As this year’s bizarro-world election pushes forward at full throttle, President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle are skipping out of town, heading down to Austin, TX to make an appearance at this year’s South By Southwest Festival where the two will separately address the crowd.
The President will speak to the Editor and Chief of the Texas Tribune about civic engagement in the 21st century. Michelle Obama will speak at the SXSW Music conference, using the opportunity to highlight her Let Girls Learn initiative.
Due to high demand, not everyone who purchases a full-conference ticket will get to see the pair, but those who purchased Gold or Platinum tickets to the event will have an opportunity to attend.
“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,” Co-founder Roland Swenson said of their appearance at this year’s conference. “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.”
It may seem odd that the Obamas are making a trip to what is publicly considered to be one of the hippest conferences in tech, music, and film, but — lest we all forget — Barack Obama does have two Grammy Awards, and the pair have constantly inspired with their forward-thinking attitudes on entertainment and culture. Case in point: President Obama recently named Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly his favorite album of 2015, and the First Lady has been hard at work encouraging people to grow gardens and live more farm to table — and has even made a rap video encouraging kids to go to college.
As the President closes out his second term in office, public appearances at events like SXSW will likely increase, where he will continue to advocate for fixes to global issues like climate change, immigration, and other world policy objectives after he leaves office.
Barack Obama’s interview will take place on Friday, March 11. Michelle will speak a few days later, on March 16.