The Atlantic Festival returns this September 22–24 and 27–30 for an expanded seven days of must-attend experiences and conversations––with virtual events happening live from Washington, D.C., and streamed to subscribers and audiences around the world. For the second year, The Atlantic is making all festival events free to access, and offering special benefits for subscribers. Ticketing is now open. Press should RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The festival’s theme is “Visions of What America Can Be,” and it will feature interviews with the drivers of politics, business, tech, and culture about the ideas shaping a changing nation. Events across the seven days will mirror the reporting that has defined The Atlantic over the past year––on the pandemic, global democracy, the state of the country, culture, and our individual mental health and well-being––and involve dozens of The Atlantic’s writers and editors. Dozens of The Atlantic’s journalists, led by editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg, will participate in festival interviews and events, including podcast experiences, exclusive film screenings, and subscriber-only moments exploring the range of The Atlantic’s reporting.
“For more than a decade, The Atlantic Festival has featured important conversations about America's most critical issues and challenges,” Goldberg said. “I’m pleased that through our expanded seven days of programming, these news-making discussions will be even more widely available to audiences everywhere.”
New this year: Attendees will be able to build their own schedule along five content tracks––business and tech; climate; culture; health; and race, identity, and politics––and add relevant events to their calendar. Speaker announcements and a schedule of events will be released in the coming weeks.
"I'm so excited to bring this digital-first festival to our audience, and to connect with The Atlantic's subscribers in fresh, innovative ways on our platform," Candace Montgomery, General Manager and Senior Vice President of AtlanticLive said. "By responding to our audience's needs and creating a flexible festival, we'll be able to meet our festival fans where they are, and deliver an engaging and memorable experience."
This year will see the launch of The Atlantic Festival Artist Studio: Throughout festival programming, original works of artists across disciplines will be featured. Selected artists will each be asked to create or choose a work that represents their interpretation of the festival’s theme, and those works will be displayed at various festival events.
For more than a decade, The Atlantic Festival has been the preeminent live exploration of The Atlantic’s journalism, driving national headlines through conversations with the people at the center of the biggest stories. The entirely virtual 2020 festival heard from Stacey Abrams, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Tim Cook, Anthony Fauci, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Nancy Pelosi. The two most recent in-person festivals were both at the center of major news events: In 2018, The Atlantic Festival was situated in the middle of the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh; in 2019, all eyes turned to the festival’s opening as Speaker Pelosi took the stage hours before announcing the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. The Atlantic drew 4.5 million views to its more than 40 virtual events in 2020––and had 50 percent more attendees to virtual events that year than it had to all events in 2019.
The 2021 Atlantic Festival is supported by Facebook as the Founding Level Underwriter; Boston Consulting Group and Genentech, as Presenting Level Underwriters; Allstate and U.S. Bank as Supporting Level Underwriters; and Barclays, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, PayPal, Salesforce.org, and Truth Initiative as Contributing Level Underwriters.