SXSW Preview: President Obama, José Andrés, and More!

March 11, 2016
Written by: Yasha Wallin
Photo via SXSW/Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

It’s hard to believe that its been 30 years since the annual interactive, film and music festival South by Southwest (SXSW) launched in Austin. And while the event has evolved since its impetus (when email was still a new thing), the core idea is to exchange ideas, launch new technologies, network, and of course watch some of the most cutting edge bands perform live.

Every year promises to be a little bigger and better than before, and this year is no exception. The great news is, even if you can’t make it to Austin during the Interactive, Film and Music dates March 11 – 20, a lot of highlights are screened live, online. To give you a taste of the week ahead, here’s a preview of what to expect, whether you’re attending IRL or from the comfort of your computer screen:

Chef Jose Andres Portraits
  • Chef José Andrés will be at SXSW with his talented team at Think Food Group to present an unforgettable meal! (3/15)
  • President Barack Obama will take part in a SXSW Interactive keystone conversation about “civic engagement in the 21st century” with Texas Tribune editor-in-chief, Evan Smith. (3/11) And if that weren’t enough, the first lady will also be speaking about her initiative Let Girls Learn (3/16)
  • Samsung’s Galaxy Life Fest is always a hot ticket, expect The Arcs; The Strokes (3/11), Public Enemy; ColleGrove (2 Chainz and Lil Wayne’s new group) (3/12); and Elle King; Sia (3/13)
  • A ticket to YouTube’s showcase is always coveted with Future headlining (3/16), Blood Orange (3/17), and Jamie XX (3/18)
  • John Legend will headline the AXE and Spin Magazine showcase (3/17)
  • There will be lots of virtual reality everywhere! A separate three-day event focused on the new technology and its possibilities kicks in time for the launch of the Oculus’ Rift virtual reality headset next month
  • In case you missed him, Paul Reubens will be on hand for the world premier of Pee-wee’s Big Holiday
  • In case things get too indie, Hollywood heavyweights America Ferrera, Geena Davis, and Kerry Washington will be leading panels