NPR Sale-a-bration featuring Live Pop Culture Happy Hour

Today my husband and I headed down to DC to check out NPR’s Sale-a-bration. They opened up a little two day pop up shop of the NPR store in an empty space where a bank used to be on the main level of their headquarters. In addition to buying a variety of NPR items at a discount you could meet a number of NPR personalities and get them to sign your stuff. The highlight of the event was the live taping of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast, which I have written about my love for before.

We had planned to meet up with some friends beforehand and meet their new kittens, but sadly Kate was sick and that plan fell through. We were still able to meet up with our friend Ed though. We serendipitously ran into Ed while he was walking from the Metro and we were looking for a parking space, so we didn’t have to worry about finding each other once we got there. Not that the space was big enough to worry about being unable to find someone you were supposed to meet there.

We got there a little after noon and did some shopping, then just hung around waiting for the show. I picked up an NPR Music t-shirt, an NPR luggage tag, and a Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me window decal.  I also snagged some free buttons from Bob Boilen, a Discover NPR Music button and a Tiny Desk button, which is my favorite.

Between 1 and 1:30 the space started filling up like crazy with people coming to see Pop Culture Happy Hour. I don’t think they expected nearly as many people because it definitely was not set up very well given the crowd. People were just shoved in around all the tables with sale items on them. The recording table was in the corner and just on floor level so unless you were right in front it was impossible to see anything, and given that I was near the back because I hate crowds and I’m super short I only got to listen. So I guess it was kind of like listening to the podcast like I do every week only worse since I was shoved in a crowd of people. Also, there were still people trying to shop or for some reason just standing around talking so it was sometimes hard to hear. I was kind of annoyed by one couple behind me who were just standing there holding a conversation the entire time. Why stand in a crowded room of people who are obviously trying to listen to something you don’t seem to care to listen to. Go somewhere else. If they ever do another live version of the podcast I will happily attend, I just hope next time they do it they do it in a space dedicated to doing the show. There was way too much going on there to make it fully enjoyable. I am very glad I went though, and don’t mean to make it sound like I didn’t have a good time because I very much did.

It was also so crowded in there that we almost had an issue with my husband not getting to see the show. We were parked at a meter so about 15 minutes prior to the start of the show he ran out to feed the meter and put our bag of stuff in the car. I had been joking that I wonder if anyone knew what the max number of people for the space according to fire code was and if anyone was paying attention. Right after Paul ran out to the car I saw the tell the security guard to not let any more people in. I was like oh crap, he’s not going to get back inside. There was a huge line of people waiting to get in, which he took a picture of.


Luckily they moved some stuff out the way and decided to let more people in, so he did eventually get back in. I was going to feel really bad if he sat outside for an hour and half waiting for me.

Here’s a picture of the crowd inside watching the show.

2012-12-15 14.05.11I stuck around after the show was over to grab some of the Pop Culture Happy Hour buttons they had made. Another friend that was unable to go asked me to get her some, so I braved the crowd and got us some. Now I am full of fun NPR buttons.

After the show they were apparently were also sticking around and moving to a nearby hotel bar for a real happy hour, which is great for people who wanted to interact with them more. I had had my fill of crowds by that point, so was just as happy to go home. It was a fun event and I look forward to the next time they do it.

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