President Obama Is Throwing A Music Festival At The White House
President Barack Obama has shown strong musical tastes over the years, and for one of his final acts in office, he's throwing a festival at The White House.
South By South Lawn will be at The White House on Monday, October 3. The event is inspired by the renowned annual South By Southwest music, film and technology festival in Austin, Texas, where Obama spoke earlier this year.
There is no confirmed lineup yet, but the official White House web site promises "well-known and emerging artists who are using their music to inspire audiences."
That leaves a lot of room for interpretation, but Obama has already developed connections with some of the biggest names in music: he's an admitted fan of Jay Z, and in April he had a meeting with Alicia Keys, J. Cole, Pusha T, DJ Khaled, Chance The Rapper, Wale, Janelle Monáe, Talib Kweli, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Common, and others for his "My Brother's Keeper" initiative. He has also posted multiple playlists since he was elected into office. First Lady Michelle Obama also invited Common to the White House for a poetry event, worked with Wale for an initiative on higher education, and had a fun video with Missy Elliott earlier this year. They can always ask their daughter Malia for advice as well, since she's been to music festivals herself and was spotted wearing a shirt for Joey Bada$$'s Pro Era crew.
Either way, it seems clear that if Obama wants you on the lineup, you'll show up. So South By South Lawn may have a chance to give other festivals a run for their money.
The festival will also feature a Film segment with short films submitted by students in grades K-12, in association with the 3rd Annual White House Student Film Festival. An Interactive portion will include panel discussions that "will explore topics like how to make change stick with organizers who are having an impact, as well as a discussion with influencers who are using their platforms to bring about positive change."
The goal of the festival is to "bring together creators, innovators, and organizers who work day in and day out to improve the lives of their fellow Americans and people around the world," according to The White House's official web site.
There aren't any details yet in terms of tickets for the festival, but you can nominate people for the panel on the web site.