ATX TV Festival Goes Virtual In 2020 Amid COVID-19 Concerns
The annual ATX TV Festival in Austin, Texas, has not canceled the popular event that takes place every June, but they are making some significant changes in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic .
Organizers of the event announced earlier this week that the 2020 ATX TV Festival will take place between June 5th and 7th, as originally scheduled, but all of the programming will be online. Also, the reunions that were announced for this year - including one for the cast of Scrubs - have been pushed back to 2021.
According to The Hollywood Reporter , co-founders Caitlin McFarland and Emily Gipson recently decided to cancel the in-person festival and changed the title of this year’s event to “ATX TV...From the Couch.”
"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,” said McFarland and Gipson in a joint statement. “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.”
They went on to say that they decided to make this year’s festival a “virtual weekend” because of their mission and to ensure the ongoing safety of everyone. They thought it would be a great idea to celebrate television where we all enjoy it, from “the couch.”
Season 9 of ATX Television Festival will still allow fans to come together (virtually) and celebrate their love of TV and its ever-evolving forms. McFarland and Gipson promise a television experience unlike anything they have done before, and they are emboldened by the possibilities they have been discussing with their partners and panelists.
“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,” said the co-founders.
They also revealed that they would return live for Season 10 in 2021, and that event will take place in Austin, Texas, from June 10-13, 2021. That festival will include the planned reunions that were supposed to take place this year - Scrubs, Cougar Town, Parenthood , and Oz.
All of the formal details for the virtual panels at ATX TV...From the Couch will be announced soon. Screenings and panels for The CW's Nancy Drew , Comedy Central's The Other Two and Drunk History and TBS' Full Frontal With Samantha Bee were all planned for this year.