HBO creating interactive Westworld town for SXSW

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Feb 21, 2019, 3:00 PM EST (Updated)

For Westworld fans who wish that the insane theme park was real, you’re in luck. Sort of.

HBO has announced that it is recreating the hit series’ town of Sweetwater for three days in Austin, Texas during the South By Southwest (SXSW) music and film festival.

The attraction will cover two acres just outside of Austin. Guests will be shuttled to the location via a “Delos shuttle” after checking in. They will undergo an interview and evaluation process, after which they will receive either a black or white hat.

After guests receive their alignment hat, they'll be released into the re-created town of Sweetwater to explore. The location will include the show’s Coronado Hotel and Mariposa Saloon, and will be populated with dozens of actors playing “hosts,” i.e., Westworld’s androids.

Once guests' time in the park has ended, the Delos Shuttle will return them to EastSide Tavern. The entire experience will last approximately two hours.

Have a look at the video below from HBO, which hopes to entice potential visitors with promises of “no guidebook, no orientation, no regrets.”


Furthermore, various hints and Easter eggs about the new season will be strewn throughout the “town,” which means that guests can discover what’s in store for Westworld Season 2, depending on where they go and what they say to hosts.

And although HBO has not created artificially intelligent androids that you can shoot or have sex with, the upside of this is that the odds of hosts going rogue and shooting you with real guns loaded with real bullets are very, very slim.

This isn’t the first time HBO has gotten immersive and original to promote the show. At San Diego Comic-Con last year, the network hosted Westworld: The Experience, an immersive activation that let guests “visit” the offices of the in-show company behind the park, Delos Inc.

Dubbed the “Live Without Limits Weekend,” the upcoming SXSW attraction will run from March 9-11, serving as part of HBO’s marketing campaign for Westworld’s second season.

Attendees must be 21 years of age or older, with valid ID. Spots are very limited. Half of the available slots will be booked in advance, with the remaining appointments opening up during SXSW for those who missed early registration. Fans must visit DiscoverWestworld.com to pre-register.

Series creators Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan will participate in a panel with several Westworld cast members during the SXSW festival, as well.

Westworld returns to HBO on Apr. 22.

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