State of Texas: The Texas Tribune Festival is SXSW for political junkies

State & Regional

AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) – The Texas Tribune Festival is less than a week away and politicians are flocking to Austin from all over the country. Events start Thursday and go through Saturday including panels, live podcast recordings, book signings and much more.

The Texas Tribune CEO and Co-founder Evan Smith said there is so much to talk about this year.

“We believe that a weekend spent talking about the priorities of our state and the priorities of our country is a weekend well spent,” Smith said. “This year we’re just doing whatever we’ve done in the past just more and more and more.”

There are over 460 speakers attending the festival, from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to Congressman Mark Meadows. Smith said they want the festival to be politically balanced.

“We want people in the audience who have different political points of view to find things to like and dislike all across this program,” Smith said.

Smith compared The Texas Tribune Festival to South by South West for political junkies. However, he said while there are big name politicians attending, you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy the event because these conversations affect everyone.

“Every one of us is an American,” Smith said. “Many of us at this festival are Texans, and we believe in the communities in which we live, the states and the country. We have a stake in the outcome of these fights.”

There are discounted tickets for students, educators, government and nonprofit workers. People who don’t want to pay the price of a ticket can still get involved in the festival.

Congress Ave., South of 11 St. down to 7 St., will be closed Saturday to host dozens of free events as a part of the festival. There are also free podcast recordings on Thursday.

“We believe better to have more people in the conversation, better for Texas, better for all our community,” Smith said.

There is still time to get your ticket, and you can check out the schedule and event times at The Texas Tribune website.

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