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31 ways to do SXSW for free

Get the festival experience, without the badge.

People walking into the convention center under a SXSW sign

No badge? No problem.

Photo by ATXtoday

Table of Contents

Let’s be honest — SXSW badges can be pricey.

That said, we’ve got good news for you. Come mid-March, the city erupts with dozens of free events for people to enjoy the festival without a ticket. So, let’s get into it. Here are 31 ways to do SXSW for free this year.

Live music

Pro tip: Check out a list of free concerts by Austin artists on our roundup of every local musician performing at SXSW.

Hotel Vegas | Friday, March 10-Saturday, March 18 | Hotel Vegas, 1502 E. 6th St., Austin | 🎟 RSVPs required for some events

Howdy Texas | Tuesday, March 14 | Still Austin Whiskey Co., 440 E. St. Elmo Rd., Austin

  • Night Cap, The Ransom Brothers, Shooks

Tiger Den | Wednesday, March 15 | Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River St., Austin | 🎟 RSVP required

  • Tohji, LØREN, 9m88

South X San José | Wednesday, March 15-Monday, March 19 | Hotel San José, 1316 S. Congress Ave., Austin

  • Wednesday: The Lemon Twigs, Charlotte Rose Benjamin, The Heavy Heavy
  • Thursday: Son Rompe Pera, Robocobra Quartet, Thus Love
  • Friday: Blondshell, Shadow Show, Izzy Heltai
  • Saturday: Sir Woman, Olivia Jean, The Push & Shove

Dr. Martens Presents | Thursday, March 16-Friday, March 17 | Clive, 609 Davis St., Austin | 🎟 RSVP required

  • Thursday: Divino Niño, Lime Garden, Joon
  • Friday: Ron Gallo, Dream Wife, Enumclaw

Central Machine Works | Thursday, March 16-Friday, March 17 | 4824 E. Cesar Chavez St., Austin

  • Thursday: David Shabani and the Nu Leopards, The Bros Fresh, Shelley Knicks
  • Friday: Sir Woman, Angel White, Retro Cowgirl + Goons

Community Concerts at Lady Bird Lake | Thursday, March 16-Sunday, March 18 | Auditorium Shores, 900 W. Riverside Dr., Austin

  • Thursday: Smith & Yarn, SaulPaul, Thao
  • Friday: Baba Kuboye, AJ Smith, The Zombies
  • Sunday: Blowcomotion, Minor Mishap Marching Band, Moon Tower & Yes Ma’am Brass Band

Coca-Cola Move | Friday, March 17 | Lustre Pearl Rainey, 94 Rainey St., Austin | 🎟 RSVP required

  • Coco & Clair Clair, Curtis Waters, Hannah Jadagu

Brooklyn Bowl Family Reunion | Friday, March 17-Saturday, March 18 | Empire Control Room & Garage, 606 E. 7th St., Austin | 🎟 RSVP required

  • Low Cut Connie, Sir Woman, Why Bonnie

Expos, Exhibitions, and Lounges

Austin Industry Day at the Creative Industries Expo | Wednesday, March 15 | 9 a.m.-4 p.m. | Austin Convention Center, 500 E. Cesar Chavez St. | Take in hundreds of exhibitors from around the world.

Capital Factory House | Friday, March 10-Tuesday, March 14 | Times vary | Capital Factory, 701 Brazos St., Austin | 🎟 RSVP required | Network with local business leaders and stay tuned for tech-related educational sessions.

The Future of Food | Friday, March 10-Saturday, March 11 | Times vary | 1400 Lavaca St., Austin | 🎟 RSVP required | Join networking events, watch demonstrations, and listen to discussions between food systems experts.

Flatstock | Wednesday, March 15-Friday, March 17 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Austin Convention Center, 500 E. Cesar Chavez St., Austin | The world’s best gig poster artists will display their best designs, including some handmade and limited edition posters.

Xebec’s SXSW Kickoff Party & Garage Sale | Friday, March 10 | 8-11 p.m. | 500 San Marcos St., Austin | 🎟 RSVP required | It’s free drinks, free swag, and free entry at this eastside party.

The Established Lounge | Sunday, March 12 | 9 a.m.-7 p.m. | San Jac Saloon, 300 E. 6th St., Austin | 🎟 RSVP required | Plan to network at this lounge, which will also put on programming related to innovation and tech leadership.


Fostering Equity in Gentrified Communities | Sunday, March 12 | 1:30-2:30 p.m. | George Washington Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St., Austin | Hear from professionals at UT Austin, E4 Youth, and Compass Real Estate about how to address challenges of gentrification.

Brand Innovators Marketing Leadership Summit | Friday, March 10-Monday, March 13 | Times vary | Lamberts, 401 W. 2nd St. | 🎟 RSVP required | Take in panels related to consumer engagement, DEI, and Game of Thrones marketing at this multi-day event.

Inc. Founders House | Friday, March 10-Monday, March 13 | Times vary | Foxy’s Proper Pub, 201 Brazos St., Austin | 🎟 RSVP required | Deepak Chopra, Riana Lynn, and Bea Arthur are just some of the speakers making an appearance at this series of panels.

SHE Media Co-Lab | Saturday, March 11-Sunday, March 12 | The Native, 300 Brushy St., Austin | 🎟 RSVP required | Listen to speakers like Katie Couric, Judy Greer, Maria Shriver, and Christy Turlington Burns.

Tulsa House at SXSW 2023 | Friday, March 10-Saturday, March 11 | Augustine, 86 Rainey St., Austin | 🎟 RSVP required | Learn about subjects including remote working, tech recruiting, and Black Wall Street at this event also featuring live music.