Now Hear This Festival brings podcast fans and hosts together for a weekend of laughs, thought and live episodes

My weekend at the Now Hear This Podcast Festival was sandwiched between weekends at Electric Zoo and The Meadows. Now Hear This was a gathering of fellow fans, topped off with special meet-and-greets, that created something charming, satisfying and rewarding. Now Hear This showed that while podcast festivals aren’t the new music festival, in some ways they’re better.

My weekend began at Lovett Or Leave It, one of the most popular shows of Friday. In front of a sea of fans sporting “Friends of the Pod” shirts, Jon Lovett started off the weekend with a bang, performing a show that included special guest Sasheer Zamata reciting the lyrics of “Look What You Made Me Do.” The show filled the space it had been assigned at the Javits Center in Hells Kitchen, and led to thoughtful discussion on stage and off.

Lovett Or Leave It and How Did This Get Made, which followed on Friday, showed the true appeal of Now Hear This. While podcasts tend to be solitary and disposable, the festival was a celebration of the media form. Time spent waiting in line featured conversations about memories from past episodes, ideal special guests and other favorite podcasts. Instead of enjoying a podcast in with earbuds in on the subway, Now Hear This made podcasts social.

On Saturday, Levar Burton Reads and Larry Wilmore Black On The Air put faces to the soothing voices behind two new, popular podcasts. Comedy Bang Bang, the “headliner” of the festival if you will, closed out the weekend with a massive show, nearly three hours in length, featuring Scott Aukerman, Paul F. Tompkins, Jason Mantzoukas, Jon Gabrus and a handful more of the show’s most appreciated guests. Although Aukerman joked about the length of the show from the stage, fans seemed satisfied and eager to see the celebrated podcast on stage.

Other popular shows during the festival included Planet Money, Criminal and Lore. It was a diverse weekend with shows ranging from politics and pop culture to storytelling and comedy. In addition to meet and greets, hosts were seen interacting with fans all around the venue, as if it was a gathering of friends rather than a traditional festival.

The episodes recorded at Now Hear This are being released online, and more information about the festival can be found at http://nowhearthisfest.com.

Brian Benton

Brian is the founder and editor of Respect Your Youngers. He currently lives in New York City, and previously lived in St. Louis and San Francisco. He enjoys public transportation and coffee, and can be found online at brianfbenton.com

Now Hear This Festival brings podcast fans and hosts together for a weekend of laughs, thought and live episodes

My weekend at the Now Hear This Podcast Festival was sandwiched between weekends at Electric Zoo and The Meadows. Now Hear This was a gathering of fellow fans, topped off with special meet-and-greets, that created something charming, satisfying and rewarding. Now Hear This showed that while podcast festivals aren’t the new music festival, in some ways they’re better.

My weekend began at Lovett Or Leave It, one of the most popular shows of Friday. In front of a sea of fans sporting “Friends of the Pod” shirts, Jon Lovett started off the weekend with a bang, performing a show that included special guest Sasheer Zamata reciting the lyrics of “Look What You Made Me Do.” The show filled the space it had been assigned at the Javits Center in Hells Kitchen, and led to thoughtful discussion on stage and off.

Lovett Or Leave It and How Did This Get Made, which followed on Friday, showed the true appeal of Now Hear This. While podcasts tend to be solitary and disposable, the festival was a celebration of the media form. Time spent waiting in line featured conversations about memories from past episodes, ideal special guests and other favorite podcasts. Instead of enjoying a podcast in with earbuds in on the subway, Now Hear This made podcasts social.

On Saturday, Levar Burton Reads and Larry Wilmore Black On The Air put faces to the soothing voices behind two new, popular podcasts. Comedy Bang Bang, the “headliner” of the festival if you will, closed out the weekend with a massive show, nearly three hours in length, featuring Scott Aukerman, Paul F. Tompkins, Jason Mantzoukas, Jon Gabrus and a handful more of the show’s most appreciated guests. Although Aukerman joked about the length of the show from the stage, fans seemed satisfied and eager to see the celebrated podcast on stage.

Other popular shows during the festival included Planet Money, Criminal and Lore. It was a diverse weekend with shows ranging from politics and pop culture to storytelling and comedy. In addition to meet and greets, hosts were seen interacting with fans all around the venue, as if it was a gathering of friends rather than a traditional festival.

The episodes recorded at Now Hear This are being released online, and more information about the festival can be found at http://nowhearthisfest.com.

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