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SXSW is much more than a film fest — this year’s event calendar offers something for everyone, with an endless array of things to see and do.

The Lodge at SXSW

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It’s here! After much breathless anticipation and a near-daily barrage of major announcements, the world-renowned multimedia festival SXSW is back for its 2024 edition.

I recently shared some of the films I’m incredibly excited about, and trying to fit even half of them into my viewing schedule would be challenging. However, SXSW isn’t just an unfathomably good film festival. It’s also packed full of unforgettable events and experiences, making it impossible to do all the cool things the festival has to offer. Still, I’m going to give it my best shot!

Here’s a rundown of all the must-do activities that are high on my radar. Stay tuned for a full report of what I see, do, and experience at SXSW 2024.

QUEENS ART INSTALLATION

National Geographic has partnered with experiential marketing agency Idlewild to produce and display a large-scale, high-impact art installation at SXSW inspired by the themes in the seven-part docu-series QUEENS, which premiered on March 4th on National Geographic and is now streaming on Disney+ and Hulu. Drawing inspiration from the series, the mural will incorporate themes of female empowerment and elements from nature.

Renowned BIPOC muralist and community organizer Erin Yoshi is leading the composition and installation of the project. She has 20+ years of experience in social arts practice and has painted over 100 murals around the globe.

The installation will take place from March 3rd – March 8th at the East Austin Hotel (1108 E 6th St) and will be on display from March 8th through the duration of the festival.

THE LODGE BY PARAMOUNT+

The Lodge at SXSW

Paramount+ is a total household offering featuring iconic franchises and beloved characters. The magic of the Mountain of Entertainment™ campaign is that the service’s unmatched content is showcased in an authentic and interesting way that draws in consumers. Paramount+’s The Lodge is the next iteration of the campaign, offering a unique and immersive experience that brings Paramount Mountain to life.

As The Lodge makes its way to SXSW 2024, the experience will welcome festival goers with a cabin-like vibe where they can relax and sip on refreshments before continuing their adventure.

On the Clive Bar’s first floor, guests will feel like they just stepped into the heart of Chicago’s South Side, where they can pose for a photo on the stoop and enjoy a sweet treat in celebration of THE CHI (Paramount+ with Showtime).

Attendees will also notice an unmissable pink room, where they can step inside the world of MEAN GIRLS (2024) and try a themed cocktail called ‘The Plastics’, all the while taking a read through the infamous Burn Book.

Mean Girls SXSW

HALO fans will encounter the mystical Covenant artifact, the relic of an alien civilization. Upon leaving the artifact’s sanctum, fans will have the opportunity to explore costumes and props from the set and snag exclusive HALO-branded mirror sunglasses.

Just up the stairs, SXSW loyalists will be welcomed back to the INK MASTER chair to celebrate the artistry and passion behind tattoo culture and get their very own temporary airbrush tattoo while they’re at it.

Wandering on the second floor, they will find themselves at the heart of the final frontier and be able to step onto the iconic bridge of the U.S.S. Discovery. With ambient lighting and high-tech displays, consumers will feel like they’ve stepped into the shoes of a Starfleet captain from STAR TREK: DISCOVERY commanding a vessel in the far reaches of the galaxy while they pose for a picture.

The LAWMEN: BASS REEVES space overlooking Rainey Street will give attendees the opportunity to engage with and step straight into history to see if they are on Bass Reeves’ WANTED list or if they are on the right side of the law before leaving with a U.S. Deputy Marshal badge.

Guests will also be able to snap a photo in front of the Paramount Mountain and be invited into The Lodge Confessional, an interactive booth where they’ll share their thoughts, strategies, and personal experiences just like the cast of SURVIVOR with a chance to make it onto the show’s official social media channels.

In addition to exploring the most celebrated titles on Paramount+, attendees will experience the world of CBS Sports at The Paramount+ Pub. Here, they will play various games such as the hook and ring toss or a UEFA Champions Lea

This experience takes place at The Clive Bar (609 Davis St, Austin, TX 78701) at various times from March 8-11, with times for the public and for SXSW Badge Holders)

THE FIRST OMEN CONFESSIONAL BOOTH

The interactive “Confessional Booth” inspired by the upcoming film, THE FIRST OMEN (in theaters April 5), is an immersive 2-minute experience that will be at SXSW March 8-10 from 12 pm-8 pm, at two locations downtown (712 Congress Avenue and 310 E 2nd Street). It’s free to the public, with priority access given to SXSW badge holders.

Guests who dare to enter will uncover a terrifying secret behind the birth of evil, leaving them with the only physical proof that a sinister unholy conspiracy is at work —  a creepy Polaroid photo enclosed in a file folder containing “the only proof of an unholy conspiracy behind the birth of true evil.” The contents of the folder will be crea5vely branded with photo-worthy, in-world film elements for a fully immersive experience from beginning to end.

Guests are encouraged to share their photos from the experience on social media: Instagram: @20thcenturystudios #TheFirstOmen

THE AUDIBLE SOUND EXPERIENCE

Audible SXSW

Audible invites SXSW attendees to explore The Audible Sound Experience from Friday, March 8, through Sunday, March 10. Located a few blocks from the Convention Center (220 Congress Ave) and open to the public daily, the amusements will immerse guests in the magic and diversity of premium audio storytelling through interactive, over-the-top, carnival-inspired experiences. Follow along at #SXSWxAudible.

The Audible Sound Experience includes:

  • Rides on a larger-than-life Ferris wheel with audio-enabled passenger gondolas, offering guests a distinctive experience listening to Audible content spanning genres including pop culture, celebrity memoirs, non-fiction, romance, wellbeing, mystery/thriller, and more.
  • Carnival-inspired games showcasing the diverse selection of Audible’s premium audio entertainment with the opportunity to earn Audible-themed prizes.
  • Classic beverages and concessions, including corn dogs, cotton candy, and popsicles, will be available alongside festive-themed listening moments for festival-goers to enjoy.

Listeners can dive into immersive audio and experience the power of imagination with this curated selection of Audible stories from across various genres for SXSW 2024 and more: audible.com/sxsw

Valeo Racer