Jan 24, 2019 | 1103 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print





AUSTIN, TEXAS (JANUARY 23, 2019)  The Texas Tribune announced the dates of the 2019 Texas Tribune Festival today, marking year nine of the nonprofit’s signature event. The Festival will be held September 26-28 in downtown Austin, Texas, and will feature insightful panel discussions, debates, keynote addresses and community conversations all centered on and around politics and public policy, in Texas and nationally. For the second year, the Festival will also welcome attendees to Open Congress, the popular free programming woven into the event. More information can be found at

The 2019 Festival, which will fall on the heels of the 86th Legislative Session and come just months ahead of the 2020 election cycle, is expected to attract the most attendees in its history. Event organizers are making arrangements for record-breaking crowds.


"Year nine of the Texas Tribune Festival is an unprecedented opportunity to connect Texans to big ideas and big thinkers. There’s so much news to be batted about, and there are so many everyday folks — more than ever — who are desperate to be part of a conversation about politics and public policy. Coming out of the 2018 elections and heading into 2020 — and on the heels of the 2019 legislative session — we are bracing for the best fest yet. Can’t wait." – Evan Smith, CEO of The Texas Tribune


More than 120,000 combined in-person attendees and livestream viewers experienced the 2018 Texas Tribune Festival. In-person attendees — more than 7,300 — enjoyed sweeping changes to the event including the reorientation to Austin’s iconic Congress Avenue, expanded programming from one full day to two, and the integration of “Open Congress,” a free and open to the public program.


The 2019 Festival will kick off on Sept. 25, with the annual sellout conversation and exclusive dinner event at Franklin BBQ. The official program will begin on Sept. 26, with a keynote address with one of the biggest names on the political scene. Full days on Sept. 27 and Sept. 28 will offer inspiring ideas, big-thinking civil debates, dynamic networking opportunities, student programming, podcast recordings and more. The Fest will be punctuated with Friday night’s TribFeast, a formal fundraising dinner to support nonprofit journalism that brings together thought leaders, philanthropists, elected officials, policymakers and big-brand journalists to support the Texas Tribune’s ambitious, award-winning work. The Festival will come to a close the evening of Sept. 28 with a lively closing keynote.

Festival programming is designed to reflect the big politics and policy debates taking place across Texas and the nation. Conversations at the 2018 Texas Tribune Festival included politics and the press, the Trump administration’s first year, diversity and immigration, the economy, criminal justice and the law, education and more. The official Festival lineup was enriched by original programming from partners at NBC and MSNBC, a suite of media partners including Texas Monthly and Texas Standard, and live podcast recordings from media brands such as Slate, KERA and Kaiser Health News.


The 2019 Festival, like in year’s past, will feature some of the biggest and most relevant names on stage. In 2018, the Festival welcomed former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (D), U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman (R), U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-Helotes), Democratic candidate for U.S. President Julián Castro, co-host of Showtime’s “The Circus” Alex Wagner, former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates, author and civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson, U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), former White House deputy chief of staff for George W. Bush Karl Rove, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, comedian and host of the “Black on the Air” podcast Larry Wilmore, author and former head of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar, former U.S. Rep. and U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath, Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio.


For #TribFest19 updates, including advance notice of registration and updates on speakers, visit or follow the Tribune on Facebook at and on Twitter at @TexasTribune. Special pricing for students, educators and members will be available. Become a Texas Tribune member today at  

AARP, Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas, Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life, Austin Community College, The Beer Alliance of Texas, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, CenterPoint Energy, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, Educate Texas, Greater Texas Water, H-E-B, Hatton W. Sumners Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, Meadows Foundation, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute and The Hackett Center, Messina Hof Winery and Resort, Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, The Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Oncor, Panacea Collection, Pearson, St. David's Foundation, St. David's HealthCare, Texas A&M University, The Texas A&M University System, Texas Association of Community Colleges, Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities, Texas Cultural Trust, Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium, Texas Exes, Texas Public Policy Foundation, Texas Rain, Texas Realtors, Upbring and UT Southwestern Medical Center. Media support is provided by the Austin American-Statesman, Houston Public Media, Univision, Community Impact , Rivard Report, CultureMap, Voice of Asia, GateHouse Media, Slate and KERA. 




The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public media organization whose mission is to promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government and other matters of statewide interest. For more information on The Texas Tribune, please visit


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