Francis Ford Coppola, Yo-Yo Ma, Jenny Slate, Derek Waters and More Announced for Lineup of Brooklyn’s On Air Fest 2021

Announced today, Francis Ford Coppola, Yo-Yo Ma, Jenny Slate, Mona Chalabi, Drunk History’s Derek Waters, Louder Than A Riot’s Sidney Madden and Rodney Carmichael, and Ophira Eisenberg have joined the lineup for On Air Fest 2021. From April 8th through the 10th, listeners everywhere will be able to experience the exclusive Brooklyn festival, produced by work x work, dedicated to the art of sound and storytelling when the annual event streams online for free.

Coppola will discuss his filmmaking career and creative journey with Radiotopia’s The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva), while world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma will take listeners behind the scenes of his new audio-only memoir from Audible. 

They will join other previously announced headliners including Terry Gross, who will receive 2021 On Air Audio Vanguard Award; Roxane Gay; Object of Sound’s Hanif Abdurraqib; mxmtoon; Open Mike Eagle; Adia Victoria; Code Switch’s Shereen Marisol Meraji and Gene Demby; Song Exploder’s Hrishikesh Hirway; Switched on Pop’s Nate Sloan and Charlie Harding; and The Nod’s Brittany Luse & Eric Eddings.

On Air Fest takes inspiration from creative conferences, performance art, and music festivals, bringing creators, artists, and fans together to explore the sounds, voices, and ideas that are pushing the boundaries of audio culture. This year’s festival will reimagine the annual live event with a  virtual “stage,” Community Lounge, and a ‘Sound Gallery’ presenting On Air Fest 2021 Official Selects, a series of short form audio stories. . 

The festival will kick off with podcast industry programming including Hot Pod Live on Thursday, April 8th with Nick Quah, founder and publisher of the podcast industry newsletter Hot Pod, emceeing a town hall on the state of the podcast industry with guests Renay Richardson (Broccoli Productions), Cherie Hu (Water + Music) and L:atif Nasser (Co-Host of Radiolab), while call-in guest speakers will offer key news, insights, and opinions. 

New highlights of On Air Fest 2021 include:

  • Filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola will discuss his acclaimed career and his creative journey with Radiotopia’s The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva)
  • World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Audible’s Preston Copley will take listeners behind the scenes of Beginner’s Mind, Ma’s new audio-only memoir which weaves together spoken narrative and musical interludes
  • An after-party co-hosted by Bandsintown will feature a live performance by the indie band Whitney. All On Air Fest attendees will receive a free one-week trial code for Bandsintown
  • Acclaimed poet and cultural critic Hanif Abdurraqib returns to On Air Fest to host live episodes of Sonos Radio’s Object of Sound, featuring an interview with musician Rhiannon Giddens and Song Exploder’s Hrishikesh Hirway
  • Performances and conversations with musicians including Adia Victoria, Open Mike Eagle, and mxmtoon
  • Author and New York Times contributing opinion writer Roxane Gay will speak with Thelma Golden, director of the Studio Museum in Harlem.
  • Multidimensional artist Ben Folds will talk and perform with Drunk History’s Derek Waters about creativity and songwriting and reveal his newest project.
  • Shereen Marisol Meraji and Gene Demby, host of NPR’s Code Switch, Apple Podcasts’ 2020 ‘show of the year’ will pull back the curtain on how they craft their show
  • Musicologist Nate Sloan and songwriter Charlie Harding host a live episode of their podcast Switched on Pop. which rigorously breaks down and dissects pop songs by artists like Carly Rae Jespen and the Weeknd using music theory and history.
  • Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings, co-creators and former hosts of The Nod, a podcast that explored “all the beautiful, complicated dimensions of Black life” reunite to host Saturday’s all-day programming
  • Audible will host a panel focused on the craft of storytelling and what makes a great pitch. Creators can then sign up to hone their pitches further in one-on-one pitch coaching consultations with Audible producers.

2021 Presenting Sponsors include Audible, Stitcher, Acast, Simplecast, AdsWizz and RedCircle. 2021 Program Partners include NPR, TED Audio Collective, Radiotopia, Sonos, Vox Podcast Network, Kast, Domino Sound, Talkhouse, Hot Pod, Bandsintown PLUS, and more

To register please visit or to learn more please visit:

PRODUCED BY work x work

On Air Fest builds on work x work’s innovative work which has made it the go-to, full-service agency for brands looking to participate in audio culture. In addition to developing high-profile campaigns with NPR and Spotify, the agency designs brands, produces content and creates experiences with Sonos, Mastercard, Adobe and Netflix and created The X Fronts, the first-ever upfronts for indie podcast networks. work x work’s music podcast with Sonos Radio, Object of Sound with Hanif Abdurraqib, has been named one of the top new podcasts of 2021 by outlets including The New York Times and The Guardian,  Learn more:


Source: On Air Fest, work x work