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HEAR Now Festival 2017

We just got back from the 2017 edition of the HEAR Now Festival a couple of days ago, but we’re still buzzing from the experience.

The HEAR Now Festival is kind of like a film festival for audio drama. A mix of well-known, well-funded talent plus a whole host of independent producers get together for a weekend in Kansas City and talks shop, shows off their work, and generally just has a grand old time living in a world of sound.

This year was ARTC’s third year attending this festival (although we also attended other festivals put on by National Audio Theatre Festivals in the past) and also our third year being featured as part of the Podcast Palooza. This year the Podcast Palooza was divided into four categories – Platinum, which are the audio stories featured at the listening sessions at the festival, plus Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Our entry, Treasure Island was featured in the Gold tier and you can hear part 1 of the 5-part adaptation there.

Also attending this year’s festival was Simon Jones, notable for his roles in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and he also had an appearance as the Master of Karn in a Dr. Who stage play, among many, many other appearances on stage, television, and radio. And we have to say, Mr. Jones could not have been a nicer person to meet and talk to. We hope he’ll make it back to the festival again in the near future!

David Benedict and Simon Jones
David Benedict and Simon Jones

The festival also included a live performance, as part of the Audio Tonight presentation, from WildClaw Theatre from Chicago, who invite you to submit your horror audio drama script to their 10th annual Deathscribe competition.

Ele Matelan and Joe Griffin on Foley
Ele Matelan and Joe Griffin on Foley for WildClaw Theatre’s presentation of “Skinny”

There was also a really innovative presentation of Macbeth, done with a binaural microphone setup and the entire audience on wireless headsets.

The actors gather around the binaural head in the center of the stage
The actors gather around the binaural head in the center of the stage

Overall an excellent time was had and we can’t wait for next year’s festival!