Austin, Texas music festival SXSW has had its fare-share of superstar keynote speakers from Dave Grohl to Lady Gaga but they have managed to nab some even bigger names this year bringing the White House down South.
Both Barrack and Michelle Obama will appear at different times as keynote speakers at the festival, marking the first time a sitting President and First Lady have participated in the event.
It’s SXSW’s 30th year of existence and inviting the President and First Lady to come and celebrate is pretty unbeatable way of marking the occasion. Lest we forget, Barack Obama actually has two Grammy Awards, winning Best Spoken Word Album in 2006 and 2008.
President Obama will sit down in conversation with The Texas Tribune CEO and Editor In Chief Evan Smith, chatting “civic engagement in the 21st Century,” according to a SXSW press release. The audience will be full of creators, early adopters and entrepreneurs who will be able to give Obama ideas on how to better use technology to work for the country, particularly increasing voters and spreading awareness of climate change.
First Lady Obama will join the SXSW Music conference to talk about her Let Girls Learn initiative which aims to educate 62 million girls around the country who are currently not in school. The appearance coincides with Women’s History month, providing an apt time to discuss the program.
“I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate our event’s 30th year than to welcome both the President and First Lady to SXSW,” said Co-founder Roland Swenson.
“As each new generation comes up at SXSW they look for ways they can be of service, and it’s important to reflect and support that message. President and Mrs. Obama’s visit here will inspire attendees to that purpose.”
In addition to the Obama’s keynote speeches, there will be two speakers delivering the music keynote for the first time since 1992. Snoop Dogg delivered last year’s talk while Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and Bob Geldof have all appeared in the past. This year, longtime David Bowie producer Tony Visconti will take to the stage as will Rap-A-Lot Records founder James Prince.
Aussie acts Cosmo’s Midnight, DMA’s, Methyl Ethel, DZ Deathrays and plenty more will all play the March festival so if you have any messages for Barrack or Michelle, pass them onto them.
— SXSW (@sxsw) March 2, 2016