Reflecting On Five Years Of Live Dynasty Podcasts Panel Events
On the evening of Tuesday, March 6th, 2012, Dynasty Podcasts activated our first live podcast event. The concept, Building Your Brand Online, was a live panel featuring Andrew Barber (Fake Shore Drive), Ernest Wilkins (then at Red Eye), Jeremy Scheuch (then at Do312), Bob Nanna (Braid, then at Threadless), and Brittany Ireland (Playboy Radio). The event was held on the second floor of Rockit Bar & Grill, and can be seen its entirety in the video above.

The event was significant to Dynasty Podcasts for a number of reasons. The primary one being that it served as a turning point. At the time, myself and a few generations of contributors had been producing Dynasty Podcasts content (primarily audio) for about seven years. But this would mark the first time we aimed for a live audience event. Looking back, I’m a little surprised and impressed that we started with such a high profile first outing. It’s entirely possible no one could have come out. We had nothing to look to for precedent with this. But instead of starting small for our first venture into live podcasting, at maybe a neighborhood bar or someplace more intimate, we went for the second floor of Rockit, which was and is a serious, large scale event space.

Though the panel series with Rockit launched in spring of 2012, the seeds were planted the previous summer. On Thursday, July 14th of 2011, the legendary Q101 radio signed off  before changing formats, after a celebrated 19 years on the air. I had been working at Q101 since landing an internship there in 1998(!) at the age of 15, which meant that I worked at Q101 from my mid-teens to my late twenties. A window that significantly defined who I was on all levels. There wasn’t a single instance of me being introduced to someone where I wasn’t presented as “Jaime Black - he works at Q101.” That was just the identity I had, being a small part of such a significant operation in Chicago.

So when Q101 was no more, I was sad to see it go, but I also knew that if I was going to develop my own independent professional identity, that was my window. I already had half a decade of podcasting experience under my belt, but I was eager to break into the live event arena. I had been producing live concert events here and there for years, but never a live podcast. 

Now, all credit goes to the team at Rockit at this point, namely Tim Toomey, who then worked in marketing at Rockit, and who I knew from the music scene, and Rockit head honcho Billy Dec . That Tim entertained my pitch of a live podcast panel series aimed at Chicago’s creative community to be held onsite at Rockit Ranch’s flagship operation is above and beyond. That Billy Dec not only okayed the idea, but was supportive and involved in the process is incredible and a little surreal. To be clear, live podcasts were not common at this point. Especially not in Chicago. Billy, Tim, and the Rockit team were not backing a sure thing. But they gave us the platform, opportunity, and support nonetheless, and I’ll always be grateful for that initial opportunity to take the podcast live.

We would go on to do panels at Rockit for about a year, before going on to do live podcasts at various venues across the city. Currently, Chicago Athletic Association is the home of Dynasty Podcasts’ live panel series, where, this Wednesday, March 1st, we’ll celebrate five years of live panels with our How To Create Content That Connects event.  The discussion features Vincent Martell (VAM), Cole Bennett (Lyrical Lemonade), Sam Bailey (Brown Girls web series), and Emily Dahlquist (Canvas). As always, our panels are free and all ages, and open to all.

Look for more Dynasty Podcasts commentaries coming to this site soon!

- Jaime Black