Free Stuff to Do at South by Southwest

No badge, no wristband, no problem

Looking to experience the flavor of South By without the hefty price tag? Check out these free, but still SXSW official, events around the city to experience the Festival’s magic sans credentials.

For those looking for more unofficial shows, you can find our daily updated list of day parties and other events. Warning: There are a whole lot of ’em.

Neo-Wulin: The Era of Black Ark

Neo-Wulin: The Era of Black Ark

Sat 11 & Mon 13, 7am & 9pm
Through this online performance created by Chinese team OXYZ23, musical artists enter different worlds as the exhibit, which can constantly be extended, continues.

The Future of Food

Fri 10 – Sat 11, SXSW Center Building
This two-day event features conversations with experts and innovators, future food tastings and demos, interactive art installations, and “impromptu dance breaks.” RSVP is required.

eMLS Cup

Sun 12, 2-7pm, ACL Live at the Moody Theater
Professional FIFA 23 gamers representing different MLS clubs battle onstage. Experience live FIFA e-sports and find the ultimate North American FIFA player.

VRROOM Alpha Party

Sun 12 – Mon 13, 6pm
Join three emerging French artists, Le Juiice, web7, and Maxence, for a live VR concert in a variety of different worlds.

DAWA Showcase

Tue 14, Stubb’s
The Diversity Awareness and Wellness in Action group will host UNITY, an evening of Austin BIPOC artists including J Soulja, the Tiarras, Caramelo Haze, Urban Heat, and more.

Soundwaves Metaverse Music Concert

Soundwaves Metaverse Music Concert

Tue 14 – Fri 17
Created exclusively for SXSW, this online interactive concert experience draws inspiration from Austin’s very own Sixth Street.

Showcases at the Sheraton BackYARD

Wed 15 – Sat 18, Sheraton BackYARD
Performers take the stage at the Sheraton for four music-filled days. Each night is presented by a local organization and features artists such as Alesia Lani, J. Mill, Grace Sorenson, Como Las Movies, and Michi Sanz, and many more.

Austin Industry Day at the Creative Industries Expo

Wed 15, 9am-4pm, Convention Center
Austin industry professionals can experience hundreds of global exhibitors showing off their brands, services, and products. Whether in health and wellness, technology, or social good, these products will transport attendees to the future.

Flatstock 2022 (Photo by John Anderson)

Flatstock 84

Wed 15 – Fri 17, 10am-5pm, Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 5
This poster exhibition features a wide array of gig poster artists from around the world. At the exhibit visitors can view the varying art styles, meet the artists themselves, and purchase pieces for their own homes.

Second Play Stages

Wed 15 – Sat 18, 5pm
This series of shows will feature a second chance to see artists performing at other SXSW events. Lineup still TBA.

Steve ’n’ Seagulls

Thu 16, 5pm, Convention Center, Flatstock Stage
Ever wondered how Finnish folk music combined with bluegrass, rock, and metal sounds? Steve ’n’ Seagulls brings their unique take from up north to sunny Austin.

Community Concerts at Lady Bird Lake

Thu 16 – Sat 18, 3-7pm, Auditorium Shores
[Due to predicted inclement weather, the show on Thu 16 has been moved to the Austin Convention Center]
This three-day concert series will feature performers like the Zombies and Thao Nguyen (of Thao & the Get Down Stay Down) and a whole day’s worth of local brass bands.

Renegade @ SXSW

Thu 16 – Sat 18, 11am-5pm, Marriott Downtown
This craft and design fair showcases over 100 creative small businesses from across the country.

Find more info for these and other free and open-to-the-public SXSW events here.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

SXSW Film Review: <i>Monolith</i>
Film Review: Monolith
Australian audio-horror builds tone through sound

Richard Whittaker, March 24, 2023

Eva Longoria's <i>Flamin' Hot</i> Heads up SXSW Audience Award Winners
Eva Longoria's Flamin' Hot Heads up SXSW Audience Award Winners
Snacks and sports win big this year with the crowds

Richard Whittaker, March 23, 2023

More by Joelle DiPaolo
Keshara Moore Wants You to Join <i>The Obsidian Society</i>
Keshara Moore Wants You to Join The Obsidian Society
Austin author’s debut pits Black and queer characters against the apocalypse

June 30, 2023

Minnesota Mean
Latest Roller Derby doc sticks to the old playbook

April 28, 2023


SXSW 2023, Free, Flatstock, Billboard, eMLS

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle