Entertainment / Events

DC is getting its very own podcast festival

The first-ever DC Podfest will bring together local podcasters for a weekend of workshops, networking and even an awards ceremony.

Step up to the mic. (Photo by Flickr user Ernest Duffoo, used under a Creative Commons license)

On the 10th birthday of NPR’s podcast directory, here’s some news that should perk up the ears of any podcast enthusiast: An annual convention for the medium is debuting this fall in the District.
From Nov. 6-8, the inaugural DC Podfest will bring together local podcasters for a weekend of workshops, networking and an independent podcast awards ceremony.
The new event is meant to promote a growing medium that is still contending with many skeptics.
“It’s not in its infancy anymore, but it’s still in its adolescence,” said DC Podfest cofounder Jennifer “Jelly” Crawford. “And it’s got a lot to prove.”
Crawford started her own podcast — The Jellyvision Show — when she ran The Soundry, a Vienna-based coworking space for artists and performers that closed in 2011.
Crawford began by livestreaming video interviews with the men and women who frequented the coworking space.
Eventually, she transitioned to a purer, audio-only platform to better capture the spirit of the show.

“I didn’t want the waters to be muddied,” said Crawford, who now records shows from her dining room in Fairfax. “I didn’t want people to get tied to the screen.”
About a year ago, Crawford realized that there wasn’t much by way of organized team spirit among D.C.-area podcasters. “It’s very hard to find or search for podcasters geographically,” she said.
So she created the DC Podcaster Community group on Facebook and organized mixers and critique events once a month.
With the DC Podfest, she hopes to notch up community awareness and open up new dialogues. She and cofounder Alex Vidales hope to convene about 200 local podcasters.
The DC Podfest is looking for speakers, as well as volunteers, sponsors and panelists.
Apply to speak

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