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Budweiser Garage

SXSW - 2016

Budweiser Garage

SXSW 2016


The Challenge

Hargrove was challenged to transform a generic venue into a cool, urban and edgy garage music space for the annual SXSW festival.  We needed to create movement within the small space to ensure guests enjoyed a variety of fun experiences and were exposed to the gritty renovated garage vibe, all while being immersed in the Budweiser brand.


The Solution

Our design team created a transformative experience that included: 

  • Slat Wall Stage – A unique slat wall stage set allowed musical acts to perform, while providing a dramatic reel of branding and video above them. Hops on stage added a genuine authenticity and originality, offering a nod to the origins of beer.

  • Center Bar – The bar became a focal point and drew guests right to the star of the night, Budweiser!  Designed using wooden elements, the bar also incorporated lush greenery to soften the industrial, mechanic aesthetic.

  • Loft Space – An inviting loft space was strategically located upstairs, encouraging flow and movement. Featuring a variety of hard and soft pieces, the loft continued the eclectic vibe and became a popular hangout space during SXSW.


To increase excitement and allure, a branded entrance wall unit was fabricated to wow people the moment they arrived. Other vignettes including the popular VR Budweiser Brewery tour created a feeling of nonstop energy and entertainment as people wandered.  Millennials could play on a hockey table, catch up on all things SXSW at an iPad station, chill at surrounding lounges and snap photos at any of the staggered photo ops.


The Results

The Budweiser Garage was a must-see space throughout SXSW, hitting all social media outlets hard.  Instagram users were blowing up the app with #BudweiserGarage and #Budweiser.  Time lapse videos circulated Facebook to show the evolution of the space and the events each night.  The Garage was featured on SXSW’s official site, drawing even larger crowds of millennials to the event in real-time and afterwards via social channels. CNBC even showcased the Budweiser Garage for its marketing innovation.

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