Despite the pandemic, 2020 really put Austin on the map, popularizing it as an up-and-coming hub for young professionals, startups and celebrities from big cities across the U.S.
In fact, Austin's A-list is steadily growing. Well-known Austinites like Willie Nelson, Matthew McConaughey and Kendra Scott have been singing the praises of the weirdest city in Texas for years now, but 2020 brought some new arrivals and 2021 is ready for more.
So who moved to Austin in 2020?
In a $100 million deal with Spotify, podcast host, devil's advocate and iconoclast Joe Rogan uprooted his Los Angeles setup and moved it to Austin in July. Since then, Rogan has been making waves around Austin in every which way. From setting up his spaceship-like studio to having drinks with Greg Abbott in the Governor's Mansion, Rogan has made himself at home in the Lone Star State.
James Van Der Beek
After a difficult year in 2019, "Dawson's Creek" actor James Van Der Beek traded in his "concrete jungle" in Beverly Hills for the luscious hill country. Van Der Beek, his wife and all five kids loaded up and moved to a 36-acre compound just outside of Austin in October… after a 10-day road trip to see the sights along the route from California to Texas.
Elon Musk (Probably)
Das baby kann noch keinen löffel benutzen https://t.co/UETqVIA4BP— Elon Musk (@Elon Musk)1595307493.0
Though Musk confirmed he now lives in Texas, the tech mogul still has yet to confirm his move to Austin and is notorious for his need for privacy. With Tesla's Gigafactory and the Elon Musk Foundation putting down roots in Austin, it just makes sense to see him here. Multiple sources confirmed to Austonia earlier this month, Musk was looking at Austin homes to live in.
Even though few celebrities have confirmed a 2021 Austin emigration, there are a few leads. Here's who is or could be coming to the capital city in 2021:
Distressing fans of "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" everywhere, reports that Chris Harrison is moving to Austin have surfaced, revealing the "humble servant and host to Bachelor Nation" is building a house in the Barton Creek area. Fear not, Bachelor fans, Harrison has reportedly said he is not leaving the show.
Debby Ryan and Joshua Dun
Newlyweds Debby Ryan, actress and former Disney star, and Joshua Dun, drummer for Twenty-One Pilots have made some important decisions in Austin—like holding their impromptu wedding right here in Travis County. Ryan spent several years living in Texas during her childhood and Dun, an Ohio-native, said Austin was "tight" on Facebook in 2016. Seems like a match made in heaven.
When the "Dazed and Confused" alumna hosted the Texas Film Festival at Austin Studios back in March, the pandemic had scarcely begun. The indie movie actress is well-acquainted with Austin, having shot several movies here, she'd fit right in. She said she loves Austin so much, she would even be happy quarantining here. Plus, she was pictured in front of a longhorn in August. Coincidence?
The Queer Eye Fab 5
In true Austin fashion, the Fab 5 announced via El Arroyo's famous sign that they would be filming season six of "Queer Eye" here in the capital city. In fact, Jonathan Van Ness, the hair expert on the show, has allegedly been living in Austin since the production of the show was put on pause—he even adopted a dog from Austin Pets Alive!. Though the other fab guys are happily living across the U.S., the gang would all be right at home here.
Here's to a famously fabulous 2021 in ATX!
In what was called the "Dodge Bowl" among fans and the media, Coach Todd Dodge adds to the Chaparrals' trophy case by bringing home the State Championship for Westlake High School a second time. Westlake was able to hold off the Southlake Carroll Dragons, winning 52-34 and becoming back-to-back State Champions for the first time in school history.
Increased police, an adjourned Legislature and boarded-up storefronts: Austin preps for Inauguration Day protests
After supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in a deadly riot last week, the FBI circulated an internal bulletin warning of armed protests being held at all 50 state capitols at least until Inauguration Day.
Here in Austin, local and state law enforcement officials have ramped up security around the Texas Capitol, the Texas Legislature has adjourned until Jan. 26 and downtown businesses have boarded up their storefronts—again.
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COVID-19 is still raging on, reaching the Texas House earlier this week, but Austin's tech sector is booming.
Here are some of Austin's most breaking stories, broken down into bite-size pieces, so you can be informed quickly.