What you need to know on Day One of South by Southwest

  • Staff
  • American-Statesman staff
4:31 p.m Thursday, March 8, 2018 Local
Michael Hathaway uses a hot-air blower to heat-shrink a visual graphic for the Dell Experience on an exterior wall of a warehouse at East Third and Trinity streets on Tuesday, part of the prep for South by Southwest 2018, which opens Friday. RALPH BARRERA / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

South by Southwest officially kicks off Friday; here are five things to know about the start of the festival:

1. On Day One, you can pick up badges from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Austin Convention Center or the Palmer Events Center; badges are only available at the convention center for the rest of the fest.

2. The SXSW Film Festival’s opening night movie is the world premiere of “A Quiet Place,” a horror-thriller co-written and directed by John Krasinski (“The Office”) and starring real-life couple Krasinski and Emily Blunt.

3. Prominent conference speakers on the first day include U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, relationship guru Esther Perel, Pulitzer Prize-winning Austin author Lawrence Wright and Techfugees’ CEO Josephine Goube.

4. HBO is bringing its hit show “Westworld” to life for badgeholders. The cable channel built a town from the ground up for an immersive experience Friday through Sunday. Advance registration for the weekend quickly filled up, but there will be a standby line opening at 1:30 p.m. each day of the event at 1510 E. Cesar Chavez St.

5. The National Weather Service’s weekend forecast for Austin calls for mostly mild, seasonable weather. Friday might be the soggiest day, with patchy drizzle in the morning and light rain possible at night. Saturday will be the hottest, with temperatures expected to reach 88. But a dry cold front will cool things down on Sunday and Monday with temperatures topping out in the 60s.