• Reasons to attend 2017 Festival
  • Reasons to attend 2017 Festival
  • Reasons to attend 2017 Festival
  • Reasons to attend 2017 Festival
  • Reasons to attend 2017 Festival


1. You’ll hear from inspirational and visionary speakers
The MacTaggart Lecture has formed the centrepiece of the Festival since 1976. It offers a unique and authoritative platform to help shape debate in the global television industry. In the past, it has been delivered by leading authors, playwrights, journalists, media titans and actors, including Dennis Potter, Rupert Murdoch, Ted Turner, Kevin Spacey, Armando Iannucci and Founder and CEO of Vice, Shane Smith, and has provoked, inspired and frequently set the news agenda.

Shane Smith

With our Gamechangers strand, you’ll hear from some of the most influential creative and business mavericks from around the world.  In 2016 we welcomed a host of talent including Howard Gordon (Homeland), Bryan Singer (X-Men) and Julie Plec (Vampire Diaries).  These will sit alongside our Meet the Controllers sessions, where you can gain commissioning insight from BBC, ITV, Sky, Channel 4, Discovery International Networks, UKTV and more.

Julie Plec


You’ll also be inspired by the numerous agenda-setting keynotes, alongside a programme of more than 60 sessions, screenings and masterclasses; such as Lee Mack’s Desert Island Sitcoms, and The Walking Dead Masterclass which featured in the 2016 schedule.  You’ll return to work with new ideas and a fresh perspective.  See the 2016 programme here for an idea of what to expect in 2017.

Lee Mack with Shane Allen


2. Attend a global event with a community feeling
The festival has diversified, with a greater mix of sectors and levels represented in the profile of our delegates. Our speakers and content provide an international perspective on the TV industry, in 2016 we attracted more than 2000 attendees from 22 countries around the world, and will continue to expand global opportunities in 2017. Over three days in one venue, the Festival will provide an incomparable way for you and your business to reach around the world.

Gale Anne Hurd & Michael Cudlitz

3. Great new ticket and accommodation packages
We understand that Edinburgh is an expensive place to be in August, so in 2017 we’re doing as much as we can to help cut the costs for delegates. As well as our great Early Bird rate, whether you’re a PACT or BAFTA member, freelancer or a student we’ve got plenty of concessionary rates to help you save even more. Plus, we’re extending our new Star Player scheme – helping mid-level first-timers make their Festival debut.  Keep an eye on the website for the 2017 prices.

4. Countless networking opportunities 

The TV Festival’s reputation as the best place to network is second to none, but it’s not all about gossip and pitches in the George late at night. In 2017 we’re expanding the structured networking during daylight hours to more than ever before.

speed meetings

Speed meetings

Speed Meetings
Delegates can sit down with top commissioners, senior talent managers, brands, media lawyers and more for short pre-booked meetings. You can introduce yourself or your company; pitch an idea for a new show; further your job prospects or just make a new contact that allows you to put a face to a name.

If you want to express interest in hosting a meeting table – or booking in to see those that have, contact adam.webb@thetvfestival.com


For a flavour of what to expect in 2017, view the 2016 session videos here.  Or check out the 2016 promo for a condensed version of the Festival in 3 and a half minutes here. Enjoy!

Mel B

Mel B