We have a few tips on how to have your “Best Fest” experience:
Don’t come for just one person.
If you want to see one person (actor, creator, producer), you may very well be disappointed. Schedules conflict, people can drop out, or the opportunity to meet him or her may not arise. Instead, come because you like a few of the series and attendees, but ultimately because you love TV and you’d like to learn about it, discover new shows, and emerge from the weekend with a new group of TV-loving friends like yourself.
Check out shows you don’t know… you will find something new to love. We promise.
As programmers, we strive for a balance within the series that are included at the festival. From reunions to current shows to series premieres; comedies and dramas; quirky and critically-acclaimed; pop culture obsessed to educational — we work to showcase a little bit of everything. If you like a few of our shows, you might like more, so take a risk and try something new!
Bring your friends & we promise you’ll make new ones too!
We believe that TV lovers create the greatest community. You obsess, indulge, binge, and breathe your favorite series and characters — something you likely have in common with other festival attendees (and probably even our panelists), so talk to one another.
Do your homework!
Yes, it is summer vacation, but the more you know about who/what you’re coming to see, the more you’ll enjoy yourself — trust us.
First time attending ATX Television Festival? Here’s what to expect:
ATX Television Festival is not your average festival; in fact, you’ve probably never experienced an event quite like ours. Attendees are a mixture of fans and industry professionals, which creates unique opportunities for mingling, networking, and having the best weekend ever. We’re also a small (but passionate) community, which allows for a more intimate and accessible experience than your typical festival.
Venues: The festival itself consists of screenings followed by Q&A’s, as well as panels that span a wide variety of topics. The majority of screenings happen at the Alamo Drafthouse, while our panels take place at the Stephen F. Austin InterContinental Hotel. These locations are about 3 blocks from each other (an easy walk, even in the Texas heat). The State Theater is right next door to the Stephen F. Austin, and is where our larger reunions and panels are held.
- Alamo Drafthouse: If you’ve never been to an Alamo Drafthouse, you’re in for a treat!
- Stephen F. Austin
- State Theatre
- Paramount Theatre
- Google Fiber
- Trinity Hall
The ATX Way. Fest Protocol: One reason cast and crew come to Austin and to our festival (and what keeps them coming back) is that we have laid back audiences that make them feel at home (or even better than their homes).
Here’s the basic rule of engagement: ATX Festival panelists love to talk to about TV, but please try to make them comfortable. Inside the walls of the Alamo, State and Stephen F. Austin hotel (and the streets in between), they are TV fans just like you, watching and talking about their work & favorite shows with other TV fans. Feel free to chat with them about the series you just watched, or series (other than theirs) that you like, but please don’t crowd or swarm them. Give ’em space! Also, please don’t ask for them to sign everything you own; pictures should be kept at a minimum, if at all (we know it’s hard, but take a mental picture of the awesome moment in time they are giving you), and don’t give them your business card or a DVD of the latest project you produced or script you wrote. We want to make this weekend as relaxed and fun for them as possible, so they come back! If you engage them in a disrespectful or inappropriate manner, we reserve the right to remove you without refund — a policy held by both ATX Television Festival and Alamo Drafthouse.
There will be Q&A’s after each screening and panel. Please make sure your questions are actually questions — i.e. avoid leading with, “I am a writer/actor/producer/director as well and I think that blah, blah, blah…” (That is, a statement rather than a question). Austin and TV Geekdom are in the spotlight, so ask awesome, unique, thoughtful questions. Our panelists will appreciate you for it.
When to Get Here: Registration opens on Thursday June 5th from 10am-7pm at the Stephen F. Austin Hotel (701 Congress Ave). We recommend arriving early and checking in so you don’t get stuck in the rush. Here you will receive your badge or wristband, welcome bag, program, reservation tickets…and peruse the merch booth. It will be open from 9 AM – 5 PM on Friday and Saturday, and 9 AM – 1 PM on Sunday.
LINES. While lines are in the DNA of all festivals, our goal is for you to spend as little time in them as possible. We’d much rather you be able to actually attend things at ATX, as we know you would, too! Part of our strategy is the Fast Pass system (see info here), we also stagger start times and have multiple events happening at once so there is always something for you to do! This year, we are also going to implement a queue card system for our bigger events, so that you can have an idea of your chances of getting into a particular panel/screening. While shut-outs are rare (truly), it’s our hope that in the case of a full event, this system will provide a heads up so you can make it to another event! We will also be upping our social media and app alerts to let you know what is full and what still has seats available. While you, our wonderful attendees, are overwhelmingly friendly, patient, and accommodating — we do ask that regardless of how popular the event or how great the excitement, PLEASE treat your fellow badgeholders and ATX volunteers with kindness. They’re TV fans just like you, and work incredibly hard to make your festival experience one to remember!
BEAT THE HEAT. We cannot stress this enough (particularly if you’re joining us from out of town): Texas is a HOT, HOT place in June, and you will be doing some waiting and walking outside. While all of our venues are air-conditioned inside (yes, sometimes you need a sweater indoors), we STRONGLY recommend that you dress coolly and comfortably, and keep a water bottle handy at all times. (NOTE: The historical Paramount and State Theatres do NOT allow outside beverages – including water — so while you are more than welcome to hydrate outside in line, you may be asked to dispose of any liquids prior to entering the theater.)
Parking. We recommend finding the nearest downtown lot, as street parking is metered and usually has 3 hour limit. A map of available lots maintained by the Downtown Austin Alliance can be found here.
We Will Be Recording. The festival will be recording panels and post-screening Q&As. By wearing your badge and entering the venue, you are accepting knowledge of this fact.
Event Posters. We will have limited edition Season 5 posters available at the festival (along with additional ATX merch), but for now you can purchase posters from past years here!
Fest Dress. Many of you have asked, and the answer is: think casual. Night events can be a bit dressier, but nothing too formal. Stay comfortable. This is Austin, you can’t really go wrong with any of your choices. Do keep in mind that even though it will be hot outside, Texas is BIG on AC…so inside will be cranked down and chilly. Might want to bring a layer or two if you’re prone to being cold.
If you find yourself having a little extra time, here are our suggestions of where to Eat, Drink, and Be Merry: