Select fans will get to visit a town from Westworld (or, the next best thing) when the 2018 SXSW festival gets underway in March. Following the mystery box narrative that was season 1 of HBO's Westworld, fans are anxiously awaiting the new season of the TV series. When things left off, a new status quo was on the horizon as the hosts revolted and Ford was executed by his own creation. The Super Bowl trailer for Westworld season 2 teased plenty of chaos following the events of season 1, as well as something of a return to regular operations for the park.
Given that season 1 of Westworld secretly used time jumps to disorient the narrative (and viewers), it seems safe to assume that season 2 will incorporate flashbacks into the proceedings too. Meanwhile, the fallout of the season 1 finale will continue to unfold in the present, and usher in a new era. Westworld viral marketing is hinting at the existence of other parks too, though the main park will remain the show's focus - and will soon be entering our own reality, in a manner of speaking.
HBO has launched Discover Westworld, a site that allows fans of the show to experience a simulation of the Westworld park. The video embedded above offers a glimpse of what's to come, and the site allows you to book a limited spot in the real-life town, which will be built on the outskirts of Austin, Texas during SXSW next month.
From March 9-11, those who have purchased tickets will get to interact with actors posing as hosts, experience a number of Western-themed food and drinks, and solve mysteries based upon the show. They'll also get to visit locations from the series within the town of Sweetwater, including Mariposa Saloon and the Coronado hotel. The event will even kick off when a Delos shuttle whisks attendees away and offers them their choice of a black or white hat.
In addition to the premium experience, those attending the film and TV portion of SXSW will get their chance to see a panel with the cast and creators. On March 10, showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy will be joined by actors James Marsden, Jerffrey Wright, Evan Rachel Wood, and Thandie Newton. While it won't be as immersive as the park experience, it will hopefully offer some teases regarding season 2.
This isn't the first time HBO has done something like this. A Westworld experience at New York Comic-Con last year adapted some elements of the show, but the SXSW town will be like nothing fans have seen before. Though the festival was once a small music showcase, its growing popularity could see it go the way of NYCC eventually. But for die-hard fans, it's hard to argue with the appeal of stepping inside your favorite show.
Westworld season 2 premieres Sunday, April 22 on HBO.