The Atlantic Festival has become the preeminent live exploration of the ideas that shape a changing nation, featuring conversations with the people at the center of the biggest stories. This fall, The Atlantic will bring all of America to the festival as it makes the marquee event virtual and free to attend—offering four days of news-making interviews, performances, film screenings, and conversations about the seismic challenges the country is facing, and what comes next.
The festival, taking place September 21 to 24, will be anchored by highly produced 90-minute evening headliner programs that will be streamed live. Just as The Atlantic’s journalism has been essential during the pandemic and mass protests over America’s long history of racist policies and practices, the Atlantic Festival will feature conversations about the political, cultural, and economic forces shaping our world. The festival will explore the theme of where we go from here and will also include specific topical forums on race and justice, education, small business, the future of work, and health care.
The Atlantic’s live-events team will partner with industry giant Don Mischer Productions in producing the festival. Don Mischer Productions has been involved in many of the most-watched events, including the Academy Awards, Emmys, and Super Bowl halftime shows. In 2017, they produced the ABC special “Taking the Stage” for the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
“The Atlantic Festival has consistently been an illuminating and news-driving event of national importance,” said Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic’s editor in chief. “I’m very pleased that we’re able to bring our programming to a global audience this year, especially given the leading role our journalists have played in coverage of the pandemic, and of the national reckoning around race.”
For the first time, The Atlantic is making all festival events free to access, and expects to draw audiences across the country and the world. Events will be streamed live on The Atlantic’s site and other platforms and will be hosted on Tame, an interactive platform that will let attendees seamlessly enjoy all festival events.
Additional announcements about interviewees, events, and evening mainstage broadcasts will be made in the coming weeks. Registration will open at TheAtlanticFestival.com in mid-August. Members of the media should inquire directly with the contacts below for press registration information.
Created in 2009 as the Washington Ideas Forum, the event rebranded in 2018 as the Atlantic Festival, increasing the breadth and depth of its programming to reflect The Atlantic’s illumination of the American idea, and its celebration of culture and democracy. All eyes were on the opening of last year’s festival, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi took the stage for an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg hours before announcing the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. The 2019 event also included headline-making conversations with Senator Mitt Romney, General James Mattis, former U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, and Disney CEO Bob Iger.
The Atlantic Festival is supported by Facebook as the Founding Level Underwriter; Genentech as the Presenting Level Underwriter; Allstate, Eli Lilly, and U.S. Bank as Supporting Level Underwriters; and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ExxonMobil, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and PayPal as Contributing Level Underwriters.
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