Friday, February 28th

Where you want to be at SXSW

South By is so close we can almost taste it. We are fully into RSVP season. If you didn’t use RSVPster to do the dirty work for you, you’d better be on the ball by now. Make sure to get your SXSW Guest Pass, for its inaugural year. It’s free, easy, and they let you take two.

Here are my picks:

Startup Crawl. This pre-SXSW (March 6th) event thrives on buzzing anticipation of the days ahead, but is exciting all on its own. Meet and mingle with Austin’s brightest new businesses, with drinks and bites along the way. Stop by BASHH while you’re out and about.


Spotify House. Lots of bands! Stop by anytime in the five days (March 10th-14th) to hear the diverse playlist.

House of Vans. I can only hope to score a new pair of Vans at one of these parties. The Mohawk will be rocking day, night, indoors and outdoors. (March 11th-15th) No RSVP required.

Hype Hotel has two different wristbands for day and evening events. The evening is more exclusive and the day bands are easier to procure. Sponsored by Taco Bell and Tito’s Vodka, among others, you’ll have fun no matter what time you go. (March 11th-16th)

Lagunitas CouchTrippin will be pack Cedar Street Courtyard by craft beer drinkers and fans of Shakey Graves. No badge for this party, so bring a printout or your smartphone for proof of RSVP at this small-ish venue. (March 12th, noon)

Warp x LuckyMe is a little bit of a mystery so far, but I’ve never gone wrong at the Empire Show Room. (March 12th, 6:30)

Fader Fort is the hottest free wristband during SX. Cut-throat RSVPs mean many won’t make it in, but this year seems to be a bit of a lottery system rather than first-come first served. Surprise guests always make The Fader exciting.

Fader Fort

Photo credit: Adam Kissick for NPR

Pandora Discovery Den is back for the third year. 35 music acts will take the stage at The Gatsby (March 12th-15th.)

Red Bull Sound Select will be taking over The Belmont March 12th-15th. I had a blast watching bands at The Belmont last year and got some of my favorite swag there.

Austin Party Weekend will camp out at Empire Show Room and Garage for a few days (March 13th-15th) cramming in tons of music from noon to 2 am.

If you need to get out of the thick of it, take a breather at the classy Hotel Ella. A three-day party (March 8-10) on the front lawn will have live music and free Deep Eddy drinks.

Doritos Bold Stage

I’ll be hitting these parties in between private events, which I always prioritize. I’ll also make an attempt to hit the free shows at Waterloo Records. And the tweet-powered giant Doritos vending machine. And stalking Lady Gaga. Maybe hitting Rachael Ray’s Feedback? (No word on that one as of posting.)

Fun Fact! I received an email stating that SXSW has 76,297 attendees and generated 859, 171 tweets. I think we can hit a million this year, don’t you? Don’t forget to use the #SXSW hashtags!

4 Responses

  1. THE EAST SIDE ESCAPE – IT’s A Local Thing
    Free Unofficial street party on the east side at 1606 E Sixth next to Qui.
    30 bands, outdoor gallery, performances and fun – noon to ten March 7-9

  2. Julie says:

    Rachael Ray info is out! If I get on the VIP list again, I’m going! 🙂

  3. Eric Weiss says:

    In addition to the Spotify House, Spotify also has done one big evening concert the past two years. I missed it last year because I got the con-flu but the previous year they took over the parking garage at Colorado & 5th and you walked up the ramp and it was an open air show 5 or 6 stories up. Amazing sights and great bands. Haven’t heard about it for this year (and their SXSW site keeps going down) but if it’s happening, I’ll be there.

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