Whether it’s Bernie Sanders, Armie Hammer, or Flo Rida, you really never know who you’ll see or run into around Austin during SXSW.
On Saturday, it was Elon Musk, who made an appearance at a panel hosted by “Westworld” creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. Although Musk was at the festival this weekend, he wasn’t on the schedule — until Saturday night that is, when a last-minute Q&A session with the SpaceX and Tesla founder was announced for Sunday morning, which drew the SXSW badge-toting masses to Moody Theater.
Nolan, who directed a short video of the recent Falcon Heavy rocket launch, moderated the onstage discussion with Musk. The crowd peppered the start-up pioneer with questions submitted digitally and upvoted by the audience. How much sleep does he get at night? (He got five or six hours the night before.) What does he invest in? (Nothing, except for Tesla.) What is his biggest mistake? (Unclear; he’s had many, including the first three SpaceX launches.) How much of his time does he spend building tunnels? (Only two percent.) Who inspires him? (“Well, Kanye West, obviously. And Fred Astaire,” said Musk.) He also revealed that he hopes to launch the first rocket to Mars in early 2019.
But SXSW isn’t only about technology — it’s also about film and music. Musk and Nolan closed out the session with a live rendition of “My Little Buttercup” from John Landis’ “The Three Amigos,” with guitar accompaniment by a cowboy-hatted Kimbal Musk.