Two people dressed as an angel and a demon welcome visitors to the Good Omens at SXSW: Earthly Garden Delights activation event.

SXSW 2019: ‘Good Omens’ Pop-Up Experience

What would you do if the world was coming to an end? Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett‘s novel Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch explores this with angel Aziraphale and demon Crowley. Amazon Prime Video is releasing the TV series adaptation Good Omens on May 31, and luckily for South By Southwest (SXSW) 2019 goers, we got to visit the official Good Omens activation event (or pop-up event) in downtown Austin’s Rainey Street District. The activation was live from March 8 to March 12.

Good Omens activation event perimeter posters and "The End Is Nigh" writing
Photo credit: ChinLin Pan/Geek Gals
Official character posters for the Good Omens activation event
Photo credit: ChinLin Pan/Geek Gals
Official character posters for the Good Omens activation event
Photo credit: ChinLin Pan/Geek Gals
Official character posters for the Good Omens activation event and a scooter
Photo credit: ChinLin Pan/Geek Gals

I have been looking forward to this pop-up Good Omens at SXSW: Garden of Earthly Delights since Amazon Prime Video announced it. I came to SXSW on the first day when the pop-up event started. It was so much fun! Everything you would want in a pop-up with a heaven-or-hell spin to it. The pop-up was an official SXSW event for badge holders but they also allowed general admission at no cost. Thanks for sharing the love to non-badge holders. My friend attended the pop-up with me on the first day and was able to get in and enjoy the fun too!

What’s Good Omens?

Good Omens official TV show poster outside the wall of the activation event.
Photo credit: ChinLin Pan/Geek Gals

The novel

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch came out in 1990 and it’s a fantasy comedic novel about the birth of the son of Satan, the coming of the End Times (AKA the apocalypse). Aziraphale and Crowley try to sabotage the coming of the apocalypse. Unfortunately, someone has summoned the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Meanwhile, the subplot of the novel features an accidental baby switch at a hospital in the English countryside. A boy, Adam, who is the Antichrist, grows up with the wrong family.

The show

The Good Omens TV series is an adaptation brought by co-author Neil Gaiman as showrunner. The series consists of just six episodes by director Douglas Mackinnon and is a co-production between Amazon Prime and BBC Two.

Check out the official trailer!

Good Omens cast

  • Michael Sheen as the angel Aziraphale
  • David Tennant as the demon Crowley
  • Jon Hamm as Gabriel the Archangel, leader of the forces of Heaven
  • Josie Lawrence as Agnes Nutter, the 17th century witch who predicted the end of times
  • Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of Satan
  • Frances McDormand as the voice of God
  • Brian Cox as the voice of Death and one of the Four Horsemen
  • Miranda Richardson as Madame Tracy
  • Anna Maxwell Martin as Beelzebub, leader of the forces of Hell
  • Adria Arjona as Anathema Device, Agnes Nutter’s last descendant
  • Mireille Enos as Horseman War
  • Lourdes Faberes as Horseman Pollution
  • Yusuf Gatewood as Horseman Famine
  • Nick Offerman as a U.S. Ambassador

Welcome to the Garden

A person dressed as the angel Aziraphale welcomes visitors to the Good Omens activation event.
Photo credit: ChinLin Pan/Geek Gals

You enter the Garden of Earthly Delights (they give you a Good Omens wristband and a tote bag) and a guy dressed up as an angel welcomes you. You get to pick a path: heaven or hell. Does it matter? Nope. I was so excited, I went all over the place.

There are many photo setups!

If you don’t post it on social media, did it even happen? Lol.

The car

Founder/Editor of Geek Gals ChinLin Pan sits in the car
Photo provided by ChinLin Pan/Geek Gals

Visitors got to sit in the replica of Crowley’s 1926 Bentley from the book and show! They even set up fake smoke off the side so it looks like you have the car on for your photo.

The angel wings

Founder/Editor of Geek Gals ChinLin Pan poses in front of a canvas of white angel wings.
Photo provided by ChinLin Pan/Geek Gals

On one side of the pop-up, close to the entrance, there was a large canvas of white wings on blue background for those who choose the path of heaven to take a photo with white angel wings.

The dark angel wings

Founder/Editor of Geek Gals ChinLin Pan poses in front of a canvas of black angel wings.
Photo provided by ChinLin Pan/Geek Gals

On the opposite side of the pop-up were the dark angel wings. The large canvas of black wings on red background for those who choose the path of hell. The nice thing about these is that there’s always a volunteer or staff member to help take your photo.

The bookstore

Props for the bookstore section of the Good Omens activation event
Props at Aziraphale’s bookstore / Photo credit: ChinLin Pan/Geek Gals

Representing Aziraphale’s book shop, visitors got to pose in front of a camera to take three shots of praying poses to God (or you know, whichever deity). This would create a GIF that you could text or email to yourself. If you completed some squares on your Good Omens BINGO card, you got a free small green notebook. The cover says “The Nice & Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter.” Write in your prophecies for the future.

Entertainment

Photo credit: ChinLin Pan/Geek Gals

They also had live string trio performing pop songs with rain interwoven with overhead thunder sounds. On Sunday March 10, it actually drizzled a bit so the overhead thunder sounds would have been more appropriate and perfect timing. On another day (Sunday???), there were people playing human chess!

Food & Drink

Yummy chili appetizer from the Good Omens pop-up
Photo credit: ChinLin Pan/Geek Gals

They had an open bar and appetizer food. Visitors were limited to food and drink tickets via the wristband they receive upon entering the pop-up. I tried out chili (pictured above) and yellowfish sushi. Delicious. 🙂

Pampering

hair blow-out booth at Good Omens pop-up
Photo credit: ChinLin Pan/Geek Gals
manicure booth setup at Good Omens pop-up
Photo credit: ChinLin Pan/Geek Gals

Manicures and hair blowouts. This was something that i felt was very unique. Not many activation events will offer those services. Those pampering services were very demanding though. I tried to get a manicure but there was already a long wait for those who had already made an appointment.

Puppies to adopt!

Hellhound Puppy Pen booth where Austin Animal Shelter allowed visitors to see adoptable puppies.
Photo credit: ChinLin Pan/Geek Gals
Three sleeping puppies in a pen.
Photo credit: ChinLin Pan/Geek Gals

There were cute French bulldog and Labrador puppies available for adoption inside the Hellhound Puppy Pen from Austin Animal Shelter on March 8. They brought in different dogs each day of the activation, so I hope those cute little puppies did get adopted after all.

Conclusion

Founder/Editor ChinLin in front of a black wall with writing in red: Welcome To The End Times
Photo credit: ChinLin Pan/Geek Gals
Props on a table
Photo credit: ChinLin Pan/Geek Gals
Founder/Editor ChinLin posing in front of a fake apple tree
Photo credit: ChinLin Pan/Geek Gals

The whole pop-up experience was fantastic, perfect for book and TV geeks. When you leave the event, they handed out free Good Omens umbrellas. Even more swag to add to your collection! I went back like twice whenever I was nearby just to relax and take in the scenery again. Kudos to Amazon Prime for taking a lot of time and thought into putting this activation event together. I loved every detail of it. The volunteers and crew were friendly. The atmosphere was perfect. Can’t wait for May 31? Read the book or listen to the audiobook!

Featured image credit: ChinLin Pan/Geek Gals

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