Anger from podcasters as British Podcast Awards charges £300 to attend

Jon Sopel and Emily Maitlis left the BBC earlier this year to join media group Global (Global/PA) (PA Media)
Jon Sopel and Emily Maitlis left the BBC earlier this year to join media group Global (Global/PA) (PA Media)

Anger at the British Podcast Awards, where people in the industry are upset and being charged more than £300 to attend a lavish ceremony even if they are nominated.

Talia Augustidis, who is nominated for Rising Star, said she was “very excited” with her nod, but added: “Although the nomination is slightly soured by the fact I can’t afford to go… What entry-level, independent audio producer could possible pay £318 for a ticket?” she said.

Luke Aaron Moore, who runs Stak., a podcast company, said: “the British Podcast Awards are expensive, extortionately so. For us to enter even 50% of our shows, with the ticket entry and entertaining that comes along with it, it costs near £2000.” He added: “What is offered in return is at best confused, and at worst a scandal.”

Another podcaster, Francesca Tortora, wrote online: “At risk of biting the hand that feeds you, this is truly gross. So painfully out of step with what the British Podcast Awards is (was?) and the ethos of podcasting as a whole. Is the intention to actively exclude independents? If so, GOLD award for you.”

One person who judged in previous years said they were expected to do too much work for free this time, so opted out.

Fellow podcaster Axel Kacoutié said: “Judges judge for free, and nominees are celebrated but can’t afford a ticket. who’s this actually for? We’re very confused and insulted.”

Elizabeth Day is chair of the judges. Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel’s podcast The News Agents looks set to clean up, having been nominated for three awards.

Organisers Haymarket, who bought the company that runs the awards last year, tell us that they are running a bursary scheme to help with tickets.

They said in a statement: “Inclusion and accessibility are a priority for the British Podcast Awards (BPAs) and we have a bursary scheme that offers free tickets to shortlisted entrants from under-represented groups and independents. Information about how to apply for the bursary scheme is on the BPA website.

“We have invested a lot in this year’s BPAs to ensure everyone involved gets the platform and recognition they deserve. We have moved the ceremony to a top central London venue with unlimited food and drink, great entertainment and an after-party.” It’s set to be the biggest night of the year for the podcast industry, as we come together to celebrate a truly impressive shortlist.”

For more than £300, it should be a good party.