Every year around this time, throngs of techies, film folks and music lovers flood Austin by the tens of thousands — yes, literally — to experience the spectacle that is South by Southwest (SXSW). While badges for any or all of the film, interactive and music conferences may cost a pretty penny, there’s long been an equally hot ticket in town: the unofficial party circuit. That’s where the Facebook page, aptly titled “Unofficial SXSW Guide,” comes into play. Giving you all the “who/what/when/where/how to get in” info you could possibly need for the various free shows happening around town, the page is an endlessly updated well of insider information on where to go and how to get through the door. With a scene thriving every bit as much as the one where you have to pay to get in, why not enjoy some free tacos while making new friends and rocking out to the next big band?
Click here to access the Unofficial SXSW Parties page on Facebook.
SXSW Interactive: Mar 8-12 / Film: Mar 8-16 / Music: Mar 12-17
Music (more than usual, anyway) and skinny jeans are everywhere. Tweets, reposts, Instagrams and +1s are flying through the air with the greatest of ease. Yes, the circus that is SXSW has firmly taken root in the heart of town, and now that the film and interactive portions of the festival are over, the musical side has swept in. Even if you aren’t a badge holder and don’t feel like standing in endless lines for the under-the-radar, unofficial free shows, the fest is still holding up its end of the deal and giving something back to Austinites who brave the invasion of traffic and cell service interruptions each year: the annual official free concert series at Auditorium Shores
. This year’s headliners include The Shins, Counting Crows and The Cult, with lots of special guests. The series runs Thursday through Saturday night (the 15th through the 17th).
Auditorium Shores on Town Lake
Thursday afternoon through Saturday evening
From March 9th through the 18th, Austin will undergo its annual transformation into a global landing pad (and launchpad) for musicians, music lovers, filmmakers, cinema enthusiasts, and tech geeks galore when the juggernaut that is SXSW rolls back into town. Some of us embrace it, some of us hide from it… but there’s no denying it’s quite a spectacle. As the festival itself has grown to epic proportions with badge and wristband fees to match, and as official parties can become as difficult to get into as Fort Knox, an unofficial SXSW movement has evolved over the years into somewhat of a tour de force all its own. For up-to-the-minute information on under-the-radar shows, parties and offbeat events taking place in tandem with the rest of the melee, there’s a Facebook page with all the authoritative (yet anti-authority) information you need to put you in the right place at the right time. Free tacos, beer and live music, anyone?
See the Unofficial SXSW Guide on facebook for more information.
Blake Mycoskie of TOMS Shoes to keynote on Tuesday, March 15. Photo courtesy The Lavin Agency
If Austin seems just a tiny bit more crowded than usual in the next couple of weeks, it’s likely because of the 13,000 or so people rushing into town for South by Southwest, the annual convergence of music, film and interactive industry conferences overlapping one another all over town in one huge international festival of technology and the arts. Running from March 11th through the 20th, SXSW (commonly referred to as “South By”) is comprised of a complex blend of free-to-the-public and badge-only parties, screenings, concerts and other events. Be sure to read up on each event’s details for the best shot at getting in the door, as many require an online RSVP in advance. Free food and drink are in abundance; http://republicofaustin.com/sxsw-party-rsvps/ & http://freeeatsaustin.wordpress.com/SXSW/ are two great resources to help you plan your adventures.
Purchase a badge and/or get official info at http://sxsw.com