PSFK highlights our favorite brand activations that we've seen so far, to help SXSW 2018 attendees sort through the noise

People are gathering in Austin once again for one of the biggest culture and innovation events of the year: SXSW 2018. As per usual, guests will be treated to an eclectic mix of brand activations, expert panel discussions, tacos, emerging technologies, music, culture and more. Packed into just nine days, it can be on overwhelming amount of events to choose from. To kick off the first day of SXSW, PSFK is picking five of our favorite brand activations that we've seen so far, to help attendees sort through the noise.

Westworld Theme Park

Westworld is about to make the leap from science fiction to (almost) reality with a new theme park at SXSW that recreates the town of Sweetwater on two acres of Austin land. From March 9 to 11, guests will be treated to a full theme park experience, complete with recreations of some of the show's most iconic moments, and a full cast actors playing the sentient AI from the series. The activation has already proved to be wildly popular, with tickets selling out almost instantly. The novelty of this theme park is making it one of the most hyped events so far.

Uber Flying Cars

SXSW is all about looking towards the future, and Uber is paying attention with a panel that discusses what has been an enduring symbol of the future for more than half a century: flying cars. The Brazilian aerospace conglomerate EMBRAER and Uber will present new possibilities for urban transportation, and how close we really are to the development and deployment of small electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (VTOLs) for short commutes.

Lyft Musician Rides

One of the biggest attractions of SXSW is, of course, the music. To kick off 2018 in the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Lyft announced the Austin Musician Rideshare Program, which provides local musicians with free rides to and from their gigs. Partnering with local venues and artists, Lyft hopes to position itself as backbone of the creative community at SXSW this year.

Panasonic At Home

Panasonic wants to show off the latest and greatest in home appliances. The brand will be on site showcasing eight new business ideas and three projects that look at the future of home appliances and related services.  In addition to the technologies and products on display, Panasonic will host “OpenHub,” a series of 10 original sessions featuring experts looking at the latest trends in the fields of business, society, technology and culture. If you're interested in IoT and what the future of your home might look like, check this one out.

Soundcloud Originals

If you want to take a break and just listen to some music, SoundCloud is putting together a unique program of artists who got their start on the streaming service. Called “First On SoundCloud,” the company is showcasing some of 2018’s most exciting acts are making their mark on the music world after growing an audience on SoundCloud. Not only does it showcase the power of the platform in launching careers, it also introduces event-goers to a host of new artists.

So much to cover and not enough list! This us just a small selection of what to expect from SXSW this year, and there will be plenty more to talk about in the coming days. Keep checking PSFK for the latest updates.

Lead Image: SXSW