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This year’s Philly Podcast Festival can be an urgent social forum

Organizer Teagan Kuruna says the lineup of 50 live podcast recordings can serve as a needed outlet for pressing discussions on national and global issues.

A live recording of the "Jawn Appetit" podcast during the 2016 Philly Podcast Festival. (Photo courtesy of John Vettese)

In nine venues across Philadelphia, 50 podcasting crews will record discussions on topics so wide-ranging as 1980s pop culture, immigration and human sexuality as part of the sixth annual Philly Podcast Festival.

The fest kicked off this Saturday and will run through Sunday, July 1, including a double header with the popular Ridiculous History and Part Time Genius podcasts follower by Unhappy Hour with Matt Bellassai, and a sold-out live recording sesh with Last Podcast on the Left.

For organizer Teagan Kuruna, the podcast format has expanded to give more people a platform for the ideas and topics they’re passionate about.

“One of the biggest changes, and the most important, is a huge increase in the diversity of people who are creating the podcasts and the topics they’re covering,” Kuruna said. “There’s much more representation of underrepresented voices in media creating podcasts. Six years ago it just hadn’t happened yet.

This year’s festival will help showcase some of those local voices, like Dr. Timaree’s Sex With Timaree, Black Tribbles and My Gay Agenda.

See the schedule

There’s been an uptick, Kuruna said, in social commentary podcasts, perhaps driven by the steady growth among podcast listeners and the current political climate.

“We’re in the midst of a time right now when we’re having important conversations about what’s happening in our world,” the organizer said. “We need an outlet to express all of that and I’m seeing that, in Philadelphia, it’s happening. There are podcasts that can help you think of national and global issues.”

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