January 24, 2019

Slate Political Gabfest to Join 8th Annual Tom Tom Festival

The acclaimed podcast will cap off a week of national conversations about democracy, innovation, and equity.

Charlottesville, VA: The Tom Tom Festival is thrilled to announce that the Slate Political Gabfest—among America’s most popular and respected current events podcasts—will headline this year’s event on Friday, April 12 at 6:30pm. Gabfest co-hosts John Dickerson of CBS This Morning (UVA ‘91), Emily Bazelon of the New York Times Magazine, and David Plotz of Atlas Obscura will appear live at the Paramount Theater to discuss the week in politics and current events. Following what will surely be an entertaining and informative conversation, Tom Tom will host a book-signing event in celebration of Bazelon’s Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration, which will be published by Random House on April 9, 2019.

Tickets to the live show are on sale now for $35; ticket packages, which include admission to a cocktail hour with the Gabfests co-hosts, start at $120. Admission to the cocktail hour and live show is included with a Tom Tom Patron badge. More info can be found at www.tomtomfest.com/gabfest.

The live Gabfest will be a culmination of the Tom Tom Summit as well as a kickoff to a weekend’s worth of cultural programming. The 2019 Tom Tom Summit is a series of six conferences revolving around the theme of “Building Better Hometowns.” The seminal Civic Innovation Conference (4/10) is presented in partnership with the UVA Office of the Provost and will prioritize conversations about equity and inclusion in small cities.

“Envisioning and building equitable and healthy small- to mid-sized cities begins with listening,” commented Louis Nelson, vice provost for academic outreach. “The Civic Innovation Conference is one more important venue for us to do that listening. Drawing from research, expertise, and cross-disciplinary collaboration, our faculty will engage with local partners as well as national experts to better understand the challenges of urban well-being in our contemporary age.”

The Civic Innovation Conference complements the other conferences in the Summit. The Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Conference (4/12), presented in partnership with the Batten Institute at UVA’s Darden School of Business, will dig into questions about opportunity in small cities. The Youth Innovation Conference (4/9) is presented in partnership with UVA’s Curry School of Education; this conference, which will convene hundreds of entrepreneurial high school students from across Virginia, will explore ideas about youth impact and feature a keynote conversation with Jaclyn Corin, cofounder of March for Our Lives.

Single-day Conference Tickets are available for $100; and week-long All Access Badges, which grant entry to all six conferences plus evening headlining events, are available for $400.00. More information about the conferences and tickets can be found at www.tomtomfest.com/summit.

Tom Tom’s 2019 cultural programming will revolve around building a better Charlottesville with hundreds of free events including community workshops, block parties, live concerts, public art displays, and more. It all adds up to an unrivaled celebration of big ideas at work in the hometowns driving our country’s future.

The 2019 Tom Tom Festival is open to the press. Media wishing to request more information should respond directly to this email or contact the Tom Tom Festival’s Communications Associate, Caroline Hockenbury (press@tomtomfest.com).



The Tom Tom Foundation is a nonprofit organization that champions entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation in America’s small cities. Tom Tom’s flagship event is a weeklong festival that takes place in conjunction with Thomas Jefferson’s birthday each April. The Festival welcomed over 20,000 attendees to Charlottesville, VA in 2018 and has channeled nearly $3.1 million to new ventures since its inception in 2012. Learn more about Tom Tom and its mission at www.tomtomfest.com.


Tom Tom’s founding partners include American Evolution and the University of Virginia, alongside key partners such as the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Quantitative Foundation,, New Belgium Brewing, and the Virginia Tourism Corporation.