HBO has announced that they will be building a “fully immersive, functional version” of the town of Sweetwater from their series Westworld for the 2018 South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas.
The re-production will include locations from the show like the Coronado hotel and the Mariposa Saloon. Those who register to check it out will be transported from downtown Austin to a location just outside the city where Westworld has been brought to life. From there they’ll be set free to explore, search for clues about the upcoming season two of the series, and even enjoy some food and drink fitting to the theme.
You can find all the information below, along with a teaser video for the SXSW experience, which may just be teasing a Roman World.
Westworld is coming to Austin! To celebrate the return of the hit series Westworld (Sunday, April 22, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT), HBO is building an entire town from the ground up for an immersive experience exclusively for South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals badge holders. Open for three days only – Friday, March 9, through Sunday, March 11 – the Westworld-themed park will feature reproduced versions of iconic locations and elements from the hit HBO series, including the luxury hotel The Coronado and the Mariposa Saloon.
Previous activations at San Diego Comic-Con and New York Comic-Con gave fans an opportunity to experience the unsettling interview and check-in process at Westworld. This new experience will take them even deeper into the storyworld of the show, allowing them to explore more than two acres of custom-built parkland. After registering for an appointment at DiscoverWestworld.com, guests will head to downtown Austin’s EastSide Tavern to check in. A luxurious Delos Shuttle will then drive them to a location just outside Austin, where they will visit a fully immersive, functional version of Sweetwater, the town at the center of the Westworld theme park from the series. Upon arrival, guests will be assigned a black hat or white hat and set loose to explore the park. No guidebook. No orientation.
Guests will get to live without limits as they interact with dozens of hosts across a variety of narratives, while hunting for clues about what’s to come in season two. Some of these clues will be hidden around the park, while others can only be discovered by asking the right questions of specific hosts. They will also have the opportunity to sample western-themed food and cocktails and to uncover other personalized elements that will make each visitor’s experience unique.
Once their time in the park has ended, the Delos Shuttle will return guests to EastSide Tavern. The entire experience will last approximately two hours.
SXSW attendees who want to visit Westworld can register for an appointment by visiting DiscoverWestworld.com starting today. Half of the available slots will be booked in advance, with the remaining appointments opening up during SXSW for those who missed early registration. Attendees must be 21 years of age or older, with valid ID.
For guests who aren’t able to secure a reservation, an exclusive partnership with Lyft will allow fans with access to a secret code to unlock a custom Westworld-themed Lyft experience. Lucky fans who catch a ride in this mode will be treated to a free ride to the park and uncover in-story surprises along the way.
A select group of people heading to SXSW will also have the opportunity to start their Westworld experience even earlier. Delta Air Lines and HBO will bring them to a place where fantasy and technology meet at 30,000 feet on an immersive Westworld-inspired flight. Guests will arrive at LAX for their flight bound for Westworld, interacting with Delos hosts and Sweetwater locals. Once onboard, guests will be treated to Westworld-themed cocktails, don a white or black hat, and receive a personalized invitation to the Live Without Limits Weekend experience in Austin. This invitation-only flight departs Los Angeles for Austin on Friday, March 9.
Westworld fans at SXSW can also get the scoop on season two directly from the show’s creative talent. Series co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy will join cast members Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright and James Marsden for a Featured Session on Saturday, March 10, 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the Austin Convention Center, Room D.
Debuting in 2016 to become HBO’s most-watched freshman series ever, Westworld is a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the evolution of sin. The season one cast included Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright, James Marsden, Tessa Thompson, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Jimmi Simpson, Rodrigo Santoro, Shannon Woodward, Ingrid BolsÃ¸ Berdal, Ben Barnes, Simon Quarterman, Angela Sarafyan, Luke Hemsworth, Clifton Collins, Jr., Talulah Riley and Louis Herthum. Joining the season two cast are series regulars Katja Herbers, Gustaf Skarsgard and Fares Fares.
Season two credits: Created for television by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, who are executive producers with J.J. Abrams, Athena Wickham, Roberto Patino, Richard Lewis and Ben Stephenson. Production companies, Kilter Films and Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television; based on the film written by Michael Crichton.
This appears to be a hot ticket, so if you are going to be at SXSW and can’t reserve a spot at the link above, make sure you also follow the official Twitter account for Westworld for any updates on additional tickets.
I personally will not be at SXSW, so as awesome as this sounds I won’t be able to enjoy it. What I am finding interesting, however, is the brief video they released for the event below. And not the video itself, but the music used in it.
The 1973 movie of the same name the show is based on, which was directed by Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton, included not only a western themed world but also medieval and Roman themed worlds. So naturally fans have wondered if the latter two worlds would eventually become part of the HBO series. Neither has been confirmed just yet—at least not that I’m aware of—but the music playing in the video is the first track on the 2011 Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi album Rome, titled “Theme of Rome.”
Perhaps they just dig the tune, but it is most certainly an interesting choice. So you can take that how you will. I always hoped HBO would one day revive their incredible (but far too short-lived) series Rome someday, so I wouldn’t be at all sad to see a Roman World make its way to this series.
Click right here for more on Westworld, including trailers for season two and the Geeks of Doom podcast Violent Delights.