Prime Video will take SXSW 2023 attendees on an immersive exploration of its upcoming series “Swarm” with a pop-up activation at Austin Motel.
We are just days away from the start of SXSW 2023, and the anticipation is damn near killing me. Every day, I discover something new and incredible that awaits this year’s attendees. You see, SXSW is much more than a world-class film, music, and interactive festival — although, just the film and television lineup alone is enough to drop your jaw and more than justify the price of admission.
However, what really makes the Internationally-acclaimed festival such a can’t-miss event is the fully immersive experience offered to those who make the trek to Austin, Texas, to be a part of it.
It’s a total takeover of the city’s downtown and surrounding areas. At any given point during the 10-day fest — from the early morning to the wee hours of the night — you’ll have the option of attending a multitude of screenings and shows, special events, speaking engagements, interactive art installations, music showcases, and more at several of Austin’s best theaters, performing arts centers, outdoor venues, convention center, as well as local bars, hotels, and other establishments.
(A free shuttle service makes it easy and inexpensive to get around the city and experience the vast array of programming.)
There is never not something to do. In fact, the “worst” part of the fest is having far too much to take in and not enough time to see, hear, and experience it all.
There are so many movies I can’t wait to see… too many movies. But I’m equally excited about some of the unbelievable events and the chance to get up close and personal with many of this year’s hottest properties, brands, platforms, and programs.
One of the events I’m most enthusiastic about is Prime Video’s immersive pop-up for Swarm.
Swarm, set between 2016-2018, follows Dre (Dominique Fishback), an obsessed fan of the world’s biggest pop stars who sets off on an unexpected cross-country journey.
In celebration of the show’s World Premiere at SXSW on March 10th, Prime Video will take over the famed Austin Motel with a curated in-world convenience store pop-up to commemorate the debut of the highly-anticipated new limited series from Janine Nabers and Donald Glover.
Transforming the motel’s lobby, the activation will provide guests with immersive photo moments, themed refreshments, and exclusive merchandise inspired by the Prime Video Series.
Attendees of the pop-up activation will be able to immerse themselves in the world of Swarm with Dre’s getaway car photo moment complete with blood-stained seats, a wrapped dead body, and the ominous buzz of bees overhead.
Upon entering the fluorescently lit and air-conditioned mini-mart, guests will receive custom cash to purchase their favorite snacks and refreshments off the shelves and stocked refrigerators, as well as exclusive, screen-printed t-shirts.
All of Dre’s favorite junk food snacks and drinks with Swarm-branded souvenir cups will be available for them to snag. While checking out, visitors can watch never-before-seen clips of the series on the surveillance monitors and will be given a lottery ticket for a chance to win various prizes, including a Swarm branded-bucket hat like Dre’s in the show.
The activation will be open to the public from March 10 through March 11, at the lobby of Austin Motel.
The lobby of The Austin Motel will be transformed into a retro gas station and mini-mart, similar to the one Dre visits in the series.
Activation hours include:
- Friday, March 10 from 12PM – 3PM
- Saturday, March 11 from 12PM – 5PM
In addition to the pop-up at Austin Motel, Prime Video will be exclusively screening the first two episodes of Swarm as the SXSW Opening Night TV Premiere on Friday, March 10 at 9:45PM at Paramount followed by a Q&A.
The series will also feature guest stars Chlöe Bailey as Dre’s sister, Marissa and Damson Idris as Marissa’s boyfriend, Khalid. Additional guest stars include Rickey Thompson, Paris Jackson, Rory Culkin, Kiersey Clemons, and Byron Bowers.
Swarm is set to premiere all episodes on Prime Video on March 17 in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide.