During The Texas Tribune Festival this year, an estimated 9,000 free and ticketed attendees gathered over three days to hear from more than 350 speakers. Speakers included Liz Cheney, Hillary Clinton, Wendy Davis, Ted Cruz, Chris Bosh, Lyle Lovett, SNL's Alex Moffat, and Greg Cesar from Austin, Tx.
Open Congress, sponsored by PepsiCo, offered free sessions in five tents on Congress Street in Austin, Tx, within view of the Capitol building. Open congress included discussions with Keri Blakinger, Soledad O’Brien, U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, Mayors LaToya Cantrell of New Orleans, Ron Nirenberg of San Antonio and Sylvester Turner of Houston, former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, U.S. Rep. Mayra Flores. I heard Chris Bosh and Lyle Lovett speak there, and wrote about their interviews on NewsBreak.
I also attended a panel discussion on "Is Texas Good For Women?" The consensus of the panel is that Texas women must stand up for their rights and vote.
The closing session featured U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming announcing she would campaign against election deniers from the Republican Party.
She also said she would renounce her party affiliation if former President Donald Trump were chosen as the party’s nominee in 2024.
The Festival began Thursday, Sept. 22, with an opening keynote session featuring U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who described the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. He stated the governors who bussed and flew migrants across the country to Democratic leaning states were more interested in political stunts and attention than finding a solution to the problem of immigration.
TribFest offered more than 125 one-on-one interviews, panel discussions and in-depth conversations as part of this year’s highly anticipated event. The Texas Tribune Festival is the biggest event hosted by The Texas Tribune each year and is known for its provocative programming, the diverse mix of politicians and activists, along with true investigative journalists.
“It is so fun to be back in person after two virtual years — better than we ever could have imagined. So many smiling faces, so many crowded venues, so many selfies with the biggest names,” said Tribune CEO and co-founder Evan Smith. “We delivered on our promise to give our guests three full days of in-depth conversations with some of the most influential and interesting people in the state and the country on topics that impact our daily lives. And the news made onstage at TribFest is as important as ever as we look ahead to Texas’ upcoming legislative session and, of course, the 2024 election cycle.”
At the Festival this year, lawmakers previewed their objectives for the upcoming legislative session while others spoke on national issues. Ted Cruz denounced new gun restrictions; New York City Mayor Eric Adams slammed Greg Abbott for refusing to coordinate migrant busing efforts; Republican U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas took aim at his own party’s “woke right” for stoking division; Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan ruled outraising the minimum age to buy a firearm; and Pete Buttigieg blasted Texas Republicans on their handling of migrants, LGBTQ rights and more.
The Texas Tribune Festival is known for pulling together a variety of change agents to discuss how to move Texas and the country forward.
Bestselling authors, including Katy Tur, Garrett M. Graff, Keri Blakinger, David Becker,Susan Glasser, Major Garrett, David Maraniss, Jann Wenner, Will Hurd, Peter Bakerand Jamie Raskin, also spoke and signed books.
As part of a marquee media partnership between The Texas Tribune Festival and CBS News, key CBS political correspondents appeared at this year’s event, including Robert Costa and Major Garrett. The partnership also paved the way for some interviews to appear across CBS News platforms.
Attendees enjoyed free preventive health care screenings from Walmart and Curative Health.
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The Texas Tribune Festival is made possible with the support of generous sponsors.
Premier Festival sponsors include Arnold Ventures; American Journalism Project; Curative; DoorDash; Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc.; PepsiCo; Punchbowl News; Raise Your Hand Texas; Sixth Street; Sumners Foundation; Texas Monthly; and Walmart.
Major sponsors include Baylor University, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, The Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation, Frito-Lay North America, HCA Healthcare, Loewy Law Firm, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, The Panacea Collective, Quest Diagnostics, Sands Corporation, Texas 2036, Texas A&M University, Texas Managed Care Alliance, Texas Woman’s University, The University of Arizona, UTHealth School of Public Health and Visit Fort Worth.
Supporting sponsors include AARP Texas; Anheuser-Busch; Austin Community College District; Barron, Adler, Clough & Oddo; The Beer Alliance of Texas; Bunkhouse; Catena Foundation; Centerpoint Energy; Chevron; The Commit Partnership; Educate Texas; Energy Foundation; Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation; The Hackett Center; H-E-B; Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston; Hotel Magdalena; JPMorgan Chase; Nuro; Oncor; Paso Del Norte Center; Pastors for Texas Children; Pescador Public Strategies; Philanthropy Advocates; Raptor Technologies; Reissa Foundation; Rice Master Social Policy Evaluation; St. David’s Healthcare; Supermajority; Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance; Texas Association of Community Colleges; Texas Biomedical Research Institute; Texas Cultural Trust; Texas REALTORS; Texas Rural Funders; This is Project Texas; Tito’s Handmade Vodka; Trellis Foundation; University of Texas Press; and WGU Texas.
Media partners include CBS News, Austin American-Statesman, The Austin Chronicle, Austin PBS, Austin Vida, CityCast.fm, The Dallas Morning News, Financial Times, KERA, KPRC, KSAT, KVUE, ProPublica, Ricochet, Texas Standard, The 19th*, WFAA and Vox Media.