The best free parties for SXSW 2018, plus how to actually get in
SXSW is almost here, and if you think you're going to miss out on the fun because you have neither a wristband or badge — you’re wrong. The festival offers plenty of shows that require no credentials at all, and we've rounded them up the best right here. Scribble down some notes and then get out there and party.
101X Homegrown Live Presents: ATH vs SOTO — March 11
Head to Hotel Vegas and Volstead on Sunday, March 11 for an all-local party hosted by two Austin-based music blogs: Austin Town Hall and Side One Track One. The 30-band bill will stretch across three stages and feature Quiet Company, Marmalakes, Shy Beast, BLXPTLN, Caroline Says, Lowin, Blastfamous USA, and more. The first band at this free show (no RSVP required) will go on at 2 pm.
Just Another Manic Monday — March 12
On March 12 get in on Just Another Manic Monday, a party put on by The Onion and The A.V. Club. It’s happening at the Mohawk and features a fantastic mix of veteran acts like Superchunk, Bully, and Wye Oak, and buzzy artists such as Shamir, Lucy Dacus, and Nnamdi Ogbonnaya. Music will start at 4 pm at this free show. RSVP here.
She Shreds— March 13
On Tuesday, March 13, She Shreds celebrates their fifth year anniversary at Kinda Tropical. Join the magazine, which is dedicated to women guitarists and bassists, and their stellar lineup of lady-led bands including La Luz, Speedy Ortiz, Hinds, Snail Mail, and more! Music begins at 8 pm. Free and RSVP here.
Waterloo Records SXSW 2018 — March 14-18
For those of you that prefer more afternoon-oriented affairs, both Hotel San Jose and Waterloo Records will be having free day parties from March 14-17. Pro tip: If you like autographs, definitely hit up Waterloo shows, as the artists will be doing signings after their sets. This year's lineup includes Marlon Williams, Andrew W.K, Dashboard Confessional, and more. Free and no RSVP required, but we recommend getting there early.
South X San Jose— March 14-18
The Hotel San Jose brings its popular South X San Jose showcase back for another year. Hosted in the Jo's parking lot on South Congress Avenue, the festivities kick off at noon each day, rain or shine, and run through the afternoon. In between sets, check out local vendors and, if you can, snag one of the showcase posters. Always free and no RSVP required. Like Waterloo, we suggest getting there early to snag a good spot.
Heathers x Pitchfork SXSW Party — March 16
On Friday, March 16, Pitchfork is set to take over Barracuda. The free party is in partnership with Heathers, a new television show, and features Kelela, Andrew W.K., Ought, Porches, and lots more. This one will pack out early, so don’t dilly dally. Show begins at noon.
The Big One— March 17
To wrap SXSW, you should definitely head to Do512’s 12th annual The Big One on Saturday, March 17 at Barracuda. Highlights on the lineup include Speedy Ortiz, Hinds, and Ron Gallo. Doors are at 11:30 am. RSVP here for what will surely be a great party.