Presenting the Seventh–Annual Texas Tribune Festival!

The Texas Tribune Festival is an innovative and engaging three-day event for people who are passionate about the issues that affect all Texans. Each year, the Festival brings together some of the biggest names in politics to explore the state’s — and nation’s — most pressing issues.

This year's event will feature more than 60 sessions and 250 speakers in lively discussions on education, climate change, President Trump, the role of media in 2017, and much more.

Join us Sept. 22-24, 2017 on the University of Texas at Austin campus. See you at the Fest!


Franklin Barbecue Feast

Join us on Thursday, Sept. 21, to kick off the 2017 Texas Tribune Festival at the legendary Franklin Barbecue with a compelling conversation about the state of politics and the media following the 2016 elections.

Texas Tribune cofounder and CEO Evan Smith will moderate a discussion with Steve Schmidt, a longtime Republican political strategist and top adviser to the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush and John McCain; and Donna Brazile, a veteran Democratic political strategist, former interim chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee and former campaign director for Al Gore’s presidential run.

Tickets to this event, which include all-you-can-eat barbecue and beer, are sold separately from a Texas Tribune Festival registration. Space is extremely limited and sell out quickly, so get yours today!

The Franklin Barbecue Feast is presented by NRG Energy.


A First Look at #TribFest17 from Evan Smith

Dear Friend of the Tribune,

I’m writing with excitement to remind you that tickets are now on sale for the 2017 Texas Tribune Festival, set to take place Sept. 22-24 on the UT-Austin campus. For both the uninitiated and Festival regulars, I want to give you my inside tour of what we have in store for our 2017 event:

In addition to our usual Friday night opening session and Sunday morning closing sessions, the Saturday program — the meat of the festival — will feature ten tracks. We’ll have tracks covering our biggest beats: public and higher ed; energy and the environment; immigration and the law; and transportation and health care, along with feature keynotes that will tackle major national and global topics with the biggest-name speakers on the program. Elsewhere, we’ll have an entire track devoted to life in the age of President Trump and another on the intersection of the media, politics and civic engagement. We’ll have one on the 2018 election cycle, in Texas and nationally. We’ll have a track on the challenges and opportunities for Texas’ big cities (Texas has six of the 20 largest cities in the country, more than any other state). We’ll have a whole track of podcasts recorded before a live audience. And we’ll have a series of town hall meetings throughout the weekend at which the audience gets to fire questions at and engage with our guests.

When the schedule for the Festival is announced on Aug. 1, we’ll reveal 250+ confirmed speakers. As of now we’re, at about half that. They include Congressmen Beto O’Rourke and Joaquin Castro plus a half-dozen other members of the Texas delegation, U.S. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, Planned Parenthood's Cecile Richards, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath, 2016 independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin, former Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile, former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Tony Garza, 2014 Democratic candidate for Texas governor Wendy Davis, best-selling presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, and comedian, late night talk show host and Emmy Award-winning TV writer Larry Wilmore. We’ll also host exceptional journalists including Pulitzer Prize-winner David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post, Amy Chozick of The New York Times, Mark McKinnon of Showtime’s “The Circus,” CNN’s Chris Cillizza, MSNBC’s Katy Tur, Ben Domenech of The Federalist, Kate Nocera of BuzzFeed, Ana Marie Cox of MTV News, and Jamelle Bouie of Slate, plus the editors in chief of the Austin, Dallas, El Paso and McAllen papers. And we are just getting started. You will not want to miss this.

Register now before the price goes up on May 30.

Hope to see you there.

All best,


Register Now for #TribFest17

The registration desk for the 2017 Texas Tribune Festival is now open with a special offer of $200 — that's $100 off the walk-up rate!

This year’s Festival will cover new ground with lively discussions on what Trump means for Texas; politics and the media; and the 2018 elections; as well as the most pressing issues in public and higher education, criminal justice, immigration, health care, energy, the environment and transportation. We’re excited to bring back crowd-favorite events from 2016, including the official Festival kick-off event at Franklin Barbecue and TribFeast, our Saturday evening dinner to support nonprofit journalism.

The 2016 Festival shattered previous records, attracting over 87,000 combined in-person attendees and livestream viewers throughout the weekend. High-profile speakers included U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz; former state Sen. Wendy Davis; musician and Alamo enthusiast Phil Collins; Texas Tech climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe; Ohio Gov. John Kasich; Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick; Gary Johnson, 2016 Libertarian Candidate for President; Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings; former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison; U.S. Reps. Joaquin Castro and Will Hurd; and many more.

Register today for the 2017 Texas Tribune Festival; prices go up on May 30. We’ll see you there!

Join us for The Texas Tribune Festival in 2017

Mark your calendars! The seventh annual Festival will be held Sept. 22-24, 2017 on the University of Texas at Austin campus.

To receive updates about registration, speaker announcements, volunteer opportunities and much more, sign up for our email list.

Stay tuned for more exciting announcements on all we have in store for TTF 2017!

A Look Back at #TTF 2016

From lively political discussions during each panel to exciting special events throughout the weekend, the sixth annual Texas Tribune Festival was undoubtedly our best yet! Relive all the action with video, audio and photos from the many Festival highlights and events.


You can now watch videos from numerous sessions, including our opening keynote with Ohio Gov. John Kasich, our closing keynote with Evan McMullin, 2016 independent candidate for U.S. president, a discussion with former state Sen. Wendy Davis and may others listed below:

One on One with John Kasich
Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith interviewed Ohio governor and former 2016 Republican presidential candidate John Kasich.

A Cure for Cancer
New York Times Magazine Editor-in-Chief Jake Silverstein led a panel discussion with former professional cyclist Lance Armstrong, state Rep. Sarah Davis, MD Anderson Cancer Center president Ronald DePinho and James Wilson, chief scientific officer of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.

The Remaking of the Alamo
Author Stephen Harrigan interviewed Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush; Phil Collins, musician and author of "The Alamo and Beyond: A Collector's Journey"; and state Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio.

Big Cities, Big Challenges
Dallas Morning News Editor Mike Wilson interviewed Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

One on One With Ken Starr
Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith interviewed former Baylor Chancellor and President Ken Starr.

Can the Center Hold?
Alex Wagner, senior editor at The Atlantic, led a panel discussion with former U.S. Rep. Tom Davis, R-Virginia, former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and former U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson.

Is Texas Good for Women?
Texas Tribune Editor-in-Chief Emily Ramshaw interviewed former Texas Comptroller Susan Combs and former state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth.

The State of Black America
Author Touré interviewed Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor and National Center for Policy Analysis Executive Director Allen West.

What’s the Matter With Congress?
Texas Tribune Washington Bureau Chief Abby Livingston led a panel discussion with U.S. Reps. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, and Bill Flores, R-Waco.

One on One With Ted Cruz
Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith interviewed U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

The LGBTQ Agenda
MTV News senior political correspondent Ana Marie Cox interviewed former Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

The View From Elsewhere
New York Times Magazine contributor Robert Draper interviewed Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

2016 WTF?
Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith led a panel discussion with former Washington Post reporter Chris Cillizza, MTV senior correspondent Ana Marie Cox, MSNBC political correspondent Steve Kornacki, Time Washington correspondent Jay Newton-Small and Washington Post national political reporter David Weigel.

One on One with Evan McMullin
Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith interviewed Evan McMullin, an independent 2016 candidate for president.


Listen back to nearly all the Festival sessions via Soundcloud and relive your favorite moments from each panel!


Browse through photos from all three days of the Festival. The password to download photos is: ttf2016.