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WESTWORLD Fans Experience Sweetwater IRL at SXSW

There’s no show better suited for elaborate publicity stunts and exclusive promotions than Westworld. And that’s never been clearer than it was with SXSW 2018’s one-of-a-kind Westworld experience.

Dubbed the Westworld: Live Without Limits Weekend, the staggeringly elaborate in-universe event that occurred on March 9 -March 11 took up more than two acres of land outside Austin. Upon arriving at the park portal, the lucky few guests got their customary black or white hats, boarded a train, and were then given (mostly) free reign of Sweetwater. That meant visiting reproductions of the Mariposa and other landmarks familiar to fans of the show, hobnobbing with hosts, and, if they were so inclined, searching for clues about where the series will go next.

Putting the town of Sweetwater together was no easy feat. HBO, agency Giant Spoon, and Westworld co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy began conceptualizing the park last November. It took five weeks of construction, 58 vendors, 60 actors, six stunt performers, five bands, and even a handful of horses (well, six, which is more than a handful) to bring the park together—and judging from the photos, all that effort was well worth it.

If this was how HBO and the Westworld showrunners built on their immersive experiences at SDCC and NYCC last year, we can only speculate how much further they’ll go for future seasons. We already know Nolan and Joy are nowhere near the show’s endpoint. Back in February, we found out via Delos Destinations that there are at least five more parks to discover. Could those be the basis for future special events? Here’s hoping. In the meantime, I’ll just painstakingly tear off another one of the links in my paper chain counting down to the season two premiere on April 22.

Would you rather herd cattle in Westworld or wield a samurai sword in one of the new Delos Destinations? Let us know in the comments!

Images: HBO

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