Ian Wilson

The unsung hero behind the Fanning Sessions, without him they might never have happened. Born in Waterford in 1954, he studied at Trinity College Dublin, where he was Entertainments officer and Students’ Union President, following graduation he joined the fledgling RTE Radio 2 (now known as 2FM) in 1978 as a producer [1] and according to Dave was instrumental in RTE’s hiring of Fanning. Dave elaborates on Wilson’s contribution here and here. Ian is currently producing Countrywide on RTÉ Radio 1. Ian retired from RTÉ on January 5th 2019, check out Ian’s Fanning show appearance that very day.


A bio on the RTE ‘Other Voices’ website takes up the story:

Ian Wilson was one of the founding producers of RTÉ 2FM. He produced Dave Fanning’s rock show for 11 years; began the Fanning Sessions in 1980; organised the ‘Lark in the Park’ outdoor concerts all over Ireland and also kicked off the country’s first free outdoor dance shows, ‘The Beat on the Street’.

In the meantime he launched 2FM live, for 16 years now the main live broadcast and recording operation on the island, with over 1,000 acts recorded and broadcast at every major festival and live event.

He founded and was chair for six years of the EBU’s Eurosonic group, co-ordinating the activities of Europe’s main 67 music/rock/ young radio stations, and started the Eurodance cross Europe live dance shows. He also brought the 2FM Dance sessions live from clubs all over Ireland with a full video stream on the Internet.

At the moment Ian is in charge of alternative music and music production on RTÉ 2FM. In past lives he worked on pirate radio, for In Dublin magazine, was president and vice-president of the student bodies in TCD, following on from being Ents officer for two years. He is married to ‘Morning Ireland’ presenter, Aine Lawlor.

[1] “Those who called the tune in Irish music during 2005“, Irish Examiner January 04, 2006

[2] “Dutch courage“. The Irish Times. 2009-01-23. “Eurosonic is also on the radar of many Irish bands. Thanks to the longstanding involvement of 2FM producer Ian Wilson, there has always been a strong Irish representation at the festival. This year, the station paid the bills for Fight Like Apes and The Coronas, while Declan De Barra, Wallis Bird and Belfast band General Fiasco also played at the festival. Station DJs Dan Hegarty and Jenny Huston broadcast shows from Groningen featuring live sets from the Irish contingent.”

5 Responses to “Ian Wilson”

  1. Fanning Sessions Says:

    Check out Ian’s Hot press Mad Hatter appearance https://fanningsessions.wordpress.com/2011/06/29/ian-wilson-mad-hatter/

  2. Hi. My name is Derek Keegan.Im in a 2 piece rock n roll acoustic act called The Chase. We ve been gigging around Dublin every weekend now for the last year and are beginning to get a name for ourselves.
    Influenced by The Beatle, The Kinks, Simon and Garfunkel we do our best to show this through our music.
    I am wondering would it be possible to send our recently recorded single to you, maybe consider using it for production/advertising of to give us a review. If you are interested i can send you a copy of our song.We would be very grateful..
    Thank you for your time.
    Derek from The Chase.

  3. I emailed Ian today looking for any ways that he could help my band COALTRAAN. Jees! He just replied! He was helpful, honest and informative. Is’nt it great that someone of his stature can still show an interest in some minnows of original Irish music. Minnows, but not for long. Cheers Ian.

  4. John Madigan Says:

    Hi @Coaltraan thats great to hear! could you pass on his email address? form a Waterford based band called In The Willows struggling to track it down!

  5. We did a Fanning session with Ian Wilson and I can’t find it anywhere we were a Carlow band called Sissy

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