Hillary Clinton, Anthony Fauci Headline This Year’s 100% Virtual Texas Tribune Festival

Texas Tribune founder and CEO Evan Smith (photo by Jana Birchum)

The Texas Tribune Festival has never had trouble drawing top policymakers and politicos to participate in its annual festival, even more so in election years. Now throw in a pandemic and a pretty common belief that America is busted and we need fixes fast, and you’ve got the makings for a stellar lineup.

For its 10th anniversary, TribFest is going virtual, and expanding the event into a whole month of programming featuring 250 speakers in 100 different sessions in a mix of live and on-demand programming. Those speakers include:

• Former U.S. Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton

• Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who’ll speak with the great Austin writer and thinker/pandemic-predictor Lawrence Wright on “what we’ve learned about the coronavirus, the reaction of the federal government compared with the states, when it’s safe to reopen and the road ahead”

• U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, because he apparently has strong opinions on “big tech, ‘cancel culture,’ and [his] outlook on the 2020 and 2024 elections” that he intends to share with CNN’s Jake Tapper

• Pulitzer Prize-winner Nikole Hannah-Jones (The 1619 Project), speaking with Wesley Lowery of CBS News. (Hannah-Jones is one of several speakers – including Clinton and Black Lives Matter movement founder Alicia Garza – who’s booked to appear first at another Austin-based virtual summit, this weekend’s The 19th Represents, founded by Trib alums Emily Ramshaw and Amanda Zamora.)

Willie and Annie Nelson, who’ll speak with Andy Langer (Texas Monthly) about marijuana policy reform, the CBD business, and farming

• The principals behind The Lincoln Project – George Conway, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver, and Rick Wilson – who’ll join Ana Marie Cox for a live taping of her Crooked Media podcast With Friends Like These todiscuss their efforts to “defeat President Donald Trump,” which is a fairly anodyne way to describe their scorched-earth viral videos your dad just loves to forward you

• Austin mayor Steve Adler alongside the mayors of San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, El Paso, and Houston tackling COVID’s impacts – “what went right, what went wrong, and how Texas’ big cities will lead the way forward.”

TribFest 2020 runs Sept. 1-30, 2020. A general admission pass to the entire event, featuring a month’s worth of panels, discussions, and “surprise experiences,” is $199. Discounted passes are available for Texas Tribune members ($149), educators ($79), and students ($49). As in years past, TribFest will also include limited free programming. Speaker, schedule, and registration information is available at festival.texastribune.org.