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Barack Obama to skip Nancy Reagan's funeral in favour of SXSW

Obama will deliver a keynote speech at the Austin, Texas festival on Friday (March 11)

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President Barack Obama will miss the funeral of Nancy Reagan this week in order to deliver the keynote speech at the South-By-Southwest music festival (SXSW).

It had previously been announced that the US President, along with First Lady Michelle Obama, will be guest keynote speakers at the Austin, Texas music showcase. However, the event coincides with the funeral of the former First Lady and wife of Ronald Reagan on Friday (March 11), with The Washington Post confirming that the Obamas are unable to attend.

"Nancy Reagan once wrote that nothing could prepare you for living in the White House," the Obamas previously wrote in a joint statement following the news of Reagan's death. "She was right, of course. But we had a head start, because we were fortunate to benefit from her proud example, and her warm and generous advice."

President Obama will speak at SXSW Interactive on March 11, with Michelle Obama later delivering a speech at SXSW Music on March 16. It is the first time that a sitting President has attended the event in its 30 year history.

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According to a press release, "The President will call on the audience to apply their ideas and talents to make technology work for us – especially when it comes to tackling big challenges like increasing participation in the political process and fighting climate change."

Last year's keynote speaker at the US festival was rapper Snoop Dogg, with Lady Gaga and Dave Grohl giving talks the two years prior.

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