We already presented our picks for of the best free official SXSW shows. But since many of those still require picking up a free SXSW Guest Pass, we thought we'd share our picks for best unofficial SXSW events — no Guest Pass required.
Game of Thrones: The Exhibition: Friday, March 7 - Tuesday, March 11
Though winter seems to return every week in Austin, fantasy geeks only care about the winter returning on April 6 when Game of Thrones returns for its fourth season. Luckily for fans, Austin is one of just two American cities playing host to the official Game of Thrones exhibit. Held at Austin Music Hall, looks for items and artifacts from the celebrated HBO show and get your chance to ascend the Iron Throne. No RSVP or Guest Pass is required.
"Nothing's Impossible" Disney Family Day at Mondo Gallery: Saturday, March 8
During last year's SXSW, Mondo Gallery put together a poster series celebrating all things Game of Thrones, but this year the gallery is doing something a little more family-friendly. "Nothing's Impossible" is a special collaboration with Disney to create a series of posters celebrating the wonderful world of Disney. To celebrate the new series Mondo is hosting a family day event on March 8, complete with games and activities by Toy Joy as well sweets and refreshments.
The Lawn Lounge at Hotel Ella: Saturday, March 8 - Monday, March 10
The first weekend of the festival will be the most arduous for SXSW Film attendees, and they’ll need somewhere to relax and unwind. To help with that, Hotel Ella is turning its lawn into a giant lounge — complete with free drinks, bar snacks and paellas along with DJs spinning tunes.
South By Bedpost: Saturday, March 8
The city’s resident experts of all things sexy and kinky are getting a little love at SXSW this year. BedPost Confessions co-producers, Julie Gillis and Sadie Smythe, will be busy speaking at SXSW Interactive, but they're still throwing a special free BedPost Confessions show on March 8 at the Butterfly Bar. Join them, along with visiting performers from across the country, for an insightful and intimate night of story time.
Red Bull Sound Select: Wednesday, March 12 - Saturday, March 15
Red Bull Sound Select is a monthly occurrence in town, but for SXSW the producers are knocking the lineup out of the park. With just a simple RSVP — and again the willingness to show up early to stand in line — you have four nights of awesome lineups to choose from, the crown jewel being Danny Brown on March 15. While other people will be going gaga over bigger names at SXSW, take time to discover some smaller acts at The Belmont.
Peelander-Z Presents: Mad Tiger Fest 2014: Sunday, March 16
The final Sunday of SXSW is usually pretty subdued, so why not spend it listening to good music with family at the completely free Mad Tiger Fest? Hosted by Peelander-Z, the band that’s colorful in both appearance and personality, Mad Tiger Fest is a jamboree of music, food, art and magic that will help you reconnect with the family that you probably saw very little of over the past week.