As far as immersive experiences at SXSW go, it’s going to be hard to top what HBO have planned. To celebrate the forthcoming second season premiere of their critically acclaimed series Westworld (Sunday 22nd April in the U.S, which would be Monday 23rd April in Australia) the network have went and built the entire town of the show’s Sweetwater location across two acres of custom-built parkland.
It’s certainly a step up from their previous activations for the show, which include giving fans the opportunity to experience the interview and check-in processes from the show at San Diego Comic-Con and New York Comic-Con. This SXSW experience will take fans even further into the show’s complex narrative, dipping them into reproduced versions of iconic locations and elements from the series, including luxury hotel The Coronado and the Mariposa Saloon and stuffing them with Western-themed food and cocktails.
The activation will happen across three days of SXSW and RSVPs – initially filled immediately after the announcement – will (hopefully) keep rolling out ahead of the event. Friday 9th March through Sunday 11th March are the dates you need to keep in mind.
Once RSVP’d, guests will be head to Austin’s EastSide tavern to conduct the check-in process on their assigned day, after which a luxury Delos Shuttle will arrive to bring them to the location just ouside of Austin. From there, guests will be assigned either a black or white hat and then let loose to explore the town, which will have dozens of hosts across numerous narratives and a few hidden secrets which may reveal details about the show’s second season.
The adventure will take place alongside many interactive elements which should keep guests very busy for the approximate two hours they are there. Once their time in the park has ended, the same shuttle will return guests to EastSide Tavern.
If you’ve missed out on registration already, don’t stress just yet. Remaining appointments will be opened up during SXSW for those who missed out. Although it’s important the note that attendees must be at least 21 years of age with valid ID.
And for anyone who misses out completely, there’s always another way to experience the pop-up. HBO have announced an exclusive partnership with Lyft during the festival, which will allow fans with access to a secret code to unlock a custom Westworld-themed Lyft experience, meaning that anyone lucky enough to catch a ride in this mode will be treated to not only a free journey to the park, but a couple of in-story surprises along the way.
For badge holders, make sure you’re heading along to the Austin Convention Center, Room D from 3:30pm on Saturday 10th March as there will be a special session with Westworld co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy joined by cast members Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, and Jeffrey Wright.
For more information and registrations click HERE.