The confusion of SXSW (music and beyond) amuses many every year when it rolls around. Complaints of how expensive the badges are, how crowded the shows are, and how every year it gets “worse”, seem to pervade the internet community.
Anyone who lives in Austin, knows Austin, or visits Austin often knows there is so much more to the festival than the looming official conference. Not to sound pretentious, but the “underground”/ unoffical SXSW Music can be done for pennies on the dollar.
Austinites can stop reading here, but unofficial SX (pronounced SouthBy) n00bs need to continue. You can arrive in Austin, crash on a couch, pay nothing for beer, pay little for food, and see a handful of your favorite bands for Free.99 (assuming you are over 21 years old). Yes folks, thats right.
The unoffcial SX festival is a mess of day parties, brunch parties, taco parties, beer parties, secret parties, 4 am with Andrew WK parties that pervades the entire city from North to South and East to West. The internet provides all the information ever needed to make your week successful. Some parties need an RSVP (done online) for free and guaranteed admittance, and for others you can show up at the door.
You will NOT find any information on free parties at sxsw.com. The information on this page is purely for the official conference and all the shows listed will require a badge or wristband. Without those two things, you may miss some big names, but in the end you will save $600, discover some new bands, and maybe run into your favorites on the streets of downtown.
The following, in addition to this page, are great resources to find these free parties and RSVPs. This page will feature shorter, consolidated entries for each day of the festival over the next month. To follow this page, “Like” Austin Music Examiner on Facebook!