For an Austinite, SXSW is the most wonderful time of the year. Forget Christmas; it’s in March when we feed the inner-child in us like a kid in a candy store. Like the majority of the population, not all of us can afford the thousand dollar platinum badge, and that’s when we thank the stars for all the unofficial parties. Fill in your information for an RSVP and cue 10 solid days full of free music, free food, and free booze.
Whether you’re a rookie or a vet, avoid the crowds at Auditorium Shores (and Gaga’s little monsters at the Doritos Stage) and check out these favored parties of the locals.
Maybe you’re already in a secret group online or completely unaware that RSVP’s existed, but either way read this list and you’re guaranteed to have a good time this year.
And if none of these tickle your fancy, here’s a few spread sheets for free parties, free drinks, and free food.
Red Bull Sound Select
Wednesday 3/12- 3/15, 8pm at the Belmont. RSVP required for each individual day.
With music from Earl Sweatshirt, Twin Shadow, Sleigh Bells, Danny Brown, and more. Because there will be a lot of talent, expect a lot of people and show up early.
Wednesday 3/12- 3/15, east 5th Street and I-35. RSVP required.
Music: FKA Twigs, The Orwells, Jeremih, Isaiah Rashad, and others TBA.
This party has been legendary for years and never disappoints. The RSVP usually closes within hours of being released, and besides the free music, Converse will be joining Fader yet again and in the past have given out free screen printed tees and Chuck Taylor high tops.
Thursday 3/13- 3/16, 10pm- 4am, location TBA. Music TBA. RSVP required.
Surround yourself with some of the greatest hip-hop, rap, and electronic acts of the year at this artist party. Last year I was lucky enough to snap this awesome picture of Macklemore crowd-standing and unknowingly sat on A$AP Ferg’s lap while eating free BBQ.
Austin Party Weekend
Thursday 3/13- 3/15, noon- 2am at Empire Control Room. RSVP required. Showcases include Mad Decent, Blundertown, Fool’s Gold, A Club Called Rhonda, Check Yo Ponytail, Neon Gold, iHeartComix.
For locals who share the best of their city, check out Localeur. They’ll be celebrating their first birthday at Holy Mountain on 3/10, 10pm- 2am with a DJ set by Mick. RSVP required. Sponsored by Tito’s Vodka, so expect some free drinks. RSVP required.
Friday 3/14, 6pm at Austin Music Hall. RSVP required. With music from Nas, Flying Lotus, B.O.B. A$AP Mob. Get here EARLY, this line will be around the block.