AUSTIN, Texas — If you thought the “Game of Thrones” Iron Throne SXSW appearance was a big deal, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
HBO is creating a fully immersive “Westworld" experience for South by Southwest attendees this year.
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HBO is building an entire town somewhere “just outside of Austin" to create a fully immersive experience, complete with its very own Mariposa Saloon, Coronado Hotel and more. Guests will participate in various narratives at the fictional Sweetwater theme park.
The experience will start with, in keeping with the show, guests receiving their white or black hat before descending upon the park. Will we walk down that same eerie white hallway that William did? Will there be a train ride in? Man, we sure hope so.
Guests are invited to explore the 2-acre activation March 9-11, but all advance registration, as you can imagine, quickly filled up.
The journey starts at the EastSide Tavern in downtown Austin where the Delos Shuttle will chauffeur “guests” to an undisclosed location.
Splash page of Discover Westworld activation website.
“Upon arrival, guests will be assigned a black hat or white hat and set loose to explore the park. No guidebook. No orientation,” according to a press release issued by HBO.
“The freedom of living without the rules or judgment is coming to Austin, Texas. During SXSW — from March 9-11 — the park will reopen for a limited, elite few. Reserve a ticket now to secure your visit to the original immersive vacation destination,” the installation website reads.
Map under 'Explore' section of Westworld site. If you hover over each location, a description pops up with what, presumably, guests will experience when visiting.
Reservations are booked up, how else can I get in?
According to HBO, for those unable to secure advance registration, nearly half of the available slots will become available during SXSW.
And Lyft, in partnership with HBO, will provide access to a secret code to unlock a "Westworld"-themed Lyft experience:
"HBO is bringing Westworld’s town of Sweetwater to Austin, and Lyft is providing the ride! Take a behind-the-scenes look into the recreated town from the popular series by unlocking a secret code and riding in Westworld Mode to enjoy and experience the activation in real life. Keep an eye on the Lyft Twitter for the secret code."
Cast members and the show’s co-creators will also take part in a panel from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. March 10 at the the Austin Convention Center, Room D.
The second season of “Westworld" debuts April 22, and with the way things ended plus all of the fan theories swirling around, the anticipation is too real.
Attendees must be 21 years of age or older, with valid ID, and must be badgeholders.
To learn more, visit DiscoverWestworld.com.
Spectrum News will attend a Thursday night press preview to offer our viewers a look inside. Follow our social media accounts as we tread lightly through the unpredictable Western fantasy world that HBO's created.