President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama must have had a pretty good time at South by Southwest in March. The White House will host an Oct. 3 event inspired by the conference, South by South Lawn.
It will have technology panels, musical performances and films, modeling itself after the three main legs of South by Southwest and will be put on with help from the American Film Institute, C3 Presents, the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities and SXSW.
On Thursday night, after the announcement, SXSW Chief of Programming Hugh Forrest said in a statement, "President Obama’s keynote at SXSW 2016 put the importance of community-focused innovation at the forefront of both our event and the conversation around the country. We feel excited and privileged to help the White House continue to spread this message via South by South Lawn on October 3."
While it doesn't appear to be an official SXSW-owned event (perhaps "SXSWDC?") such as SXSW V2V in Las Vegas, which SXSW decided not to continue after three years, it does raise the question of whether South by Southwest may be looking to extend its brand to other cities with event partnerships such as this.
The White House is asking the public to nominate people making change to attend the event, but didn't specify whether those chosen will get free attendance SXSL. In fact, for an event that's only a month out, there's no list of speakers, performers or much else in the way of details of how non-nominees or, say, reporters living in Austin might attend. We'll update this post if more of that information becomes available.
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