Barack and Michelle Obama to Speak at SXSW Music Festival

President Barack Obama, left, and first lady Michelle Obama wave as they board Air Force One to depart from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam at the end of their family vacation, on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016, in Honolulu, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama will become the first sitting U.S. president and first lady to attend and deliver speeches at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival.

The Obamas will deliver separate keynote addresses at this year’s festival, which begins next week in Austin, Texas.

Before President Obama’s keynote speech on Friday, March 11th, he’ll participate in a town hall discussion with Evan Smith, the CEO and editor in chief of The Texas Tribune, which will cover “civic engagement in the 21st century.”

Michelle Obama’s keynote is on March 16th, and she’s expected to address the White House’s “Let Girls Learn” initiative, a campaign to assist “the 62 million girls around the world who are not in school today.”

The Obamas’ speeches are open to general admission tickets holders.

Through the years, SXSW has invited former vice president Al Gore and Chelsea Clinton.

President Barack Obama is also slated to attend a Democratic National Convention fundraiser in Austin on the same day that he delivers his SXSW keynote speech.

The fundraiser will be held at the Austin Music Hall on March 11, but the two events are not affiliated. Tickets for the Democratic fundraiser are as high as $33,400. Attendees can snap a photo with President Obama for an addition cost of $10,000.

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson.


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