Skip to main content



May 13, 2024



“Where Fantasy Reigns and Danger Lurks: The Untold Story of the Texas Renaissance Festival”

QCODE, a premium content studio and podcast network, announced the new season of the true crime podcast series “Crime Waves” in partnership with Faceplant and in association with No Smiling. RENAISSANCE, TX, the eight episode season, is created and written by award-winning journalists David Kushner, Sean Canon and Heather Shroering.

The season debuts Monday, May 13th on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and wherever podcasts are available. Listen to the trailer here.

The Texas Renaissance Festival is the largest — and rowdiest — ren fair in the nation. A place where reality and fantasy are blurred. You may think it’s all tights and turkey legs, but what if we told you that the festival has a dark side, too? Over the years, this ren fair has been the scene of murders, assaults, and other assorted crimes. We went to the fair to investigate this place where people live out their carnal fantasies and figure out just exactly how that could become so dangerous.

Season one of Crime Waves: “COLD TRUTH” focused on the life, violent death, and still-unfolding legacy of Dr. Eugene Mallove, a renowned scientist and fierce advocate for a controversial form of alternative energy called cold fusion. Part true crime, part mad science — Cold Truth follows Mallove’s near-obsessive dedication to a conspiracy-riddled field of research and how the unspooling investigation of his death became part of that story.

“This project began as an exposé of the fair. But it became a gonzo journey through a place abound with larger-than-life-characters, where fantasy blends with reality, and dark turns awaited my reporting partner Heather Schroering and me. Renaissance, Texas explores the things you’re willing to ignore for a chance to belong and how it clashes with the pursuit of power.” – – Sean Cannon


David Kushner is an award-winning journalist and author. Kushner is among the most optioned journalists in Hollywood, with works that have sold to Netflix, A24, Universal, Paramount as well as USA, Hulu, and Fox Broadcasting.

QCODE, a premium content studio and podcast network, was launched in 2019 by former Creative Artists Agency agent Rob Herting. With chart-topping, fan-favorite, critically acclaimed series, QCODE has quickly become the leading destination for immersive storytelling in the podcast space.

A new podcast company from award-winning storytellers, documentary filmmaker Steven Cantor and journalist/author David Kushner. FACEPLANT brings surprising, true stories from the world’s top journalists and documentarians to podcasting. Deeply reported and deftly told, each serial podcast is character-driven and stranger than fiction. It’s about what happens when reality smacks you in the face. From their early post-college friendship navigating the film and media landscape together, Steven Cantor and David Kushner have forged parallel careers as two of the country’s premier nonfiction storytellers.

Founded in late 2022 by journalists Sean Cannon and Heather Schroering, documentarian Evan Mascagni, and actor/producer Boyd Holbrook, No Smiling is an independent media studio that produces cinematic journalism—uncovering bombastic stories about compelling characters in audio and on the screen. Previously, No Smiling’s award-winning founders have produced several hit podcasts, including Joe Exotic: The Tiger King, WeCrashed, The Pope’s Long Con, Dr. Death: Dr. Fata, and The Big Conn.