Free Date Nights in Austin: SXSW Edition (March 10-13, 2016)

Like the old saying goes, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” The chaos of SXSW is officially here, so why not take a break from the usual and enjoy it? Here are my top picks for free date night shows in Austin this weekend. As always- arrive early, venues fill up fast!

FREE-DATES-IN-AUSTIN

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Hotel Vegas and Volstead Lounge 5-Year Anniversary Party

These guys have an awesome party planned! More than 18 bands including Roxy Roca, Johnny Goudie, Sweet Spirit, and DJ Orion to name a few. Doors open at 5 p.m. with FREE drinks from 6-7 p.m. There will also be free food, giveaways, and plenty of other special surprises as they celebrate their 5th anniversary. For the full lineup, visit the event page here. (Hotel Vegas, 1500 East 6th Street, Austin)

Comedy Underground ATX benefitting HAAM

Need some comic relief before the chaos of SXSW starts? Head on over to the New Movement Theatre for a comedy lineup that includes Love Me Tinder at 7 p.m., Darth Brooks/Loverboy at 8 p.m., Pass the Mic hosted by Joe Faina at 9 p.m., and Rob Gagnon’s The Sandbox at 10 p.m. The show is FREE, but donations for HAAM are appreciated (and encouraged!). (New Movement Theater, 616 Lavaca Street, Austin)

Friday, March 11, 2016

Data Disco featuring Bloc Party and Emily Bell at ACL Live

Leveraging Umbel’s digital genome, guests will interact with beautiful and massive installations to understand how their music preferences compare to the party-goers as a whole. Doors open at 8 p.m., to RSVP for Umbel’s Data Disco featuring Bloc Party fill out your contact details and tell them what type of music you like. Only one (1) ticket will be provided per unique email address. Each guest should RSVP with their own email address in order to make sure their spot is correctly reserved. (ACL Live, 310 West Willie Nelson Boulevard, Austin)

Capital One presents White Denim with Rubblebucket, Sweet Spirit, and DJ Manny

Doors open at 8 p.m. for Austin’s returning favorite White Denim with Rubblebucket, Sweet Spirit, and DJ Manny hosted by Capital One. This event will fill up fast, so be sure to get their EARLY. Entry is FREE, but you need to RSVP. (Antone’s, 305 East 5th Street, Austin)

Do512 Epic! Interactive featuring The Octopus Project, The Riverboat Gamblers, Rubblebucket, Mike Relm, and More

The night will be jam-packed with twelve different bands performing. The party starts at 6 p.m. and spans four different stages split between Hotel Vegas and The Volstead. This is a FREE show, but RSVP is required. (Hotel Vegas, 1500 East 6th Street, Austin)

ATX Wildfire at Flamingo Cantina

For the 6th year in a row, ATX Wildfire will be serving up great music and loads of fun from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. on March 11th with the Expanders, Blue 22s, the Inverters, Issac Tauaefa, BLXPLTN, Johnny love, El Tule Chinese Connection Dub Embassy, Audic Empire, Trouble in the Streets, Benny Versus the Beast, and Dem. For a full lineup and to RSVP for entry, visit here. (Flamingo Cantina, 515 East 6th Street, Austin)

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Tumblr U Up? Party with Grouplove, Kelela, DJDS, Wild Belle, Baio, Mothers, LE1F, and more

This show is headlined by Grouplove, a Los Angeles based music festival favorite with a strong fan base throughout the states and overseas. The show starts at 7 p.m. Entry is FREE, but you must RSVP here. (Mohawk, 912 Red River Street, Austin)

Capital One presents Common with DJ Premier, Los Coast, and DJ Manny

With Common headlining the showcase, this one will surely fill up fast, so if you want access- get there EARLY! The doors open at 8 p.m., but I’m sure there will be a line by 7 p.m. As usual, entry is FREE but you must RSVP here. (Antone’s, 305 East 5th Street, Austin)

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Capital One presents Third Eye Blind with Lower Dens, Blue Healer

Taking a detour from their current Dopamine tour, Third Eye Blind will headline the March 13th Capital One party with Lower Dens and Blue Healer. This will be a “throwback” show for many, so expect crowds. Doors open at 8 p.m., FREE show, but you must RSVP here. (Antone’s, 305 East 5th Street, Austin)

Peak Joy with Ghostface Killah & Raekwon, Peanut Butter Wolf, OberHofer, Declan McKenna, and more

Love old school hip-hop? Then mark your calendar! Ghostface Killah and Raekwon of the infamous Wu-Tang Clan fame will be headlining this party presented by The Barbarian Group, Percolate, and SocialCode. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show will last until the wee hours of the morning. Entry is FREE, but you must RSVP here. (Mohawk, 912 Red River Street, Austin)

Austin Town Hall and Side One Track One present The Battle of the Blogs

It’s the Austin Town Hall and Side One Track One Showdown! Come out to Hotel Vegas and The Volstead on Sunday, March 13th to see two of Austin’s blogs take on each other across two stages full of great local talent. This is a FREE show with 25+ bands performing starting at 3 p.m. For a full lineup, visit here. (Hotel Vegas, 1500 East 6th Street, Austin)

About the Author

Heather Gimbel
Native Austinite, Heather Gimbel, has been soaking up our city's nightlife since before ACL was even a festival. Her favorite venue? Liberty Lunch. These days, she's a REALTOR and ambassador for all things Austin as the author of The Untourist Guide: Moving to Austin. Need help buying/selling a home in the Austin area? Visit HeatherGimbel.com.