The U21 Guide to SXSW

Age-ages day parties dot the music festival landscape

The U21 Guide to SXSW

South by Southwest showcases are generally closed to the under-21 set, but the first time, this year SXSW has an official showcase that’s all ages: Saturday, March 16, at the Palm Door (401 Sabine). The Youngbloods Showcase is the brainchild of myself and late SXSW Creative Director Brent Grulke, with production by Brad First.

The showcase features Pretty Little Demons (CA.), former local Grace London (CA.), the Seaside Swifts (ATX), the Paceshifters (Holland), Residual Kid (ATX), and 24/7 (Victoria). It might just become a tradition.

SXSW U21 General Picks:

• Maria’s Taco Xpress (2529 S. Lamar Blvd.), hosts cool all-ages day parties Wednesday through Saturday from noon-9pm. You could go there daily – skip the rest and say you saw the best.

• Patagonia (316 Congress Ave.) presents Austlandia Thursday through Saturday, 4-7pm. New this year and expected to be one of the best.

• Lucy’s SXSouthAustin (2218 College Ave.) features powerhouse line-ups Wednesday-Sunday, noon-6pm.

SXSW U21 Picks by Day:


For an unusual overlap between SX Interactive and SX Music, Pecha Kucha SXSW at the Pentagram Offices (1508 W. Fifth St.), begins at 7:20pm, and includes presentations by composer Graham Reynolds, music photographer Matthew Sturtevant, musician Jon Dee Graham (my father), guitarist Lance Keltner, and singer Charlie Faye.


Vintage Clothing Arcade at Vallhala (701 Red River), features U18 punk rockers Residual Kid.


• Austin Music Awards: If there’s one show that you must attend during SXSW it’s the AMAs at the Austin Music Hall (208 Nueces St.), the hallmark of Chronicle Senior Music Writer Margaret Moser. I’ve been attending since I was a baby in a sling.

• The Guitartown/Conqueroo Party remains another show I’ve attended my entire life, featuring James McMurtry, Billy Joe Shaver, and the Trishas at the Dogwood and Molotov (715 W. Sixth St.), 11am-9pm.

School of Rock All-Ages Day Party at Scholtz Garden (1607 San Jacinto Blvd.) stars local U18 acts like Circus and Gypsy.

• Another tradition for me: SXSoupFest at Guero’s (1412 South Congress Ave.), featuring the Birds of Chicago, Michael Fracasso, and Moonlight Towers.


Catch the Youngbloods Party specifically for the U21 crowd at the Continental Club Gallery (1315 S. Congress Ave., above the tattoo shop), 3-7pm.


• One of the most beloved day parties of SXSW, Roky Erickson’s Ice Cream Social still goes down at Threadgill’s World Headquarters (301 W. Riverside Dr.), 11am-7pm.

• Another favorite is SXSanJose, featuring Amy Cook, North Mississippi Allstars, and Alejandro Escovedo, Jo’s parking lot (1300 S. Congress Avenue).

Homeslice Pizza (1415/1421 S. Congress Ave.) hosts its annual Music by the Slice, 1-7pm, featuring Mother Falcon and Wild Child.


• One of the best SoCo parties every year is at Yard Dog (1510 S. Congress Ave.), featuring Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison, Ian McLagan, Jon Langford, and the Silos. They also have day parties on Thursday and Friday.

• Patagonia Austlandia dedicates the 4pm hour to U21 bands: the Seaside Swifts, Grace London, and the Paceshifters.

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U21 @ SXSW, Austin Music Awards, Patagonia, Youngbloods, Guitartown/Conqueroo Party, SXSan Jose, Homeslice Pizza

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