There's more to Austin than SXSW. A rodeo, an ice cream social, a pizza music fest and a chili cook-off top our picks for this weekend's non-SXSW entertainment.
There's still time to escape the city for a bit and enjoy rodeo entertainment in addition to a family-friendly carnival, livestock shows, a petting zoo and even live music out at the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo. Check in with the Rodeo Austin website for a full calendar of events for this weekend and next week.
Thursday, March 19 through Sunday, March 22
Music Madness ATX
For nine years, Music Madness ATX festival has offered an accessible SXSW alternative right in the thick of the festival at Aussie's Bar and Grill. The stacked roster features bands from Texas and beyond, including include Parker McCollum, River City All-Stars, Piqued Jacks and more — all for free!
Thursday, March 19; Friday, March 20; Saturday, March 21 at 4 pm
The Roky Erickson Ice Cream Social
Chuck Prophet, The Magnettes, Death by Unga Bunga, The Hounds of Baskerville and many more will take the stage during Roky Erickson's annual Ice Cream Social. Head over to Threadgill's downtown location for a day of stellar music that's guaranteed to give you a flashback. The $10 ticket guarantees entry and tasty ice cream treats as well.
Friday, March 20 at 11 am
Home Slice Pizza's 10th Annual Music by the Slice
This free two-day mini music fest is equal parts charity party and an excuse to load up on delicious pizza. This year, 20 different bands are on the lineup as well as a couple of sweet vendors, such as Jack White's Third Man Rolling Record Store. Home Slice Pizza's bar sales will benefit Urban Roots, a local organization helping youth at its urban farm.
Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21 at noon
Pan Americana Festival
The Bellas Artes Alliance and the City of Austin put on this splendid two-day festival celebrating the amazing diversity and multicultural arts in our city. Enjoy musical performances from Celsa Piña, Kinky, Los Master Plus, Master Blaster Sound System and many more at this family-friendly event.
Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21 at 4 pm
Barton Creek Farmer's Market Chili Cook-off
Home cooks of all ages and culinary backgrounds battle for chili greatness at this cook-off. Contestants must pay to compete, but guests can try the chili for free.
Saturday, March 21 at 10:45 am
The Austin Flea presents SXSFlea
This is not a secret SXSW Red Hot Chili Peppers showcase. Enjoy wine on the green lawn in front of East End Wines as Austin's most brilliant crafters and artisans take over for The Austin Flea. Peruse the tables for gifts and must-haves at this free shopping event.
Saturday, March 21 at noon
Step Into Spring
After weeks of cold temperatures and gray skies, spring has come. When the City of Austin was forced to "postpone" the New Year's celebration due to bad weather, city officials organized not one, not two, but three different family-friendly events to make up for it. The first of the series, the free Mad Tiger Festival, takes place on Sunday. Groove to tunes from Peelander-Z, Mother Falcon, Koo Koo Kangaroo and Riders Against The Storm.
Sunday, March 22 at 1 pm