SXSW For Free
The best official SXSW Music shows you can see for free
Didn't score a SXSW wristband or badge? You don't have to miss out on the music. SXSW boasts a slew of free official music showcases through Saturday, March 18. They range from intimate shows on Second Play stages to themed showcases at downtown venues and big-name performances at Lady Bird Lake.
Here are eight free shows to see from March 15-18. And remember: There's more where this came from. View the full schedule of free official SXSW programming — including many Second Play shows — here.
Wednesday, March 15
Free Spotlight Showcase
This free showcase at Buffalo Billiards runs from 8 pm to 2 am and features six bands: pop artist EDO, rock band Troi Irons, Taiwanese trio Jade Eyes, Brooklyn-based Pastel Ghost, Odezenne, and Japanese rocker Miyavi. Grab a SXSW Guest Pass to attend.
World Electronic Showcase
Head to the Russian House for a free showcase presented by Sounds from the World. It kicks off at 8:45 pm with young Ukrainian band SpivOberta, who have quite the story to tell. The show ends just shy of 2 am with a set from Austin's own world music band Rattletree.
Thursday, March 16
All Latino Resist Concert
The SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake hosts three days of big shows. It kicks off with this showcase presented by Voto Latino, featuring Panteón Rococó, Residente, and Ozomatli. The show is open to all ages — you just need a Guest Pass to attend.
St. David's Church hosts an all-night showcase with an international lineup. Highlights include LA-based avant/experimental artist Sorne at 10 pm and Manchester jazz trio GoGo Penguin at 11 pm.
Friday, March 17
Tribute to a Friend — Celebrating Prince
Just announced, this tribute show on the SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake features Dez Dickerson, original bassist and musical collaborator; artist and producer Andre Cymone; Wyclef Jean; and Micki Free performing classic Prince songs. Come early for Riders Against the Storm at 7:20 pm. Again, this is open to all ages — get a Guest Pass to attend.
Penny Loafer PR hosts a showcase at TenOak featuring a heavy dose of local rock 'n' roll. Austin's Edison Chair (8:50 pm), Darkbird (12:15 am), and Otis the Destroyer (1:10 am) are on the bill.
Saturday, March 18
Music Showcase: Emily Wolfe, WILSN, Farida, and more
Rainey Street venue Lucille sets the stage for this showcase with appearances by Austin artists Théorie Ornery (8 pm), Emily Wolfe (11 pm), and A-Town GetDown (1 am). Australia's WILSN, Norway's Farida, and Nebraska's High Up round out the bill. This show requires a Guest Pass.
The Parish goes pop to close out SXSW. Newark, New Jersey's Chris Akinyemi starts the showcase at 8 pm, and Nigeria's L.A.X. closes the late-night party with a 1 am set.