SXSW 2019: The weirdest sights from the world’s largest tradition fest

And a Merry Apocalypse to you, too. 


Amy E. Price/Getty

There I used to be, attempting to scarf down a grilled cheese sandwich from a meals truck outdoors the Austin Convention Center, when a pack of Satanic nuns rolled by to want everybody a “Merry Apocalypse.”

In nearly another time or place, this could be an uncommon prevalence. Weird, you would possibly say. But at SXSW, an occasion that principally defies thematic categorization, bizarre is at all times in bountiful provide.

Film, music, social points, politics, enterprise — SXSW packs quite a bit into 10 days. Sure, you get purple carpet world premieres and blockbusting marquee names, however you additionally discover the sudden roaming across the streets that encompass the conference middle.

On Saturday, I appeared up from my cellphone to catch a procession of children with masks, beating a drum, selling the variation of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, premiering March 16 at SXSW.

Or, there have been the 2 younger ladies strolling round in silver alien costumes, with green-painted faces. For what cause? I could not inform you.

And if angels and demons cruised by on the sidewalk, they weren’t simply heralding the End Times (just like the Chattering Order of St. Beryl), however herding folks towards Amazon Prime Video’s Garden of Earthly Delights, an interactive expertise for the upcoming present Good Omens. Granted, there is a measure of this weirdness that is manufactured. Guerilla advertising campaigns and SXSW go collectively like mac and cheese. I’m, nevertheless, prepared to opt-in for this over a billboard, any day.

It’s not simply the advertising ploys that deliver the bizarre to SXSW, although. It’s that sense that the competition could possibly be a house for absolutely anything.

Lush Cosmetics introduced an interactive bathtub bomb pop up constructed out of a cargo container to indicate off a brand new app. My colleagues and SXSW buddies Chris Monroe and John Kim got here throughout an equipment dads can use to breast feed their infants when Mom’s not round. Meditation app Calm simply occurred to have a sloth at its sales space. Meanwhile over at Sony’s WOW Studio, a small tribe of robots, a part of the artwork set up Das Fremde, developed their very own language and, little question, spent your entire time speaking crap about everybody who stopped to gawk.

Elsewhere: There had been three,000 kilos of cheese prepared for attendee consumption, and mysterious indicators on phone poles a couple of misplaced unicorn.

And you understand what’s supremely bizarre? Sitting by a Q&A session with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and all of the sudden realizing Bill Nye the Science Guy is on the mic asking a query about local weather change.

Somewhere between sliding into an avocado-shaped ball pit and banging on some bongo drums at the hours of darkness, I chalked all of it as much as a slogan that claims all of it.

As the bumper sticker goes, hold Austin bizarre.