Young Fathers, Ready Player One and more make a splash on the first night of SXSW 2018

And SXSW is off once again! The annual Austin, Texas festival kicked off its Interactive and Film streams tonight with a series of film screenings and special events all over the city.

The New York Times Magazine took over Irene’s with one of the night’s biggest parties, steadily building up anticipation as a lively queue snaked around West Ave. The iconic magazine, which used the occasion to launch their Music Issue, managed to get highly awarded Scottish band Young Fathers along to perform an extended set, the same day as their third album Cocoa Sugar was released.

Other highlights included the opening of the FOX Sports House and the Capitol One House at Antone’s with special appearances from Warpaint and Neon Indian. Earlier in the day, as the conference got up and running, the appearance of Senator Bernie Sanders proved the most talked about event of the day. You can watch that over at @AUSXSW on Twitter!

On the film side of the event, a mysterious pop-up for Steven Spielberg’s new film Ready Player One was the day’s biggest surprise, with little to no announcement prior to SXSW. Whether this indicates that the forthcoming sci-fi flick will have a secret screening this weekend remains to be seen, but at least we know fans will be able to immerse themselves in a bespoke themed warehouse, taking over what is usually Brazos Hall.

Elsewhere, Final Portrait and the opening night film A Quiet Place enjoyed their American premieres, while the acclaimed True Crime caper American Animals followed on from its successful premiere at Sundance with its SXSW debut. Bill Hader also surprised audiences with a screening of his new HBO series Barry.

For more film coverage head to our film and site The Iris and stay tuned here and on @theaureview @AUSXSW social channels for more music coverage live from Austin all week!