Free Stuff to Do at SXSW: Week One

No badge, no wristband, no problem

Free Stuff to Do at SXSW: Week One

Even if you didn't want or didn't manage to snag a badge or wristband this year, that doesn't mean you can't have fun during SXSW. After all, Hurricane South by Southwest will disrupt your normal routine no matter what, so why not try to wring some enjoyment out of it sans credentials?

Thankfully, there's quite a bit going on during South By that's free and open to the public. All you need to do is sign up on SXSW's website to have a free Guest Pass emailed to you, which you can then import into Google Wallet or Android Pay. You can also create a personal schedule and more with the official SXSW GO mobile app if you want to rob the Fest blind in the most organized way possible.

Your Guest Pass grants you access to a bevy of events ranging from outdoor concerts and screenings, and a job fair, to an exhibition of poster art. One thing it won't get you, however, is entry into SXSW Gaming. Starting this year, the gaming portion of the Festival will not be open to the general public, but will instead require a new gaming wristband or any other official SXSW access.

However you decide to spend the week, keep in mind that the parking situation Downtown is sure to reach Mad Max levels of chaos and despair, so avoid driving. Walking, biking, and busing are always good options, and the MetroRail line has a stop conveniently located right in front of the Convention Center. And remember, everything's more fun when it's free.

More interested in all the unofficial music showcases and day shows? Check out our party list for hundreds of ways to get day drunk while rockin' out.

Austin by Austin

Saturday, March 11
austinchronicle.com/axa
The Austin Chronicle and Austin Independent Business Alliance have teamed up to get folks away from the crowded Downtown area and out to the various shopping districts around town. Complimentary shuttles bring you to three different, walkable areas to help you get something a little more unique than a "Keep Austin Weird" T-shirt. Stores up and down the various strips host bands, offer libations, and generally keep you in the SXSW mood without the crush of humanity.

SXSW Create

Friday-Sunday, March 10-12, 11am-6pm
Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd.
www.sxsw.com/exhibitions
Calling all tinkerers, hackers, and tech-heads! This exhibition of cutting-edge creations ranging from 3-D printing and drones to open-source software will surely get the blood pumping and the ideas flowing!

SXSW Job Market

Saturday-Sunday, March 11-12, 10am-5pm
Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 1
www.sxsw.com/exhibitions
For those looking for a new gig, the SXSW Job Market offers booths by employers, a stage featuring panel discussions about job searching and talent acquisition, and even live competitions where your skills can win you a SXSW Platinum badge!

General Assembly + SXSW Present

Business Fundamentals for Music­ians: Friday, March 10, 11am-4:30pm
Tech Fundamentals for Everyone: Saturday-Sunday, March 11-12, 11am-4:30pm
AT&T Executive Education & Con­fer­ence Center, 1900 University Ave.
generalassemb.ly/locations/austin
Three days of classes help you think bigger and work smarter in the digital workplace. If you want your music to reach a bigger audience, try Friday's classes on music licensing, negotiating contracts, and how to promote yourself through social media. Saturday and Sunday cover basic coding, branding, data analytics, and anything else you need to beef up your résumé. RSVP online to attend.

Dewey Winburne Community Service Awards

Monday, March 13, 6-8pm
Radisson Austin Downtown Riverside Ballroom, 111 E. Cesar Chavez
www.sxsw.com/festivals/sxsw-community-service-award
The Community Service Awards honor individuals from around the world who have made a difference in their community using digital technology. This year's honorees have helped former convicts find work, fight against online trolling, hold governments more accountable, and more.


Free Outdoor Screenings*

Hype!

Saturday, March 11, 7:30pm
Long Center Terrace, 701 W. Riverside
schedule.sxsw.com/2017/films/66351
It's the 20th anniversary of this documentary covering the humble beginnings and not-so-humble rise to prominence of grunge in the Nineties. Get to the screening early for a performance by the Seattle band Naked Giants at 7pm. Due to the wet weather, the performance and screening have been relocated inside to the Long Center's Rollins Theatre.

Cartoon Network Screenings

Monday, March 13, 8pm
Long Center Terrace, 701 W. Riverside
schedule.sxsw.com/2017/films/72016
Bring out the kids to this showing of brand-new episodes of Cartoon Network staples like We Bare Bears, The Amazing World of Gumball, and more.

Ghost in the Shell

Tuesday, March 14, 8pm
Long Center Terrace, 701 W. Riverside
schedule.sxsw.com/2017/films/71922
No Scarlett Johansson here – this is an outdoor screening of the anime sci-fi tale of cybercrime and law enforcement that set the world on fire in 1995.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 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  

READ MORE
Unleashing the <i>Hounds of Love</i>
Unleashing the Hounds of Love
Director Ben Young on his serial-killer couple drama

Richard Whittaker, May 12, 2017

Ben Wheatley  Catches <i>Free Fire</i>
Ben Wheatley Catches Free Fire
Director on making his U.S. action debut

Richard Whittaker, April 21, 2017

More by Tucker Whatley
SXSW Panel Recap: Diversity in Video Games: Hard Talk for Change
SXSW Panel Recap: Diversity in Video Games: Hard Talk for Change
YouTube exec dodges direct questions about tackling online extremism

March 20, 2019

SXSW Recap: Bozoma Saint John
Recap: Bozoma Saint John
The marketing trailblazer's keynote on authenticity in branding

March 20, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

SXSW 2017, free, SXSW Create, Austin by Austin, SXSW Job Market

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

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