On Saturday 14th July, the UK’s first women’s podcast festival, ShoutOut Live! Radical Women took place. Sponsored by Spotify, the event was filled with budding podcasters in attendance to gain wisdom from pioneers within the industry. The event acknowledged how the art of podcasting is making its impact within the digital mediasphere.
Podcasts are taking up momentum now more than ever as a popular form of media as a recent study by Spotify found that 61% of adults listen to podcasts – and it makes sense. With us living in an age that has us going at a million miles an hour and reliance on digital technology to feel connected rapidly increasing, we crave to feel that human connection through different means. Now we can connect with someone’s innermost thoughts or topics we personally resonate with through listening to their shows on our daily commute, at the gym or even whilst cooking.
The day kicked off with a panel event titled ‘Content is Queen! Developing the Next Generation of Female Podcasters’ featuring Cariad Lloyd, a comedian, actor and host of Griefcast, Fiona Sturges, a journalist from The Guardian, Chrystal Genesis, journalist and host of the Stance podcast, Anna Doble, digital editor at BBC World Service English and Elizabeth Campbell, production manager of Wooden Overcoats. The panel talk discussed the dilemmas of standing out int he industry and how to find a niche in the podcast community as well as sharing their personal stories of how they stumbled upon their niche.
The festival included with a live recording of Wanna Be, a podcast show hosted by the CEO of ShoutOut Network Imriel Morgan who interview Bethany Rutter, writer and co-host of What Page Are You On? podcast. The session touched on her experiences as a plus sized woman and her as an author and podcaster. One treasure she shared from her personal journey with dating was making a shift with making the first move with guys that she liked than who would possibly be interested in her which definitely made me realise not to settle with life, go after what you actually want. We can hear that so many times regarding our career but not when it comes to everyday things like dating and even clothes. A point she touched on as within her work in the plus sized fashion industry that it can feel like brands design clothes that they think plus sized women should be wearing than what they personally would like to wear like their slim counterparts.
The event featured panel talks from BBC Sounds and workshops with Chidera Eggerue (aka ‘The Slumflower’) a blogger and author, best known for being the founder of the #SAGGYBOOBSMATTER movement. Her workshop consisted of heartening words, motivating us to be our best lives. One gem of wisdom she dropped was “Someone can love you, but not everyone can understand you.”
The most favourable part of her workshop was when an audience member asked what was the best way to build her confidence in believing in herself to which Chidera prompted forth in her seat and put her hands together and gave her a quickfire masterclass on how to get started which impacted everyone in the room.
Moments like that reflect the beauty of podcasting, the physical sense of us being in a room hearing Chidera speak for an hour serves as a metaphor for a podcast. It’s about us learning from someone’s experiences such as Chidera sharing her journey of learning how to protect her peace when it came to trolls on social media who want to start a debate to being uplifted through sharing her journey of believing in her own sauce which made us feel personally connected, like “Hey, this person gets it and I needed to hear that today”. Seeing how Chidera’s face lit up when she got to respond to the audience member’s question and how the mood in the room elevated in response to the energy she displayed shows just how podcasts make us feel connected to each other as well as uplifted to feel the potential of being our best selves. That’s what the human experience is all about, and podcasts serve as a newer way of doing that in the digital age that is gaining more traction than ever.
To find out more information about ShoutOut Network you can visit their website here