By Eric Webb
South by Southwest announced another round of names Tuesday, an it looks like there are some real political and cultural heavyweights coming to Austin for the 2019 conference.
Among the keynotes joining the lineup are Beastie Boys Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond; former U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner; musician, producer and songwriter T Bone Burnett; investor and author Roger McNamee; and tech journalist Kara Swisher.
SXSW also announced a star-studded list of featured speakers coming to town, including actress and Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow; Stacey Abrams, former candidate for governor of Georgia; musician David Byrne; actress, producer and director Elizabeth Banks; “Saturday Night Live” and “Shrill” star Aidy Bryant; Grammy-winner Brandi Carlile (joining a talk with actress Elisabeth Moss); Austin-born actor and Richard Linklater regular Ethan Hawke; “Top Chef” host and author Padma Lakshmi; “Aquaman” star and Austinite actress Amber Heard; musician and producer Nile Rodgers; professional wrestler Charlotte Flair; WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon; futurist Brian Solis; entertainment exec Kevin Reilly; and Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, currently of the company Gemini, but whom you probably remember for being played by Armie Hammer in “The Social Network.”
Horovitz and Diamond will appear in conversation with Amazon’s Nathan Brackett, while Boehner, who exited the House of Representatives in 2015 and recently joined a national pro-marijuana lobbying group, will appear with Kevin Murphy, of cannabis industry investment firm Acreage Holdings.
Burnett, whose career has dovetailed across music, film, television and technology, seems an ideal choice for the contemporary SXSW, even more so than when he last appeared in 1992 when it was still a music-only event. A two-time Grammy Producer of the Year recipient, Burnett has won nine more Grammys for records he’s produced or songs he’s written, as well as a Best Song Oscar for “The Weary Kind” with Ryan Bingham from the film “Crazy Heart.”
McNamee, who founded Elevation Partners with Bono and others, will appear with Wired editor-in-chief Nicholas Thompson. Swisher, of Recode, is slated to appear with a special guest, according to SXSW’s announcement.
SXSW 2019 is scheduled for March 8-17. For more information of speakers and sessions, go to sxsw.com.