SXSW 2023: A Free & Unofficial Guide

SXSW 2023: A Free & Unofficial Guide

Untangle the list of endless RSVPs and tune out the noise with this curated list of top-tier events

By Holly Cowart
SXSW 2023: Free & Unofficial Guide
Sunflower Bean at Cheer Up Charlie's for SXSW 2022. Photo by Adam Kissick.

This South by Southwest, everyone wants in on the action. The annual music, film, comedy and tech festival and conference is back and seemingly bigger than ever. Taking place from March 10 to 19, badge holders will have their hands full with ultra-exclusive events and celebrity appearances, but the fun doesn’t stop there.

In no time, the city will be bursting with incredible opportunities and lively brand activations that are affordable and open to all. We’ve taken time to scour through tons of happenings to bring you a finely curated list of only the best unofficial and free events headed to Austin, from food to music to networking and more.

MORE: 13 Cant-Miss Film and TV Screenings for SXSW Badgeholders

Some advice: RSVP to everything and jump on the waitlists! You never know what can happen. Also, many of these entries are first come, first serve, so try to get there early to beat the inevitable lines. Finally — and most importantly — have a blast attending unique pop-ups and making unforgettable memories without breaking the bank.

Check back in as this round-up is updated with the latest announcements.


SXSW 2023: Free & Unofficial Guide
Photo by Justin Cook courtesy of Hotel Vegas

Hotel Vegas & Volstead 12 Year Anniversary

When: March 9
Where: Hotel Vegas & Volstead
Why: A Giant Dog, Urban Heat, The Stacks, Vixens of Volstead, Happy hour specials, Feels So Good T-shirts, etc.

New Bloom 2023

When: March 10 – 12
Where: Planet K – South Lamar
Why: Sir Woman, Jonny Jukebox, Pelvis Wrestley, Daniel Fears, Open bar, Food vendors, Art exhibit, etc.


When: March 10 – 13
Where: 400 Congress Ave.
Why: Reimagined Porsche designs, Incredible music lineup (TBA)

Days Up West: Original Singer-Songwriter Showcase

When: March 10 – 19
Where: Mozart’s Coffee Roasters
Why: 30+ performers, Amazing views, 20% cafe discount, etc.

SX Soundtrack Saturday

When: March 11
Where: Hotel Vegas & Volstead
Why: Golden Dawn Arkestra, Deezie Brown, Annabelle Chairlegs, Nolan Potter’s Nightmare Band, etc.


When: March 11
Where: Freddo ATX
Why: Five musicians, Vendors, Beautiful venue, etc.

Really Far Southwest

When: March 12
Where: Beerburg Brewing
Why: Delicious beer & food, Family-friendly vibes, Three bands, etc.

SideOneTrackOne X Austin Town Hall

When: March 12
Where: Hotel Vegas & Volstead
Why: Night Cap, Darkbird, The Stacks, Caleb de Casper, Chief Cleopatra, Animals on TV, etc.

Far Out Lounge Showcases

When: March 12 – 19
Where: Far Out Lounge & Stage
Why: Sound Wine Fest, Stoner Jam, ACIDFEST, Gar Hole Records, Two Stager Rager, etc.

So Satisfying House

When: March 13 – 15
Where: Mala Vida
Why: PinkPantheress, Tiago PZK, Sueco, Pheelz,  ASMR spa, etc.

Penny Loafer PR

When: March 14
Where: Augustine
Why: Pleasure Venom, Annie Hamilton, Chief Cleopatra, Hope D, etc.

Working Families Party: The Politics Stage

When: March 14
Where: Austin Motel
Why: Madison McFerrin, Bartees Strange & Emmy Meli

Waterloo Records Day Parties

When: March 14 – 17
Where: Waterloo Records parking lot
Why: Ben Kweller, Good Looks, The Zombies, Hermanos Gutiérrez, Ron Gallo, etc.

101X Day Parties

When: March 14 – 18
Where: Inn Cahoots
Why: Andrew McMahon, Circa Wave, PigsX7, Flora & Fawna, etc.

C3 Management Official SXSW Showcase

When: March 15
Where: Antone’s Nightclub
Why: Andrew McMahon, Brian Sella (The Front Bottoms), Rome, etc.

SoundOn @ SXSW

When: March 15
Where: 3TEN at ACL Live
Why: bbno$, Justine Skye, Nicky Youre, venbee & Open house activities

Austin Riverboat Roadshow

When: March 15 & 17
Where: Hyatt Regency Dock
Why: DJ cruises, Mom Rock, The Accidentals, etc.

High Noon at High Noon with Paste Magazine

When: March 15 — 17
Where: High Noon
Why: 33 bands, Ilegal Mezcal, Indoor & outdoor stages, etc.

ACL Radio’s Live Morning Broadcast

When: March 15 — 18
Where: Hotel Van Zandt
Why: Exclusive live interviews, Valerie June, Andrew McMahon, Wild Child, Briscoe, etc.

KUTX Live at Scholz Garten

When: March 15 — 18
Where: Scholz Garten
Why: SXSW artists, Morning broadcasts, Free taco & Central Texas Food Bank

SoCo Stomp!

When: March 15 — 19
Where: C-Boys Heart & Soul
Why: Kalu & the Electric Joint, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Shinyribs, Tameca Jones, Tomar & the FC’s, Matthew Logan Vasquez, etc.

South x San José

When: March 15 — 19
Where: Hotel San José
Why: Thee Sacred Souls, The Heavy Heavy, Sir Woman, CIVIC, The Lemon Twigs, etc.

COLLiDE on Rainey: Dillon T. Pickles Austin Throwdown

When: March 16
Where: Idle Hands
Why: Death Valley Girls, Stolen Nova, THICK, etc.

FLOODfest 2023

When: March 16
Where: Mohawk
Why: Sudan Archives, Sunflower Bean, EKKSTACY, Indigo De Souza, The Lemon Twigs, etc.

Bloody Mary Brunch

When: March 16
Where: GSD&M’s Backyard
Why: The Zombies, Danielle Ponder, Como Las Movies, Tacodeli, Bloody Marys, etc.

R&B and Ribs

When: March 16
Where: Coconut Club
Why: Special guest DJs, Tasty ribs & Great views


When: March 16 & 17
Where: Precision Camera & Video
Why: Eight bands, Concert photography class, Canon & Tamron loaner gear, Snacks, etc.

COLLiDE on Rainey: Dr. Martens Presents

When: March 16 & 17
Where: Clive Bar
Why: Danny Brown, Armani White, Balming Tiger, Free tattoos, etc.

SXSW Community Concerts at Lady Bird Lake

When: March 16 – 18
Where: Lady Bird Lake
Why: The Zombies, AJ Smith, Thao, SaulPaul, Honk!Texas, etc.


When: March 16 – 19
Where: Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden
Why: Live music, House-made sausages & 200+ beers

Feels So Good Fest Volume 4

When: March 16 – 19
Where: Feels So Good
Why: A Giant Dog, Jonathan Terrell, Divino Niño, Complimentary drinks, etc.

COLLiDE on Rainey: Coca Cola Move

When: March 17
Where: Lustre Pearl
Why: Sudan Archives, Isabella Lovestory, DJ Mel, Coca-Cola flavor launch, Custom cocktails, etc.

RANGE Magazine SXSW 2023 Showcase

When: March 17
Where: The Drafting Room
Why: Chiiild, Charmaine, Sylo, etc.

Winspear, Luminelle & POND Creative Day Party

When: March 17
Where: Cheer Up Charlie’s
Why: Alaska Reid, Enumclaw, Barrie, etc.

Brooklyn Bowl Family Reunion

When: March 17 & 18
Where: Empire Control Room & Garage
Why: 20+ performers, Lineup coming soon

Sun Radio Sessions

When: March 17 & 18
Where: Colton House & Suds Monkey Brewing Co.
Why: Matthew Logan Vasquez, Girli, Devon Gilfillian, Me nd Adam, Jaws of Brooklyn, etc.

Show Ya Grillz Showcase

When: March 18
Where: Mala Vida
Why: Trinidad James, Bun-B, Gold grills by Scotty ATL, Giveaways, etc.

Rambler’s 2nd Annual Rhinestone Rodeo

When: March 18
Where: High Noon
Why: White Denim, Alex Maas, Eagle Claw, etc.

Lafayette Live Sheauxkaze & Crawfish Boil

When: March 18
Where: Antone’s Nightclub
Why: Free crawfish, Nathan Williams & The Zydeco Cha Cha’s, JaRon Marshall, Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys, etc.

Oh Boy Records X Hattie B’s Hot Chicken X Like You Mean It Records

When: March 18
Where: Parish
Why: Free hot chicken & drinks, Exclusive vinyl, Live music, Special Guests, etc.


SXSW 2023: Free & Unofficial Guide
Photo courtesy of Museum of Illusions

Landmarks Paws for Public Art

When: March 8
Where: Multiple Locations
Why: Petting zoos, Miniature animals, Public art installations, Sound bath meditation, etc. 

Dr. Seuss Secret Art Unveiling

When: March 10
Where: Ao5 Gallery
Why: Largest Dr. Seuss art collection, Rare piece reveal, Discussions, Cake & Champagne

The Blockchain Gallery Opening

When: March 10
Where: SoCo Modern Gallery
Why: Digital artwork, Blockchain brands, etc.

Museum of Graffiti: The Art of Hip Hop

When: March 10 — 28
Where: 809 E 6th St.
Why: Concerts, Live graffiti demonstrations, Champion apparel customization lab, Panel discussions, etc.

Art & Parks: Mural Bike Tour

When: March 11
Where: Trail of Tejano Legends
Why: Iconic murals, Local artists, Live mural demonstrations, etc.

Museum of Illusions

When: March 11 — Onward
Where: 11010 Domain Dr. #100
Why: Over 70 exhibits, Optical illusions, 3-D holograms, Amy Cook collaboration, etc.

Flatstock 84

When: March 15–17
Where: Austin Convention Center
Why: Concert posters, Artwork, Flatstock Stage, etc.


SXSW 2023: Free & Unofficial Guide
Photo courtesy of Broad Studios

Rolla’s Jeans X Addie Rose Festival Kick-Off Party

When: March 10
Where: Addie Rose Boutique
Why: ROLLA’s Jeans, Ranch Rider Spirits Co. & LIFESIZE magazine activation

Austin Flea

When: March 11
Where: Zilker Brewing
Why: Great beer, Handmade & vintage goods, Austin makers, etc.

Unofficial SXSW Vintage Market

When: March 11
Where: Kinda Tropical
Why: Vintage goods, Artwork, Home goods, Tasty brunch, etc.

Trovador Customs Anniversary Party

When: March 15, 7:30 p.m.- 9:30 p.m.
Where: Trovador Customs
Why: Local vendors, Hat making tutorials, Nik Parr & The Selfless Lovers & Free drinks

GOOD group ATX Spring Clothing Swap

When: March 16
Where: Meanwhile Brewing Co.
Why: Curated & interactive, Spring styles, Slow fashion, Great drinks, etc.

Renegade Craft Fair Austin

When: March 16 – 18
Where: Austin Marriott Downtown
Why: Over 120 brands, Skilled artisans & Creative community

Broads by Broad Studios

When: March 17
Where: Springdale Station
Why: Local vendors, Battle of the Bands, Austin Eastciders, etc.

Unoffical SXSW Black Makers Market

When: March 18
Where: Republic Square
Why: 20+ Black-owned businesses, DJs, Kids activities, etc.

Give Up the Goods: A Hip-Hop Swap Meet

When: March 18
Where: Kinda Tropical
Why: Trackstar the DJ, Hip-Hop vendors, Vinyl albums, Apparel, etc.


SXSW 2023: Free & Unofficial Guide
Photo by Justin Cook courtesy of Hotel Vegas

A Song For You: The Austin City Limits Story

When: March 9
Where: Central Machine Works
Why: Film screening, Panel discussion, Austin music history, etc.

The East Side Clean Up Bar Crawl

When: March 9
Where: Low Down Lounge
Why: Free cocktails, Drink specials, Sweet giveaways, etc.

Black Future House

When: March 10 & 11
Where: Riches Art Gallery
Why: Panels, Workshops, Black vendor market, Live entertainment, Comedy, etc.

The Future of Food 2023

When: March 10 & 11
Where: SXSW Center Building
Why: Expert conversations, Art installations, Food tastings, etc.

Swarm Mini Mart at SXSW

When: March 10 – 12
Where: Austin Motel
Why: Donald Glover project, Themed activations, Snacks, Lotto prizes, etc.

Brand Innovators Marketing Leadership Summit

When: March 10 – 13
Where: Lamberts
Why: Industry leading speakers, Networking opportunities, Wrap parties, etc.

Studio Vimeo

When: March 10 – 14
Where: JW Marriott Austin
Why: Vimeo experts, Creators mixer, etc.

Turnkey Pickleball Social

When: March 11
Where: Bouldin Acres
Why: All-levels pickleball competition, Appetizers, Cocktails, etc.

Discover Texas: UT at SXSW

When: March 11
Where: Banger’s Sausage House
Why: Special guest, Expert panel sessions, Burnt orange bash, etc.

Mutual Love Fest: The Unofficial LGBTQ+ SXSW

When: March 11
Where: The Little Gay Shop
Why: Live painting, Ceramic stations, House of Lepore, On-site haircuts, Local vendors, etc.

Create & Cultivate Future Summit

When: March 11
Where: South Congress Hotel
Why: Future-forward panels, Small business networking, Tech workshops, Happy hour, etc.

Talk with Thomas Pesquet, Commander International Space Station

When: March 11
Where: Parker Jazz Club
Why: Behind-the-scenes video, Space travel Q+A, etc.

Channel Factory House

When: March 11
Where: Lucille Patio Lounge
Why: Brand activations, Ranch waters, Live music, Snacks, etc.

Camp Yellowjackets

When: March 11 & 12
Where: Fair Market
Why: 1990s-era summer camp, Ax throwing, BBQ, Cocktails, Easter eggs, etc.

South Asian House

When: March 11 & 12
Where: fourth & co
Why: Live music, Comedy hour, Impressive speakers, Film premiere, Oscars watch party, etc.

The Wear House

When: March 11 & 12
Where: 800 Congress
Why: Fashion + beauty industry experts, Panels, Activations & Food

Republic Park Yoga

When: March 11 & 18
Where: Republic Square Park
Why: Free yoga class & SFC Farmer’s Market

eMLS Cup pres. by Coca-Cola Zero Sugar & TikTok

When: March 12
Where: ACL Live at the Moody Theater
Why: Professional FIFA 23 competition, Post-party concert, Free drinks, eMLS giveaways, etc.

“Last Call” ATX

When: March 12
Where: Pershing
Why: Tech networking, Live music, Private club, Free drinks, etc.

Cadent at SXSW

When: March 12
Where: Dumont’s Down Low
Why: Local spirit tasting, Hat making bar & Brand executives

All Things Food at SXSW 2023

When: March 12
Where: Huston-Tillotson University
Why: 50+ speakers, Food film screenings, Expert discussions, Breakfast, etc.

A Ridiculous Boat Party (waitlist)

When: March 13
Where: Lone Star Riverboat
Why: Sunset cruise, Special guest performance & Free bar


When: March 13 & 14
Where: eleMINT Skin Health & Wellness Studio
Why: Complimentary mini facials, Chair massages, Cocktails, etc.

House of Goodness by Avocados From Mexico

When: March 13 & 14
Where: Lustre Pearl
Why: Immersive avocado experiences, Live music, Patio games, Guacamole & Tacos

A Day in the Future of Fashion

When: March 15
Where: Vuka – Bouldin Creek
Why: Fashion show, Panels, Pop-up market, reFIND, Free drinks, etc.

Creative Industries Expo: Austin Industry Day

When: March 15
Where: Austin Convention Center
Why: Industry professionals, Cutting-edge technology, Wellness, Design, etc.

The Billboard House

When: March 17
Where: 800 Congress
Why: Interactive activations, Official speakers, Photo ops, Cocktails & Small bites

#CareFreeBlackGirl CookOut ATX

When: March 17
Where: Revival Coffee
Why: Maiya The Don, BBYMUTHA, Beauty bars, Food, Vendors & Giveaways

South Dry Southwest

When: March 18
Where: Sans Bar
Why: N/A drinks, Local vendors, Special guest speakers, etc.


When: March 18
Where: Central Machine Works
Why: Free comedy wrestling show

Honkey Tonk Hangover Brunch

When: March 18
Where: Hotel Vegas
Why: Brunch menu, Live music, Lone Star drink specials, Hangover kits, etc.

Unofficial SXSW Puppy Party

When: March 19
Where: Lustre Pearl
Why: Puppy Photo Booth, Adoptable puppies, Tito’s Vodka,  Pet vendors, Drink specials, etc.

Crawfish Boil

When: March 19
Where: Deep Eddy Vodka Tasting Room
Why: Crimson Creek Smokehouse, Live music, Cold drinks, etc.

Looking for more? Explore our Austin City Guides for all of the best recommendations and local brands!

Read More From the Interiors Issue | January & February 2023

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