Kesha, Mick Fleetwood, Seth Rogen Among Featured Speakers Announced for SXSW

Kesha attends the Billboard Women in Music 2016 event on Dec. 9, 2016 in New York City.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Billboard Magazine

Kesha attends the Billboard Women in Music 2016 event on Dec. 9, 2016 in New York City. 

Musicians, an astronaut, a politician, social activists, actors and an investor walk into a conference...

Kesha and Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac fame are among the musicians on a varied list of featured speakers announced for this year's South by Southwest Conference and Festival, which runs March 10-19.

Other just-added speakers include: Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Senator Cory Booker, Veep actress Julia-Louis Dreyfus, GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis, actor Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad), Tinder founder and chairman Sean Rad, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, actor and producer Seth Rogen (Preacher, Sausage Party) and Shark Tank's Chris Sacca.

Additionally, Jessica Shortall, the managing director of Texas Competes, a coalition of more than 1,200 Texas companies making the data-driven case for Texas to be welcoming to LGBTQ people, was named one of the this year's SXSW keynote speakers.

“Jessica is a staunch advocate of equality, fairness and decency. Her relentless pursuit and approach of these values is both influential and inspirational,” said Hugh Forrest, SXSW's chief programming officer, in a statement. “At a time when human rights are front and center in the U.S. we think this message of inclusion will resonate not just through her keynote but throughout much of our conference programming, where it has emerged as a major theme.”

Shortall joins previously-announced SXSW keynote speakers Lee Daniels, Jennifer Doudna, Gareth Edwards, Adam Grant, the creative director and lead DJ for Apple's Beats 1 radio station Zane Lowe, Cory Richards, legendary record producer and Chic co-founder Nile Rodgers and Jill Soloway. 

Pussy Riot member Nadya Tolokonnikova is also among this year's speakers.

This year's SXSW Interactive, Film and Music badges will now include expanded access to more of the SXSW Conference & Festivals experience with secondary entry to most other SXSW events -- which may help explain this year's mixed speaker announcements.

The festival's next registration deadline is Feb. 10.


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