If this is the beginning of his official going-away party, President Obama is leaving the Oval Office in style. The commander in chief revealed the line-up for his South by South Lawn (SXSL) festival over the weekend and the Oct. 3 “White House Festival of Ideas, Art, and Action” has a packed roster that includes music from Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and the Lumineers, as well as a visit from the cast and creators of the hit Netflix series Stranger Things.
White House Announces ‘South by South Lawn,’ SXSW-Inspired Micro Festival
The one-day event inspired by South by Southwest is intended 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.” With more acts slated for announcement soon, the musical roster will also include DJ Beverly Bond as well as appearances by the youthful members of the Stranger Things cast: Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas) and Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin).
One of the key events will be a conversation between Obama and actor/environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio and climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe about the importance of protecting the environment before the domestic premiere of DiCaprio’s new climate film, Before the Flood, which features a score by Mogwai and Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor. There will also be a breakfast session with architect David Adjaye and artist James Turrell, an afternoon session on the South Lawn about using technology to solve society’s biggest problems and panel discussions on food accessibility and the role citizens have in bringing lasting change.
Watch ‘Stranger Things’ Cast Freestyle Lyrics to the Show’s Theme Song
On the day before the event the White House will host the third-annual student film festival which will screen three short movies chosen from more than 700 submissions on the theme “The World I Want to Live In.” The aspiring filmmakers will be joined by Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer and actress Alfre Woodard, a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. There will also be interactive exhibits including a virtual reality experience that will simulate being locked in solitary confinement and booths on the cancer moonshot, photos from artist Chuck Close, an appearance by graffiti artist David Garibaldi and a tribute to the country’s national parks.
Admission was based on a nomination process and is now closed. The festival will be live streamed on Whitehouse.gov, as well as the White House’s Facebook page and the SXSW live feed.