Emerging East Austin venues Emo’s East and the Beauty Ballroom will be free — no badges, no wristbands, probably few RSVPs — and open to all concert-goers (and all ages) during this year’s South By Southwest Festival. The venues announced this week three days of shows (March 15-17) curated by indie record label and promotions company IHeartComix and presented by roughly a dozen regional and national event promoters including Mad Decent, Fool’s Gold and PolyVinyl.
No word yet on lineups, other than a post on IHeartComix’s site that lets loose the details on the roster for March 15 at the Beauty Ballroom presented by Slow Motion and 120 Minutes (not the MTV brand, by all indications). Among those acts; Light Asylum, Pictureplane, White Ring, Chelsea Wolfe, NGUZUNGUZU, Soft Metals, Tearist, Bestial Mouths, and Ssleeperhold.
The IHeartComix parties join a free show at Emo's East on March 13 (now a partial day of official SXSW showcases) featuring High On Fire, Star & Dagger, Rwake and Eagle Claw. A local show the following night also at Emo's featuring Cory Morrow and Eagleye Williamson is advertised as “tickets at the door,” though it’s hard to imagine a cover for that show during the sea of free that SXSW is fast becoming.
One of the more interesting names associated with the free shows on East Riverside is music magazine Spin, whose afternoon parties at Stubb’s have become something of a festival tradition in recent years, featuring high-profile bands both young and not-so-young. Editors with the mag said Wednesday that the Stubb’s party is still going on as per usual but they wanted to take part in other events as well this year.
While details are still being worked out, Emo’s publicist Ross Bennett said the venues will have shuttle service for most days of the free shows, to bring unfamiliar music fans to the developing area and introduce them to the new venues.