Barack Obama has made an impact in international politics, but now in his final months of the presidency, he’s infiltrating the music world. He will open his Pennsylvania Avenue home to a new music festival called South by South Lawn.

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We all know Obama’s a huge music fan—from the array of artists that perform at federal events to his ultimate day and night playlist released earlier this summer. Let’s not forget his appearance at March’s SXSW, where he and Michelle Obama addressed concert goers. The Obamas spoke to crowds on civic engagement and entrepreneurship. That Austin, Texas festival is what sparked the First Family to consider their own festivities, where they could continue their spearheading community initiatives and promoting the arts.

Like SXSW, South by South Lawn collects both musicians and innovators for both an entertaining and world-changing experience. The American Film Institute and the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities have help from the OG festival, SXSW. The South by South Lawn thus has three different components to it: Interactive—where participants work towards social change and technological advances; Film—where the 3rd Annual White House Student Film Festival debuts short films from students in grades K-12; and Music—where both popular and rising artists take the stage.


Americans can nominate one another in order to gain access to the festival. Nominations are based on community impact and involvement. The deadline for nominations is September 10 by 5 p.m. on the White House website.