President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama Announced as SXSW Keynotes

Written by Hugh Forrest | Wednesday, Mar 2, 2016
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama Announced as SXSW Keynotes | Photos courtesy of The White House

SXSW is honored to announce President Barack Obama will appear as part of a Keynote Conversation at SXSW Interactive on Friday, March 11 and First Lady Michelle Obama will be the opening Keynote at SXSW Music on Wednesday, March 16. This marks the first time in the 30-year history of SXSW that a sitting President and the First Lady have participated in the event.

On Friday, March 11 at 2:30pm at Dell Hall at The Long Center, President Obama will sit down with Evan Smith, CEO / Editor in Chief of The Texas Tribune, for a conversation about civic engagement in the 21st Century before an audience of creators, early adopters and entrepreneurs who are defining the future of our connected lives. The President 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. SXSW will conduct a ticket drawing to determine which SXSW badgeholders will be admitted to this event. Interactive, Gold and Platinum Badgeholders will be eligible. No other credentials are eligible to enter the drawing. Randomly drawn winners will be notified the night of Thursday, March 10.

On Wednesday, March 16, First Lady Michelle Obama comes to SXSW Music to 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 adolescent. The SXSW Music Conference brings the global music industry together and offers the perfect platform to celebrate Women’s History Month, as the First Lady provides her call to action to support girls’ education. First Lady Michelle Obama’s event is open to all SXSW Music, Film, Gold, and Platinum registrants.

“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.”

More details regarding location, time, streaming, and access to both events will be announced via the SXSW website in the coming days.

Discover more 2016 SXSW Keynotes for Interactive and Music, and browse our full slate of online programming.