Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is to speak at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music and technology festival in Austin, Texas later this month.
He will join former California Governor, and film star, Arnold Schwarzenegger and would-be US Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders and film actress Dakota Fanning on the bill. Mr Varadkar will be interviewed by the CEO and co-founder of the Texas Tribune Evan Smith to discuss how technology has supposedly made Ireland “one of the most open and globalised economies in the world.”
The Taoiseach will discuss Irish innovation and “how the Irish tech sector is increasingly impacting on the US economy.” The festival will also host a talk pitching Dublin as a potential startup city.
South by Southwest (abbreviated as SXSW and colloquially referred to as South By) is an annual conglomerate of film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences. It began in 1987, and has continued to grow in both scope and size every year.
Mr Schwarzenegger will talk about his principles for effective governance and “why he made gerrymandering and other issues his crusades after finishing his term as governor of California” as well as “what he sees for the future of American politics”.
It is part of Mr Varadkar’s Saint Patrick’s Day trip to the US during which he will also visit US President Donald Trump at the White House on 17 March.
Three Irish films will also be heading to SXSW: Ken Wardrop’s Making the Grade will have its North American premiere there where it plays in the 24 Beats per Second strand, while Michael Tully’s Don’t Leave Home world premieres in the Visions strand. The festival will also host the world premiere of SyFy’s new TV series Krypton, which shot at the brand-new Belfast Harbour Studios in Northern Ireland.