As film, TV, and music festivals look to adapt to government-mandated social distancing directives, one major 2020 event is ready to roll the dice on a remote festival experience. The ATX Television Festival, Austin’s premiere television event, announced Monday morning the ninth season will pivot to a virtual TV celebration. Instead of canceling the festival, the 2020 edition has been renamed “ATX TV… from the Couch!” and will take place via remote panels and online programming.
Season 9 will still run, as originally scheduled, from June 4-7.
Meanwhile, the self-titled TV Camp for Grown-Ups is pushing select events to next year. This year’s crop of reunions — long a hallmark of the nine-year-old festival — will be rescheduled for 2021, including cast and crew reunions for NBC’s “Parenthood, FX’s “Justified,” and HBO’s “Oz.”
ATX was also accepting submissions to their annual pitch competition, providing undiscovered content creators a chance to have their ideas presented in front of Hollywood heavy-hitters. Further details on the status of submitted pitches and the future of this year’s competition are yet to be announced.
The ATX Television Festival is where attendees can hear what it’s like to create television directly from the actors, writers, directors, creators, showrunners, music supervisors, casting directors, and studio executives who make it. Fans can also broaden their appreciation of new and classic programs through panels, screenings, and other special events.
Though the ATX Festival typically utilizes many of the same locations and hotels as the now-canceled SXSW film festival, including the Alamo Drafthouse and Paramount theaters, the ATX team had more time to plan alternative options, talk to panelists, and discuss feasibility with various partners.
Co-founders and festival directors Caitlin McFarland and Emily Gipson released the following statement regarding this year’s changes.
These last few weeks have been incredibly challenging and continue to be full of uncertainties. Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Perhaps now more than ever, we believe that TV is a powerful medium for change and empathy. We are committed to our mission of fully serving and fostering our community at all times. For this reason, and to ensure the ongoing safety of all, this year we will not be having a physical festival in Austin, but instead we will be celebrating Television where we all enjoy it, the couch! We are excited to announce that ATX Television Festival Season 9 will be a virtual weekend (June 5-7, 2020) where we can still come together and celebrate our love of TV and its ever evolving forms, especially during times like these. We’re calling it “ATX TV…from the Couch!”
This will be a television experience unlike anything we’ve done before, and we are emboldened by the possibilities we are discussing with our panelists and partners. We are confident we can continue to have great conversations, showcase new and old favorite series, and interact with our incredible community…with a lot of fun surprises along the way. The one thing we know is that talking about TV from the place where we watch it…our living rooms…simply makes sense.
While we are sad not to be coming together physically this summer, we are excited to experience #TVTogether virtually for Season 9, and return live and in person for Season 10 (June 10-13, 2021). We’ll have more information for y’all in the coming weeks about our virtual TV Camp for Grown Ups as it will be making its way to your small screens soon.
Existing badgeholders and prospective (virtual) attendees can find more information here. Season 9 of the ATX Festival will run from June 5-7, 2020.
Our ATX Co-Founders Caitlin and Emily have an important update for you on #ATXTVs9. Please read their full statement below.
— ATX TV Festival (@ATXFestival) April 6, 2020