The South by Southwest Conference and Festival is the biggest media, tech and pop culture event of the year. But with a high price tag, snagging a badge can be tough on a budget. Luckily, SXSW offers a number of incredible free events perfect for fans on a tight budget and looking for big fun. To help pare down the list, here’s five of my must attend shows, installations and events. And if you want to pick from the big list, click here for the expanding schedule of free things to do at SXSW 2023.
Experience Texas Hill Country while exploring the life of U.S. President and Texas native son Lyndon Johnson. After a convenient hotel pickup, visit Johnson’s “Texas White House,” his reconstructed boyhood home (now a national park), and the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site. Learn about the cowboys and German immigrants who shaped the region, stop by historic Fredericksburg, and visit the legendary country music town of Luckenbach.
Get more details and book your Texas Hill Country and LBJ tour from Austin TODAY!!!
Free Events at SXSW 2023
Hip Hop/Latin Showcase @ Stubb’s
When: 8 PM – 12:30 AM at Stubb’s
With a who’s who of the ATX Latin, hip hop and post punk scene, the March 14th free showcase at the legendary Stubbs may be one of the best lineups of the night. Featuring the talents of ATX MC CP Loony, Latina trio The Tiarras, local afro/psych/cumbia super group, Carmelo Haze, post-punk glam rockers Urban Heat and Austin hip hop luminary J Soulja. A fantastic line up for the low, low price of nothing. A must attend!
When: Wednesday, March 15th through Friday, March 17th, 9-5 PM at the Austin Convention Center, Hall 5
Always a yearly highlight, SXSW’s showcase and marketplace for unique concert posters is back and better than ever. A collage of different art styles, music genres, and artist visions, Flatstock is a visual feast. Spend a few bucks on your favorite piece, meet the artists, and soak in the sights that support the sounds.
Austin Industry Day at the Creative Industries Expo
When: Wednesday, March 15th, all day at the Austin Convention Center
A huge part of the SXSW experience is looking to the future. From tech advancements to global initiatives, the conference is full of opportunities to browse and dream. The Creative Industries Expo is a fantastic way to do just that. Open to the public on March 15th, the expo features hundreds of exhibitors showcasing the latest in forward facing discoveries. Worth heading downtown to experience the latest and greatest.
Deal Alert – Hill Country BBQ and Wine Shuttle
Leave busy Austin for a half-day barbecue and wine tour in the Texas Hill Country. Your driver takes you to the outskirts of Austin to visit three different venues. Driver/Guide and Air Conditioned Vehicle are included. Food and wine tasting costs are NOT included.
Get more information and book your Hill Country BBQ and Wine Shuttle TODAY!!!
Free Events at SXSW 2023
Austin Music Showcase @ Sheraton BackYARD
When: Thursday, March 16th at Sheraton BackYARD
Another sensational showcase of local talent, spend an evening at the lovely Sheraton BackYARD and dig some world class music. Starring multi-instrumentalist Lara Price, R&B soul man Daniel Fears, Latin three-piece Nemegata, neo-soul artist Grace Sorensen, and punk outfit We Don’t Ride Llamas. An awesome opportunity to check out some of Austin’s finest.
Community Concerts at Lady Bird Lake
I’ll tell you from experience, there are few things better than laying down in some grass, absorbing sunshine and listening to fantastic music. The Community Concert series is the perfect opportunity to do just that. This year’s lineup includes:
Thursday, March 16th:
3 PM – Lucky Diaz
3:30 PM – Mega Ran
4 PM – Red Yarn & Aaron Nigel Smith
4:30 – SaulPaul
5 PM – Jonny Langford & the Silver Sands Roustabouts and Rosie Flores
6 PM – Thao Nguyen
Friday, March 17th:
3:30 PM – Baba Kuboye
4:30 PM – AJ Smith
5:30 PM – The Zombies
Saturday, March 18th
A celebration of Texas brand bands playing tunes from every genre imaginable. The lineup includes:
- Dead Music Capital Band
- Mazel Tov Kocktail Hour
- Minor Mishap Marching Band
- Moon Tower Brass Band
- Yes Ma’am Brass Band
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