fans all across North Yorkshire.’
The station will be broadcasting from 12 Novemberuntil 26 December.
XmasMix Radio with York Gin will be available on DAB+ across North Yorkshire, smart speakers and the new YorkMix radio app.
The Xmas station is a festive warm up for North Yorkshire’s new radio station York Mix Radio which launches in January.
York is one of the UK’s most Christmassy cities. As well as a tradition of a local festive-themed radio station, York has the most Christmas-loving Twitter users, and York homes have the third most Christmas lights in the UK (with an average of 230), according to recent surveys.
York also has two Christmas shops that are open all year. The Christmas Market (cancelled for 2020 because of Covid) won a first prize at the Great British Market Awards 2019.