SXSW just got even more star power. President Barack Obama is set to appear as part of an opening-day keynote conversation on March 11, and First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver the opening keynote for SXSW Music on March 16. The fest noted that it’s the first time in its 30-year history that a sitting First Couple has taken part. Details about location, time, streaming and access to both events will be announced on the SXSW website in the coming days.
“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.”
President Obama will sit down with Evan Smith, CEO and Editor in Chief of The Texas Tribune, for a conversation about civic engagement in the 21st century. The commander in chief will call on the audience to apply their ideas and talents to make technology work for us – especially when it comes to tackling big challenges like increasing participation in the political process and fighting climate change. His appearance will be open to SXSW Interactive, Gold and Platinum registrants.
As part of Women’s History Month, Michelle Obama will discuss the Let Girls Learn initiative, which aims to break barriers for the 62 million girls around the world who are not in school today, more than half of whom are adolescents. Her event is open to SXSW Music, Film, Gold, and Platinum registrants.