The Austin Chronicle

Peacock Playground Offers Colorful Experience for SXSW Attendees

By Sage Dunlap, March 11, 2022, 2:10pm, Picture in Picture

Tucked between bustling Rainey Street bars, an eye-catching outdoor lounge captures the attention of onlookers, fully furnished with a bar, bright blue putt-putt course, and a tiger-themes seesaw.

Located at 80-82 Rainey St., NBC’s Peacock streaming service organized a colorful pop-up lounge — the Peacock Playground — to promote new original shows coming to the streaming service, including Joe vs. Carol, Killing It, Bust Down, Bel-Air, and Girls5eva. The adult playground, offering over-the-top eye candy at every turn, presents photo-ops and interactive activities meant to immerse festival attendees in the streaming services new offerings. The pop-up will stay open for only the first weekend of SXSW, allowing attendees a chance to kick their feet up and grab a drink with friends at one of the festival’s most Instagrammable spots.

Upon entering through the towering Peacock logo, guests are immediately greeted with beverages and a putt-putt course overrun with (fake) alligators, an installation promoting Craig Robinson’s new comedy Killing It, which is set in the Everglades. After mingling with friends over beer and a few golf balls, guests will not be able to avoid possibly the most eye-catching attraction of the night — a giant hot-pink seesaw atop a luxurious tiger print rug. Guarded by a stuffed tiger, the seesaw accompanying the release of Tiger King spoof Joe vs. Carol makes for a great Instagram story, or simply a laugh.

As guests make their way through the vibrant courtyard, they can take pictures with many other attractions, such as a dizzying, human-sized roulette wheel accompanying Bust Down, a comedy which aired March 10. Behind the red poker-themed display, a basketball court begging for an action shot sits tucked into the back corner of the lounge with a wall chockablock with Bel-Air-branded basketballs.

However, among the abundance of visual stimulation brimming from every corner, the main attraction of the night stands secluded behind a large purple wall. Curious guests lured by muffled pop music and cheering stumble onto their own music video set. Allowing attendees a glimpse into Girls5eva — a show about a one-hit-wonder girl group getting one more shot at stardom — guests are greeted by camera men who will direct, shoot, and edit a music video for groups willing to take the stage. Complete with pink and gold accessories and strobe lighting, guests can fulfill their popstar fantasies in just five minutes.

[Editor's note: This story has been corrected to say the towering logo at the entrance is, in fact, the Peacock logo, not the NBC logo.]

Copyright © 2022 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.