The New Yorker Festival
Without the Algonquin Round Table, there would be no New Yorker magazine. And that would leave a big hole in the popular culture landscape. In 2000, The New Yorker Festival was inaugurated to mark the magazine's seventy-fifth anniversary. It is now an institution and is held each fall.
The 2000 event was a big success and it was decided to make it an annual festival. However, the events of Sept. 11, 2001, forced the cancellation of the second festival. The magazine launched the weekend of activities again in 2002, to the delight of thousands of visitors. (And competitors: the next year, the New York Times launched a January event, called The New York Times Arts & Leisure Weekend. The same exact scope and target audience for both festivals).
The New Yorker Festival is held in the fall, and is a weekend of readings, discussions, interviews, and outings with some of the most recognizable writers, artists, scholars, journalists, filmmakers, and actors working today.
Some of the past participants, have been Steve Martin, Zadie Smith, Haruki Murakami, Ian Frazier, E. L. Doctorow, Amy Tan, Sam Shepard, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers, Jhumpa Lahiri, Chang-rae Lee, Tobias Wolff, Jonathan Safran Foer, and David Foster Wallace. Special events of the past have included talks by New Yorker cartoonists, critics, and editors. In addition, Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney was a guest, Calvin Trillin led an eating tour of downtown, and Sasha Frere-Jones hosted a dance party.