This Friday, South By Southwest kicks off 10 days of movies, music, video games, digital media and more in Austin, Texas. The festival brings together some of the country’s most innovative and interesting minds to celebrate arts, technology, culture and barbecue in the “Keep It Weird” capital of the world. (Sorry, Portland.) We heard “and barbecue” and started packing a bag. But what to take? How about enough games and good times to fill a bar on Rainey Street?
Starting Friday at noon, we and our sibling sites, Geek & Sundry and Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, are hitting the road. We’ll be hanging out at Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden (81 Rainey Street) all weekend long. There will be gaming on hand–of both the video and board variety–plus 7-Eleven will be hanging out while serving up free slurpees, and friends of the site will be dropping by all weekend for interviews and panels. You’ll also be able to pick up a t-shirt from our pop-up merch store, complete with a limited edition Nerdist, Geek & Sundry, and Smart Girls tee based on the imagery you see below.
Swing by the Nerdist booth at Banger’s where Dan Casey, Malik Forte, Matt Grosinger and I will be on hand to play Friday Funderdome favorites Nidhogg and Towerfall on PS4, as well as Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. on Wii U. There will most definitely be 8 player Smash happening all weekend. We’ll also be showing off our new Xbox App on our limited edition Nerdist Xbox One while you pick up some sweet new shades. Swing by between 12pm-3pm to get a hand-drawn sketch of yourself. Kind of like these peeps:
The crew from Geek & Sundry will have board games aplenty for you to borrow and play while you take a break from the rush of SXSW. The G&S booth is also swag central, with a sweepstakes giveaway and prize wheel for your spinning pleasure. So don’t leave the booth without some of that sweet, sweet swag. Swing by on Saturday to say “Hi Felicia!” as Geek & Sundry founder and The Guild creator Felicia Day will be holding a special panel. She’ll even be sticking around to play games with her brother Ryon and fans! They’ll also be hosting the eightiest of ’80s dance parties on Friday night, so loosen your feet and walk like an Egyptian to Banger’s to dance all night long.
The intelligent ladies of Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls are prepared to help you express your wild style with some sick new ink. Okay, they’re temporary tattoos that will come off with mild soap, but they’re still awesome. Watch an exclusive video from Amy Poehler for SXSW fans and then make like Rivers Cuomo by sharing your love of witty women with a Smart Girls Selfie. They’ll even be hosting a party full of live entertainment and DJ’ed dance party awesomeness.
Our friends at FUNimation are going to have plenty of activities to get your power level above 9000! Arm-wrestle Goku and test your strength against Kakarot himself ! If you win on Friday or Saturday, you’ll be entered to win Seasons 1 – 9 of Dragon Ball Z on Blu-ray! Take pictures of your battle with Goku or pose with a giant Attack on Titan wall and you could win even more prizes! Share your pics using #SXSWAnime on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and 3 lucky winners will take home a huge anime prize pack! We’re just Saiyan…
Check out our entire schedule of activities and panels below:
Legendary Digital Panel: Kicking off the entire weekend, join Nerdist Editor in Chief Brian Walton, Geek and Sundry VP of Production and Development Ryan Copple, Smart Girls’ COO Meredith Walker, and Nerdist Head of Production Johnny Wickham to discuss the challenges they’ve faced and achievements they’ve unlocked working in digital media. Bring your questions as the panel will open up to an extensive Q&A session on how to improve your projects chances of success.
Nerdist Gaming Panel: At 1pm, Malik Forté will be assuming direct control of the stage for a Breaking into Gaming Panel with upstarts from across the gaming landscape. From the dev cycle to the golden era of livestreaming, Malik and company will help you navigate the world of game development, crowd funding, promotion and much, much more.
Geek & Sundry Takeover: The team from Geek & Sundry will take the stage with you as our guest! Come dance with us as we bring our Twitch shenanigans to life for you!
Nerdist Comedy Open Mic: On Friday afternoon, come get your chuckle on as we bring Open Mic Comedy to Bangers from 3-4. The Nerdist Comedy Open Mic is open to everyone. We’re allowing advance sign ups for 3 minute sets by emailing [email protected] or signing up on site at the venue the day of the event. Come to make jokes, stay to laugh at jokes.
Live Team Trivia: We’ll be hosting Trivial Team Trivia both Friday and Saturday from 4:15pm – 6pm. Bring a team of 3-6 friends or come sign up solo and we’ll partner you up with people you will come to tell your friends were the greatest bar trivia team ever assembled. The team may only exist for one night, but the legend will live on… forever! Signups begin at 4:00pm!
Geek & Sundry’s Totally ’80s Dance Party Just looking for a break at night? Come by and enjoy Banger’s sausage and beer garden before Geek & Sundry turns the knob to eleven for an ’80s dance party. Open to all. Leave the question of “who is lord of the dance?” to no one’s imagination by coming and breaking it down.
Saturday Pi Day!
Felicia Day Felicia Day (The Guild, Dr. Horrible, Eureka) will be discussing her new book, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), what’s on the way from Geek & Sundry and her own career and projects. Bring your questions to this special conversation with this unique and talented renaissance lady.
Community Gaming: After her panel, stick around and challenge Felicia in style combat as she plays games, with her brother Ryon Day, against fans in the Geek & Sundry gaming lounge for all the Twitch community to see!
Adult Beginners Panel: Nick Kroll and Ross Katz, the star and director of SXSW film Adult Beginners, will join Nerdist Editor-In-Chief Brian Walton in conversation about the pair’s new film, comedy, and their careers.
Co-Optitude Live: Felicia and Ryon Day will stick around for a Co-Optitude Live Let’s Play, where they will hilariously playing through their favorite games. Fans everywhere are invited to watch and interact via our live stream on twitch.tv/geekandsundry.
Professional Lady People Panel: Meredith Walker and Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls present the Professional Lady People Panel. Featuring a unique group of creatives and professionals, the PLPP aims to discuss the non-traditional career routes that our panelists have chosen, the challenges they have faced in their jobs, and the allies that have helped them achieve in their fields.
Pi(e) Eating Contest: To celebrate the greatest Pi Day ever, we’re throwing a Pi Day Pie Eating contest! Join us at 3:00PM to see who will be crowned Prince or Princess of Pie. (Not the official title, that we’re aware of).
Conversation with Robert Rodriguez: What makes Austin so great? The music, the food, the community? Maybe we should ask Austin’s favorite son when we have a Conversation with Robert Rodriguez. For thirty minutes we’re going to go in depth with the writer-director about his current workload on From Dusk Till Dawn for El Rey, The Robert Rodriguez Museum’s Frank Frazetta collection, and his upcoming adaptation of Fire and Ice. Come for the conversation, stay for the adult themes and violence.
Live Team Trivia: Another 5 rounds of Trivial Team Trivia will take place on Saturday evening from 4:15pm to 6pm. Rejoin your team of 3-6 friends or sign up solo to be partnered with a team that is deserving of your positively perfect performance. Sign ups begin at 4:00pm!
Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls Takeover & Dance Party: For the rest of the evening, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls presents a lineup of entrancing entertainment. To kick off the evening’s festivities, we’re going to get a mesmerizing marimba performance by 17-year-old Sarah Ortiz at 6:45pm. Then, the Smarties are going to kick-flip things up a notch with a skateboarding Q&A from the always-awesome Sowle Sisters at 7:15pm. The penultimate performance of the evening is a rockin’ set from Austin’s own indie pop act, Charlie Belle, at 8:30pm. Finally at 10pm, we can groove the night away at a special Smart Girl Dance Party with DJ Lauren LaRose! 6:30pm-12am
Brass Band Brunch: Do you even brunch bro? Oh you do? Then the fun continues as Urban Achievers Brass Band takes the stage for Sunday brunch at Banger’s.
Undateable Panel: The cast of WBTV’s Undateable joins Music Editor Matt Grosinger for a special conversation about the NBC show, comedy and life in general. Ron Funches, Chris D’Elia, Brent Morin and Bridgit Mendler will be on hand for this live interview.
The Players’ Tribune Panel: Led by Ben Lyons, The Players’ Tribune will be hosting a special panel, presented by Dove Men + Care, with top former NBA and NCAA athletes to talk sports and Real Strength. With a lineup like this, you just know it’s gonna be a slam dunk. (Sorry.)
The Thrilling Adventure Hour Panel: And to close out our weekend full of programming, The Thrilling Adventure Hour’s Ben Blacker, Busy Phillips, and Janet Varney are going to talk all things Workjuice including comics, performances and an upcoming caravan through kiwi country, a.k.a. New Zealand.
If you can’t make it out to Austin for SXSW, keep checking here on Nerdist.com for the latest news and movie reviews from the festival. You can keep up with the gaming happening at Banger’s all weekend on the Geek & Sundry Twitch channel. Plus, be sure to keep tabs with everything happening at SXSW by following Nerdist, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls and Geek & Sundry on Twitter and Facebook.
What are you most excited for at SXSW? Let us know in the comments below!