The annual SXSW 2019 festival has begun in Austin, Texas, celebrating the interactive, film and music industries for the next week. Naturally, virtual reality (VR) technology makes a number of appearances with Oculus taking part, not only displaying projects from its VR for Good initiative but also giving everyone the opportunity to be at the event thanks to Oculus Venues.
Three Oculus VR for Good Creators Lab projects have been chosen as part of SXSW’s Virtual Cinema Program, Girl Icon, Home After War and Mercy.
Girl Icon an immersive look at women’s empowerment in India, following 17-year-old Rani, from Varanasi as she breaks away from the country’s caste system, determined to finish school and go to college.
Home After War is an interactive VR experience which follows Ahmaied Hamad Khalaf and his family as they return to their home in Fallujah after the war ended. Khalaf’s story revolves around how they fear their home, with many buildings still booby-trapped with IED’s.
Lastly, there’s Mercy, the story of 14-year-old Edith. “At the age of seven, Edith started to feel a pain that eventually grew into a tumor on her lower right jaw the size of lemon [sic]. Edith is mocked and teased at school, and even accused of being the victim of witchcraft. In Mercy, we follow Edith as she travels by foot through the jungle for days in order to have a life-transforming surgery,” explains the synopsis.
And for many of you who can’t go to SXSW 2019, Oculus is bringing a little slice of the festival to you, by way of Oculus Venues. The company has partnered with Supersphere and SXSW to bring you 90+ acts over four days, starting on 12th and running through to 15th March.
Here’s the lineup:
Margin Walker “All Are Welcome” Party
March 12 // 11:00 am – 6:00 pm PT
Lineup: Ghostland Observatory • The Bright Light Social Hour • Helena Deland • Elder Island• Barrie • Black Belt Eagle Scout • FADE • Morabeza Tobacco • Sorry Girls • Divino Niño • Das Body • Graham Van Pelt • Munya
Nine Mile Records Party
March 12 // 5:00 – 11:59 pm PT
Lineup: Golden Dawn Arkestra • Sweet Spirit • Spiral Stairs • Night Glitter • Chris Staples • Low Cut Connie • Go Fever • Carson McHone • The Night Thief • Tinnarose • Kevin Galloway• Izaak Opatz
Paradigm Talent Agency Showcase
March 13 // 11:00 am – 6:00 pm PT
Lineup: DJ Jazzy Jeff (Host) • Durand Jones & The Indications • The Black Angels • The Strumbellas • Chromeo (DJ Set) • Westerman • Celeste • CHAI • Pink Sweat$ • Omar Apollo
Polyvinyl Records Party
March 13 // 6:00 – 11:59 pm PT
Lineup: Pedro the Lion • The Get Up Kids • Shy Boys • Orchards • Hovvdy • Why Bonnie • Proper. • Lomelda • Sidney Gish • Paul Cherry • Pkew Pkew Pkew • Good Fuck
New West Records Party
March 15 // 6:00 – 11:59 pm PT
Lineup: Robert Ellis • The Nude Party • Steve Earle & the Dukes • Lily & Madeleine • Seratones • The Texas Gentlemen • Nikki Lane • Parker Gispert • Los Coast • Justin Townes Earl • Dan Luke and the Raid • Wild Moccasins
Oculus Venues is a free app which is compatible with Oculus Go and Samsung Gear VR headsets.