In news that is quite simply fantastic, a press release posted to the official White House blog on Sept. 1 has revealed that President Barack Obama and his family are hosting an arts, film, and music festival at the White House on Oct. 3, 2016. Inspired by the yearly media festival South by Southwest (and in partnership with SXSW and the American Film Festival), the White House's festival will be called South by South Lawn (SXSL) and "will 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." It sounds all kinds of amazing — and even better, anyone can nominate themselves to nab a ticket. Perhaps the most exciting thing of all, though, is that there will be a whole host of musicians and performers taking the SXSL stage. So, I gotta wonder: Who will perform at SXSL? The Obamas love music, and they each have pretty great musical taste, so I have a feeling the program will be solid.
From Michelle Obama's "Carpool Karaoke" segment to the POTUS' 2016 summer playlist, the Obamas have made it clear how much they appreciate music. President Obama's playlist in particular was striking: Featuring artists such as Jay Z, Sara Bareilles, and Courtney Barnett, the playlist is a fascinating mix of current popular music and classic tunes. And, as for Michelle's rendition of "Single Ladies" and her duet with Missy Elliott during "Carpool Karaoke," it's clear the first lady knows her pop culture, and I'm sure her musical tastes would influence the list of bands chosen to perform at SXSL.
But, who exactly has the highest chance of making that list? Of course, this is just speculation, but here are a few guesses:
1. Missy Elliott
As a "Carpool Karaoke" participant alongside Michelle and a Let Girls Learn collaborator, Missy Elliott would be a fantastic choice to perform at the first South by South Lawn festival.
The internet was up in arms when POTUS left the Destiny's Child singer off his 2016 playlist, but that doesn't mean the Obamas don't love Bey. In fact, the first lady appears to be on extremely good terms with her, and is even spending Labor Day weekend with Bey and Blue Ivy. Perhaps she's going to take the opportunity to invite the Lemonade singer to perform at SXSL?
3. Jay Z
If Beyoncé is going to be there anyway, it just makes sense that Jay Z attends too. Plus, his bromance with the president is legendary!
4. Sara Bareilles
In 2016, Bareilles performed at the White House's Canadian State Dinner. As POTUS has kept her on his playlists since then, it seems possible that she'd be a top choice for SXSL.
5. Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin performed at the White House in April 2015, and is also featured in one of POTUS' summer 2016 playlists. Clearly, he's a massive fan.
6. Bruno Mars
In 2015, Michelle told People that "Uptown Funk" was her favorite song of the year. It seems possible she'd include him as a performer if she liked the song that much!
7. Kendrick Lamar
Also in 2015, President Obama told People that Kendrick Lamar's "How Much A Dollar Cost" was his favorite song of the year. Because of this, I wouldn't be surprised if Lamar got booked for SXSL.
8. Sheryl Crow
Back in 2008, Obama gave the world a peek at his iPod by revealing his most played songs — and tracks by Sheryl Crow made the list.
9. Stevie Wonder
Both of the Obamas love Stevie Wonder, and who can blame them? He's a legend, and would be an incredible addition to the lineup of SXSL.
10. Bruce Springsteen
President Obama is a huge fan of Springsteen, and, as told Rolling Stone in 2008, "Not only do I love Bruce's music, I just love him as a person." The Boss should consider himself booked.
11. Justin Timberlake
Considering Timberlake was on the POTUS' August 2015 Spotify playlist, I wouldn't be surprised if Timberlake performed — especially as he's currently promoting his new film, Trolls.
One thing's for sure, the lineup for South by South Lawn is going to be incredible, and it's definitely worth signing up right now to attend. Clearly, the Obamas know and love some incredible musicians, and I've got a feeling their list of performers will not disappoint.
Images: Giphy (11)