Free Events at SXSW
Festival music and more on the cheap
Part of the tired, poor, college-debt ridden, huddled masses looking to get a foot in the door at SXSW without breaking the bank with a badge? Never fear. SXSW offers its usual round of events free to the general public with a guest pass as well as some new festival phenomena sure to get an eyebrow raise out of even the most curmudgeonly and disgruntled of Austinites.
While these events are free, they do require a SXSW Guest Pass. Guest passes grant access from the weeklong festival's largest venue to a job fair. To get dibs on all the free and happening things, sign up on SXSW's website to have a pass emailed to you. After signing up for the guest pass, consider using the SXSW GO mobile app to create a customized schedule to get the most out of the weeklong jamboree.
Scads of venues, brands, organizations, and bands will be hosting their own showcases to ensure you know how cool they are. Capitalize on their insecurity and see some free music. Here's a sampling – see the exhaustive list of day parties at austinchronicle.com/unofficial.
Presented by the American Poster Institute and an annual favorite of SXSW, this year's Flatstock 65 promises to be a Woodstock '69 for poster artists and aficionados. Check out some fine art and chat with the artists who designed them at this event that will be anything but flat.
In its second year, SXSW Marketplace will be located at the epicenter of the madness, just a hop and a skip away from Flatstock 65. The marketplace brings together local and national brands in hopes of creating a unique one-stop, pop-up shop for all your shopaholic needs.
SXSW's largest venue will be holding its annual charity concert events, with Los Lobos, Nathaniel Rateliff, and Roky Erickson headlining – Saturday's show is comprised of winners of the Austin Chronicle's Austin Music Awards.
KGSR will be hosting their annual live SXSW broadcast from the W Austin. With a $5 donation (so, technically, not free) to the Make-A-Wish foundation of Central and South Austin, you can enjoy four hours of live performances and interviews with featured musicians. First 300 guests in the door get a free breakfast.
Come hang and sip on some Bloody Marys with the good folks at a fine, respectable newspaper and everybody's favorite three-legged dog, Hank. Performances will feature Yonatan Gat, Blackillac, Drakulas, and the Deer.
Located at two favorite watering holes for all sorts of people involved in the Austin music scene, Uncle Doug's Chili Dog Fest #9 will be homing in on local favorites like Teenage Cavegirl, Hidden Ritual, Pleasure Venom, and Think No Think with a two-venue, indoor and outdoor local music extravaganza.
Do SXSW in true collegiate fashion and hang with KVRX at the Pearl Street Co-op with bands like VARSITY, Cones, and Bad Moves.