For as long as it has existed — even back when it was the McSweeney’s Festival and before this website even existed — The 215 Festival has been near and dear to our hearts. Why? Because The 215 Festival — essentially a literary fest with tentacles into music, comedy, and film — always represented a kind of ideal about what it meant to be a part of a smart, fun community where intelligence is both valued and celebrated. (But never, we hasten to add, took itself too, too seriously.)
So when it came to pass that The 215 Festival — an institution we were always happy to support and partner with in its previous incarnations — had gone dormant, it weighed on us in a variety of ways: Who would bring our favorite authors to town and make Philly feel like, if for just one weekend, it was the greatest (and weirdest) college campus in the world? What would we do with all of this corduroy hanging in our closets? How would we truly celebrate the autumn? Who would throw the cool sexy librarians party?
The answer, it has turned out, is us. We would do that. We will do that. It is with both pride and a very real sense of humility that we announce to you today that The 215 Festival’s board of directors has authorized Philebrity to resurrect, program and present The 215 Festival this November. And we’re already hard at work to bring you a four-day festival, jammed with author appearances, panels, performances, parties and other get-togethers that we hope both tie together the best elements of previous years, and ushers in a new era for this Festival as well. (Think of it as intellectual penance for all of those pool parties.) We’re not quite ready to announce the particulars just yet as we’re still confirming venues and dates, but we wanted you to know that A) it is indeed happening! And B), we cannot do it alone. If you have a suggestion for this year’s 215 Festival, would like to help in some way, or your company or organization would like to help sponsor any part of it, email us at tips[at]philebrity[dot]com with “215 FESTIVAL” in the subject header. We’re really excited to make something truly wonderful for you. Wish us luck.