Return Home

Radiolab in Austin at SXSW

Friday, March 13, 2015 - 05:17 PM

(Photo Credit: Detour)

Radiolab collaborated with Detour to make an interactive audio tour. It’s like walking around inside a Radiolab episode. And you can only do it in Austin.

This is a brand-new experiment for us, and we want feedback from our listeners in Austin (if you like it, we might make more for other cities!). If you’re at SXSW, it’s a perfect escape from the craziness of the festival. And if you’re an Austin native, it’s a chance to see your city in a whole new way.

On the Detour, you’ll investigate a 130-year old murder case. You’ll get the smell of 1885 in your nostrils, the songs of Shakey Graves in your ears, and—if you’re in the mood—the taste of tequila on your tongue. You’ll pass through cool little shops, down into a creek bed, and through a hidden labyrinth.

All you need is an iPhone, a pair of ear buds, and a willingness to try something new.

Get Detour from the App Store. In the Detour app, download “Radiolab Presents: The Year That Broke Austin.” Make sure your phone battery is charged—then head to the starting location in downtown Austin, press play, and enjoy.


More in:

Comments [29]

Great article! Check out my articles on:

Sep. 25 2015 07:41 AM
Lorraine from Florida

LOVED IT! One of my friends was having difficulty walking so we listened through Bluetooth in the car and although we missed following through some interesting parts (alleys, etc) it was so involving that we did actually get out and walk at certain parts in spite of her foot problems. Get some mini speakers and some friends and guaranteed you will have a great night.

We have already downloaded 2 episodes of DETOURS San Francisco and look forward to DETOURS for other cities... Ft. Lauderdale, Chicago,

Jul. 05 2015 09:56 PM
S from Austin

Bummer. I even have an iphone but its too old. Since I can't have ios8 I cant run the detour app, so I cant get the podcast?? This sounds really cool. Please put it in more formats!

Jun. 01 2015 10:50 PM
micaela from austin

Did this with my sister on a Sunday afternoon and we were glad for the company in the seedier areas. The tour was so great!! We always knew exactly where we were supposed to be, and there were several drinking fountains for the hot day. I learned a lot about Austin's history and got to see some places I'd never otherwise know about. Hope to do it with out-of-town guests, and next time will bring some small-denomination bills to leave in various donation boxes. Thanks for a few hours of a really fun time!

May. 15 2015 03:49 PM


May. 05 2015 07:06 AM
kaitlin from Detroit, MI

Detroit please!

Apr. 14 2015 07:41 PM

Would love for something like this to come to KCMO! And it would be nice to be able to listen to these stories without traveling across the country. And it has to be said, sucks hard for the vast number of people who don't think that Apple is God's gift to the world. Android version please!

Apr. 07 2015 12:02 PM
Noah Martin from Austin, TX

I'm an Austin local and audio nerd and I loved the tour!! Learned lots of history and explored some new spaces. I especially loved getting to interact with the friendly folks along the way. I spent a few moments talking to the man at the church and the librarian. I wonder if there's a way to account for the live interaction because I missed a few bits of story wanting to talk to them.
I would love to see a longer distance version on bike! It would also be cool if there was a way to leave something behind or contribute to the story in some way. Such a cool medium! Excited for more!

Apr. 04 2015 02:24 PM
Bridget from Austin

Hi RadioLab!
Enjoyed the Tour, especially the parts at the History Center, the beginning, along Waller Creek, and all your guests explaining what is known. But I didn't think it had enough substance. I thought the narrator was a bit too much at times trying to be too folksy. I had no idea who/what she was to the story. The story was strongest at the beginning, but by the time we were on Congress, I wished there was more historical info. And more sensory info describing Congress Ave better with sounds of those described characters. There were a few story lines that didn't make sense or seemed explained. All in all, a great time!

Mar. 31 2015 10:05 PM
A DeChenne from Oregon

Portland Oregon or Seatlle Washington PLEASE

Mar. 31 2015 03:51 PM
RJ from Dallas, TX

For those that have done the tour, is it something a 9 year old boy would enjoy? Is it appropriate for a kid that young?

Mar. 25 2015 10:21 AM

Please do one of these for Los Angeles!

Mar. 24 2015 06:17 PM
Krista from United States

You are killing me! I live in Denver but have plans to be in Austin next week! Allowed myself to get pumped and then read the "all you need is an iPhone" part. Really? BIG. TIME. BUMMER.

Mar. 24 2015 05:49 PM
Dan Dekar

No Android!?!

Mar. 23 2015 06:13 PM
Conorb from Austin

This was absolutely wonderful- a history tour, sound walk, storytelling, and city tour in one. This is a wonderful new medium - the timing of directions and segments was seamless and very well thought out.

Mar. 22 2015 04:42 PM
Mark from Austin, TX

I even have iTunes on my PC. I'm willing to use Apple products, but I can't even get it when I HAVE the app on my PC on iTunes? It HAS to be an iPhone?

Mar. 20 2015 09:58 PM
Lonestar Leah from Austin, TX

I can't get it to download in Detour. I keep getting an Error Retry message :(

Mar. 20 2015 03:12 PM
kris from Austin, TX

i just did the tour today and it was AWESOME!!! I'm going back again this weekend and bringing more friends. this has been one of the coolest experiences I've had in austin (I'm a local). I can only hope this is an evergreen experience and not just tied to sxsw- I want to bring all our out of town guests on this tour too!

i think this would be an amazing experience in other cities so if its an option i vote an overwhelming YES!!! PLEASE do!!!!

Mar. 19 2015 09:40 PM
Rachel from Boulder, CO

I don't have any upcoming trips scheduled to Austin, but I absolutely love this idea...I would love to see this for other cities!

Mar. 19 2015 11:45 AM
Larry T from CA from Austin

I did the Tour today. It was one of the coolest things I have ever done! The tour allows you experience Austin in a intimate way. I found my self lost in the story many times. I felt the narrator was with me which was nice because I was traveling alone for business reasons. There where other people doing the tour at the same time I was, but because we were listening at different points it made it a little weird. I would love to do this with my wife and/or friends and have it synced for us all hear the same thing at the same time. I loved this Tour!!! This please do more. SF and Seattle would be really cool places to do this. Oh yea although you don't have to, I did buy stuff from the businesses to show my support. Keep it Raidolab! I can't wait to do the next one.

Mar. 17 2015 08:00 PM

Sounds exciting! Another great reason to visit Austin! At the moment, though, that's just not an option. Maybe Detour could come up with a good idea on how to make the stories available for all the curious listeners who live far far away. To all disappointed Android user: a Android version is going to be available soon.

Mar. 17 2015 05:18 PM
Jen from Las Vegas, NV

How long is it in Austin? I'm flying out there in May!

Mar. 17 2015 01:48 PM
Kim from Australia

I'm so keen to take this tour but obviously being in a different country it's a bit hard to do. Is there any thought about hooking up google maps and making it a virtual tour?

Mar. 17 2015 01:21 AM
treetoad from Chicago

Sounds like fun.. To bad the android family can't experience it.

Mar. 16 2015 01:17 PM

I will also add that it would be excellent for a version to be released for Android. Sounds like good fun...

Mar. 16 2015 12:58 PM
Angie from Austin, TX

This is awesome!!!!

Mar. 16 2015 10:49 AM
Ben Wong from Austin

How can national PUBLIC radio shaft the majority of Americans who use android?

Mar. 16 2015 09:48 AM

Or, more diplomatically, too bad this isn't available outside Apple's walled garden.

Mar. 15 2015 12:25 PM
Michael from Austin, TX

Gee, thanks for shafting all the Android users!

Mar. 14 2015 06:32 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Supported by