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7 free music showcases that strike the right chord during SXSW 2022

7 free music showcases that strike the right chord during SXSW 2022

Pussy Riot
Feminist protest punk rockers Pussy Riot will headline the FloodFest show.  Pussy Riot/Instagram

SXSW is here and amping up with some inspirational music performances that are not to be missed. The festival’s triumphant return takes place Friday, March 11-Sunday, March 20. If you’ve got a badge or a wristband, you’re good to go wherever. But if you would like to catch something for free, here are some select shows just for you. Be sure to note which events require an RSVP, and have fun out there!

Hotel Vegas and Volstead – March 11 and 13
If you’d like to kick off your SXSW with a local fix, then you should head to Hotel Vegas and Volstead on Friday and Sunday this weekend. The pair of venues, which share a patio where a third stage rests, will have a slew of bands, comedians, and more on hand. Here are the details:

Celebrated local rockers Heartless Bastards are set to headline Do512’s Galactic Interactive on Friday, March 11. This free event will also feature Caleb De Casper, Jane Leo, Geto Gala, and some surprise guests, plus a lineup of comedians that includes Chris Tellez, Zac Brooks, and more. Doors open at 6 pm and attendees must be 21 or older.

Local outlets Side One Track One and 101X Homegrown have a 26-band show in place for Sunday, March 13. The lineup, which is made up of only Austin-based acts, includes Mobley, Darkbird, Calliope Musicals, The Deer, Dossey, Chief Cleopatra, and plenty more. Doors for this free show open at 2 pm and attendees must be 21 or older.

Paste’s 20th Anniversary Showcase at The Pershing – March 15-18
Paste Magazine will celebrate its 20th anniversary at The Pershing March 15-18. Many of the best indie acts of this year’s SXSW will be performing, including Pom Pom Squad, Enumclaw, Seratones, Sunflower Bean, King Hannah, and Ian Sweet. All four days are free but each one does require an RSVP. Attendees must be 21 or older.

FloodFest at the Mohawk – March 16 and 17
Flood Magazine’s FloodFest takes place at the Mohawk March 16 and 17. Wednesday’s show will be headlined by Russian feminist punks Pussy Riot and also feature Luna Li, Horsegirl, and others. Thursday’s event will showcase the talents of Perfume Genius, Girlpool, Kali, and more. Doors each day for this free-with-RSVP event open at 11 am. Attendees must be 21 or older.

South By San José at Hotel San José and Jo’s Coffee – March 16-20
South By San José will ring in its 21st year March 16-20. Located in the Hotel San José and Jo’s Coffee parking lot, the free event has a stacked lineup for 2022. Big names like the Black Lips, Ezra Furman, and Houndmouth will be playing, and there will also be plenty of up-and-comers, like Buffalo Nichols, Hannah Jadagu, Ada Lea, and BLACKSTARKIDS. Doors open at noon each day for this all-ages event.

Wasserman Music Day Party at the Mohawk – March 18
The super-buzzed-about Wet Leg sits atop the bill for the Wasserman Music Day Party on Friday, March 18. The free-with-RSVP event also features plenty of other notable names, including Best Coast, Neal Francis, and Tom the Mail Man. Doors open at 11 am. Attendees must be 21 or older.

Women That Rock Day Party Showcase at the Mohawk – March 19
Women That Rock, the music discovery platform dedicated to amplifying the voices of female and nonbinary artists, is teaming up with the Mohawk to host a showcase on Saturday, March 19. The free, all-ages event has a great lineup that features Lunar Vacation, Thelma and the Sleaze, Sir Woman, Go Fever, Weakened Friends, Mamalarky, and more. The show starts at 11 am.

Spaceflight Records’ Family Crawfish Boil at Scholz Garten – March 19
Local imprint Spaceflight Records will host a crawfish boil on Saturday, March 19, and if you ask us, that sounds like a nice way to bring SXSW to a close. A trio of talented Austin artists — Big Bill, Primo the Alien, and Calliope Musicals — will perform. This is a free, family-friendly event. Doors open at 11:30 am.