Even before the first attendees arrived in Austin for SXSW 2018, news that HBO would be recreating the theme park from the hit sci-fi drama Westworld set the internet ablaze with anticipation.
Faithful re-creations of well-known film and television sets have become a beloved fixture among the immersive activations at SXSW. Recent examples have included the Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant from AMC’s Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul and the iconic The Double R Diner from David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.
“The universe of the show makes it a marketer’s dream to find new ways to keep fans engaged, and we’re always looking to go beyond the impression of a general advertisement to create an experience that feels both authentic and impactful.”
The HBO activation wasn’t even the first theme park to appear at SXSW; in 2016, a Mr. Robot inspired Coney Island, complete with a 100-foot tall ferris wheel, took over downtown Austin. However, actually setting foot in Westworld’s town of Sweetwater seemed like an even more difficult feat to pull off.