South by Southwest's pyramid of dockless scooters, immortalized in a viral Instagram post on Saturday, was actually the masterpiece of Austin police officers confiscating the devices from users riding them within pedestrian-only zones, said Marcus Davis, a spokesman for the Austin Police Department.
Alamo Drafthouse Ritz employees spotted the giant mound of discarded scooters behind a barricade on Sixth Street on Saturday afternoon and posted a photo of the spectacle to its Instagram account, calling it an "edgy" SXSW art installation.
The post drew a number of comments, including one calling the site a "Bird graveyard."
"This is why we can't have nice things," one person said.
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"Now set them on fire," another wrote.
A few people remarked on the police officer spotted near the scooter pile, who appeared to be taking a photo next to it.
"The cop taking a photo in front of this pile is priceless," one person said.
Davis said the motorized scooters, which included devices from a number of companies, were being placed behind the barricades temporarily and said they were handing them out to people who wanted to use them outside the pedestrian-only zones.
Scooter, bike and skateboard regulations would remain in place through the end of the festival Sunday. He said he expected each of the companies to pick up their equipment to charge and place back out in the city following the festival.
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These @sxsw art installations are so edgy.