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Preview: Pop-Up Magazine Brings Live Storytelling to D.C.

Pop-Up Magazine contributor Marc Bamuthi. JosephPhoto credit: Jon Snyder

It’s no secret that magazines have evolved over time. Print and digital magazines have struggled to maintain relevancy as viewers’ attention is harder and harder to retain. This has lead companies to explore different storytelling formats, some of them leaving behind the idea of publishing all together.

We’ve seen through media and marketing trends that the new media consumer values experiences and interactivity. In comes Pop-Up Magazine, the company which has seemed to crack the code of new age content curation. By combining the age old tradition of oral storytelling with the modern marketing phenomenon of pop up shops, the platform has found a sweet spot.

Pop-Up Magazine is a touring live magazine experience. The show features stories from writers, filmmakers, photographers and radio producers. Journalists’ stories are accompanied by art and scored by the house band Magik*Magik Orchestra to fully immerse the audience in the content. This formula makes for a multidimensional experience that traditional publishing can’t offer.

These journalists range on beat, experience and expertise. Writers include the likes of Rebecca Skloot, New York Times bestselling author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and Jason Parham, senior writer at Wired and founder and editor of Spook Magazine. Photographers include Landon Nordeman, whose work appears in The New York Times and The New Yorker, and Lara Shipley, with the MoMA and the Museum of Contemporary Photography. There will also be stories from producers from NPR and This American Life, Yowei Shaw and Stefanie Foo, respectively.

Nothing from the event is recorded for digital publishing later. To get the content, you have to be in the room. This is a bold principle for any storytelling company to stand by, but one that hinges its bets on the idea that there’s just nothing like the real experience.

According to Pop-Up Magazine communications, “The 2018 Fall Issue will travel to changing small-town America, go inside a controversial terrorist rehabilitation facility, consider the ethics of being mean to robots, attempt to bring a flower back from extinction, look at thirst traps through the ages, and much, much more.”

The Pop-Up Magazine fall tour will visit San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, Portland, Chicago and Toronto.

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The D.C. show will be Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 7:30pm at the Warner Theatre. To view the full line up and purchase tickets, visit


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