SXSW festivalgoers recreate Beyonce’s iconic pregnancy photo at Mashable House

Have you always wanted to be more like Beyonce? Some South by Southwest attendees got the chance Sunday at the Mashable House, which had a backdrop nearly identical to the one in Queen Bey’s now-iconic pregnancy reveal (yeah, she’s having twins, we still can’t get over it).

Tove Blum and Ebba Sundstedt laugh after taking a photo at a photo booth replicating Beyonce’s Instagram pregnancy announcement at the Mashable House on the second day of SXSW on March 11, 2017. Photo by Tamir Kalifa/American-Statesman

Here are some of the best photos:

Also, there was apparently a stack of tortillas 22 inches tall at the Mashable House Sunday, so you know, that happened.

Surf’s up and the stars are at out at TNT’s ‘Animal Kingdom’ pop-up beach

You might not expect to see surfing in downtown Austin, especially when it’s rainy and 40 degrees. But as we all know, during SXSW, anything can happen.

On Sunday afternoon on the corner of Congress and Fourth Street pro Flowboarder Sean Silveira tackled the waves on a “pop-up beach” and gave some lessons to actors Finn Cole (“Peaky Blinders”) and Ben Robson (“Vikings”) as part of an immersive installation to promote TNT’s show, “Animal Kingdom,” which focuses on a Southern California crime family. 

Sean Silveira, five-time national FlowRider champion, teaches Ben Robson, who plays Craig Cody on TNT’s “Animal Kingdom,” how to surf on the FlowRider surf simulator, part of the Animal Kingdom pop-up beach at SXSW on March 12, 2017. Tamir Kalifa/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Cole and Robson joined fellow “Animal Kingdom” star Shawn Hatosy (“Southland”) in a heated van to talk about the show and their time at SXSW.

Hatosy, who previously spent time in Austin shooting 1998’s “The Faculty,” said it’s been interesting to see the ways that Austin has grown.

“At the time when I shot ‘The Faculty,’ Robert Rodriguez was just starting his little company,” he said. “The cast of that, we were young, and they were shooting ‘Varsity Blues’ at the same time, and ‘Office Space.’ It was just such an amazing time to be here. To see the growth of the city and the festival, it’s very rewarding.”

Cole said the dreary weather reminded him of London, where he’s from.

“I like Austin even more,” Cole said. “This gray weather is making me feel like I’m at home.”

Hatosy added that it’s refreshing to be in Austin because it’s a city that appreciates film and TV as art.

“It’s nice to be in a community where people are interested in art, because that’s what we’re doing, right? Even though we’re on surfboards. Ultimately, it’s a wonderful show.”

Check out the “Animal Kingdom” pop-up beach through Monday during SXSW. And tune in to the second season of “Animal Kingdom,” which returns May 30. TBK SXSW SUN 007-1

SXSW 2017: Bill Nye BookPeople signing draws throngs of bow-tie-clad fans

He might not seem like the most obvious heartthrob, but when Bill Nye enters the building, people shriek. That was the scene Sunday morning at BookPeople, where Nye — aka “Bill Nye the Science Guy” — spent an hour signing bookplates for his new book, “Everything All at Once,” which will be released in July.

Nye was friendly but efficient as he greeted each of the hundreds of fans who stood in a line that looped around the store and down the stairs. A documentary about Nye, called, appropriately, “Bill  Nye: Science Guy,” will show at SXSW tonight.

Robby Cole and his dad, Robert, dressed in matching blue shirts and bow ties for the occasion.

Robby Cole and his dad, Robert Cole, dressed in matching attire for the Bill Nye signing at BookPeople on Sunday morning. Kristin Finan/American-Statesman

Robert Cole said meeting Nye seemed like a great opportunity for his science-loving son.

“(Nye) has had such an impact on the world of science, not just by what he knows, but by what he inspires,” Robert Cole said.

Robby Cole agreed, adding, “He’s just so awesome.”

The audience included both children who are currently watching Bill Nye’s science programming at school and adults who said he influenced their career paths.

“He inspired me to study science,” said Nick Nguyen, who is doing just that now at the University of Texas.

Friends Cristina Cano-Calhoun, Nick Nguyen and Jennifer Perales at the Bill Nye signing at BookPeople. Kristin Finan/American-Statesman

Nye made a point to spend a little extra time with the children who came to see him, pointing out one little girl’s shirt, which read, “Yay science!” to the entire room.

Ruby Ragsdale, 7, said she’s learned a number of things from watching Nye, including that “your left lung is smaller than your right lung so your heart can fit.” She said she enjoys using her microscope and her science kit at home. Her current plan is to be a baker, but she’ll consider science, too.

Ruby Ragsdale shows off the bookplate that Bill Nye signed for her. Kristin Finan/American-Statesman

Her dad, Ian Ragsdale, said he and his wife wanted to bring Ruby to the signing to reinforce the idea that no career is off limits for her.

“We’re really big on making sure Ruby knows she can do anything,” he said.


‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is making SXSW 100 percent more unsettling

One way to promote a TV show at South by Southwest: opening a pop-up chicken restaurant. Another way: terrifying people to death. Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” went for option No. 2 this weekend in Austin.

Photo by Omar Gallaga/American-Statesman

As Statesman Shots co-hosts Omar Gallaga and Tolly Moseley explained in an episode of the podcast Saturday, they came across stoically marching ladies in red on their way to the Los Pollos Hermanos installation promoting AMC’s “Better Call Saul.” They were not the only people startled by the guerilla marketing for the dystopian drama.

Happy nightmares, SXSW. Feel free to wash the chilling image of Margaret Atwood’s story brought to life out of your mind with some more of that delicious fried chicken from Los Pollos Hermanos.

[h/t iO9]

A hater’s guide to SXSW and Austin’s longest week

For every free taco or Lone Star you throw down your gullet in glee, fair fest-goer, remember that there is a very vocal contingent of Austinites that are NOT HERE AT ALL for the annual sprawl of South by Southwest.

Like, at all.

Sound familiar? If you’ve lived in Austin long enough, you’ve heard all the classic lines. “I miss the old Austin.” “Austin used to be way cooler back in the day.” “Austin is turning into California.” “Don’t move here.” “I am terrified of change and the happiness of others when it does not align with my personal interests.”

OH, YOU DON’T HATE SXSW? Find an unofficial party, dude

Like clockwork, SXSW 2017 has brought out haters of all stripes on social media. Some decide to take extreme measures of self-care …

… some feel the anger the most in their wallet …

… some find the political even in a festival …

… some are hurtling headfirst into a storm they never anticipated …

… and some are just jealous, tbh.

Even if you were once all about that #FestLife, you’re not immune to the hater virus.

Let’s not forget that there are indeed legitimate grievances to be had.

Some people manage to suppress their hateration in the dancery just long enough to make some serious coin off of the throngs of visitors.

No matter your personal feelings on SXSW and Austin itself, it’s important to think about what the cloud of negativity looks like to an outsider.


There’s a lot to like about the fest, but to each their own. If you need to escape the chaos, why not stuff your face far, far away?

GIVEAWAY CLOSED: Win two pairs of tickets to Rachael Ray’s Feedback House at SXSW 2017

Update: The giveaway is now closed. Winners have been notified.

It’s the 10th year of Rachael Ray’s beloved Feedback party during South by Southwest — but did you know there’s an even more exclusive Rachael Ray party that spans three days? It’s called the Rachael Ray Feedback House, and it’s an invite-only party. That’s right, it’s super exclusive.

The deets: The Feedback House at 1102 East Cesar Chavez St. runs Thursday, March 16 and Friday, March 17 from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday, March 18 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The lineup includes Modern English, Brent Cobb, Dams of The West, Forth Wanderers, Gold Star, Baskery, Sarah Shook & the Disarmers, Muuy Biien, The Aces, Gold Connections, Deep State, Cotillon, Kane Strang, Ben Sollee, Emily Estefan, The Cringe, SMITHRADIO, and January Jane.

RELATED: Weezer, queso on the cob to headline 10th annual Rachael Ray Feedback party

Rachael Ray Feedback House at SXSW 2016. Suzanne Cordeiro/for American-Statesman

We’re giving away two passes to the Feedback House to the first 15 people who can answer this Rachael Ray trivia question:

What year was Rachael Ray named an honorary citizen of Austin? Hint: Mayor Lee Leffingwell bestowed the honor.

The first 15 people to email with the correct answer to the trivia question will receive two passes to the Feedback House. Reminder: The event is 21 and up only.

Happy SXSW!

You can take a photo with a giant white buffalo at SXSW, if you’re into that sort of thing

If you’re in town for South by Southwest and you’re thinking, “Man, I really wish I had a photo of myself standing next to a 23-foot-tall, 30-foot-long, 6,000-pound white buffalo,” then, well, we’ve got good news for you.

Contributed by Starz

Starz has installed a great white buffalo at the corner of Red River and Cesar Chavez streets as part of its promotion for “American Gods,” the new television show based on Neil Gaiman’s popular novel of the same name. According to Starz, the buffalo installment is homage to the recurring image of a buffalo in the series.

Where’s the party at? Check out our list of the best unofficial events during SXSW 2017

In the Starz activation area, festival attendees can also charge their phones, get some free “American Gods” swag” and check out custom “American Gods” Snapchat stickers.

But hey, that buffalo. Don’t miss it (and how could you miss it, really).

SXSW 2017: Your first look at the real-life ‘Los Pollos Hermanos’ restaurant

We told you last week that AMC is bringing “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul” restaurant Los Pollos Hermanos to life this South by Southwest.

The restaurant is set up at 5th Street and Colorado Street. Reshma Kirpalani/AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Well, it’s day one of the festival and the restaurant (which looks identical to the TV version) is open to the public.

Judging by the looks of that crowd, it’s pretty popular. And yes, you can get real food there.

SXSW attendees enjoy food at the Los Pollos Hermanos popup. Reshma Kirpalani/AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN
You’ve got all kinds of dining options at Los Pollos Hermanos. Reshma Kirpalani / AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN

According to our crew at the scene, the line on Friday afternoon was long but manageable, so you’re chances of getting in and enjoying some of Gus Fring’s wares are pretty high. There’s a catch, though: There isn’t any air conditioning in the restaurant, so be ready to sweat.

LOOK: More pictures from the opening of the pop-up restaurant

The pop-up restaurant won’t be the only appearance related to the AMC shows — Bob Odenkirk, who plays Saul Goodman in both shows, is speaking at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 12 during the festival.

SXSW posts signs in bathrooms opposing controversial Texas ‘bathroom bill’

Days after a Texas Senate panel approved Texas’ controversial “bathroom bill,” South by Southwest organizers are speaking out against the bill, which prohibits transgender-friendly bathrooms in schools, universities and government buildings.

PHOTOS: Bathroom bill protest at the Capitol on March 7, 2017

SXSW organizers placed signs in bathrooms at the festival, including in the Austin Convention Center. The signs read, in part, “We oppose discriminatory legislation such as the Texas SB6 ‘bathroom bill’ and support civil rights for all persons everywhere.”

These signs were placed in bathrooms at the Austin Convention Center. Phil Jankowski/AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The Senate committee approved Senate Bill 6 early Wednesday morning, nearly 21 hours after a public hearing that drew hundreds to the Capitol to testify on the bill. Read more coverage of the bathroom bill here.


Take a break from SXSW crowds and ride around town in the VICELAND Bus

Tired of walking? Want to get in a tricked-out bus with an unknown destination? Well, here’s your chance: The VICELAND Bus will be cruising around town during South by Southwest this year, giving festivalgoers a space to take a break from the crowds (and the heat or humidity or rain, if past SXSWs are any indication).

The VICELAND Bus is coming to SXSW. Photo via @vicelandbus/Instagram

VICELAND, the TV channel from VICE Media, has taken its bus to various cultural events like Comic Con, Outside Lands and the Women’s March on Washington, and now it’s coming to Austin from March 11-18.

Why do you care? Well, this bus has everything. Leather couches. A DJ booth. A karaoke machine. Free VICELAND swag. A chance to get a ride to an undetermined location without worrying you’re going to be kidnapped.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Wondering how to find the bus? You can find it using this map, or follow along on the bus’ Instagram for a peek inside.

Where’s the party at? Check out our guide to the best unofficial parties during SXSW 2017

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