FREE Date Nights in Austin, March 16-19, 2017

As we continue on with our love/hate relationship with SX, we’ve got plenty of live music showcases to check out for free date nights in Austin. If you’re looking to avoid downtown, head to Hotel San Joe’s South by San Jose, Black Fret’s local musicians showcase at the North Door, or head to Whole Foods on North Lamar for the Quantum Collective Showcase. Don’t forget to grab some free swag while you’re at it!

Free Things to do in Austin at Night

Thursday, March 16, 2017

FLOODfest Day One: Frenship, Temples, Karen Elson

Original Penguin by Munsingwear and Flood Magazine present FLOODfest with a Red Light Management Showcase featuring live sets from Ten Tonnes 1 p.m., Tei Shi 2 p.m., Karen Elson 3 p.m., Temples 4 p.m., and Frenship 5 p.m. The event is a FREE show, but requires RSVP here to attend. This will be a popular show so get there early- subject to capacity! (Cedar Street Courtyard, 208 West 4th Street, Austin)

Sweetwater Studios presents New Nashville Rockin Riverboat Evening Showcase

Sweetwater, FirstNotePlay.com, IndyMusicSales, and Bose present what is poised to be the coolest music party during SX2017! Overlook downtown Austin while floating down the Colorado on a RiverBoat. Oh yeah, and listen to best rising independent artists from Nashville at the same time! The first show: The 30A Riverboat Showcase boards at 12:30 p.m. and the performances are from 1-4 p.m. The second show boards at 6:30 p.m. and the performances are from 7-10 p.m. There are only 150 spots, and first come first served. So get there early! For a full line-up and to RSVP, visit here. FREE show with free drinks provided by Magic Hat, Imperial, Ginger Libation, and Domaine Bousquet. (Hyatt Regency Dock, 208 Barton Springs Road, Austin)

House of Vans Showcase at The Mohawk

House of Vans, travels back to Austin for the fourth consecutive year to reunite with The Mohawk during the 2017 SXSW Music Festival. Every day party is FREE and open to the public starting at noon. Live performances include Betty Who, Hippo Campus, The drums, San Fermin, Khruangbin, Blaenavon, and Sundara Karma. For a full line-up with times, click here. (The Mohawk, 912 Red River Street, Austin)

South by San Jose

South By San José returns to the Hotel San José and Jo’s parking lot with live music, local vendors and good times. Music starts at noon each day, and the party is always and forever FREE to attend. Performances include Temples, The Drums, The Lemon Twigs, The Big Moon, Nick Hakim, Savoy Motel, and High Up. (San Jose Hotel, 1316 South Congress Avenue, Austin)

2017 MTV Woodies with Rick Ross, desiigner, d.r.a.m., and more

The 2017 MTV Woodies are returning to SXSW! Rap Legend Rick Ross will be hosting and performing an unforgettable night filled with show-stopping performances, electric energy and a look into this years top emerging artists. There will be amazing performances by Desiigner, d.r.a.m. & Lil Yachty, Jidenna, Khalid, and Starley plus several guest appearances. It’s all going down live starting at 6 p.m., the show is FREE but RSVP required. (Austin American Statesman Parking Lot, 305 South Congress Avenue, Austin)

Friday, March 17, 2017

Float the Goat at Love Goat

FREE SXSW showcase starting at 5 p.m. with 10+ bands performing. The event is sponsored by Captain Morgan & Smirnoff Vodka and lasts until 1 a.m. Check out live performances by The Unlikely Candidates,  Petite League, Hideout, Jurassic Shark, Mom Jeans, and more. (Love Goat, 2716 Guadalupe Street, Austin)

The Scoot Inn presents Scoot x St. Paddy’s

Celebrate St. Paddy’s with a FREE music showcase. The event starts at noon and Guns & Oil will be serving FREE beer until 1 p.m. Live music by Hard Proof, Low Cut Connie, Night Drive, Manatee Commune, Los Wilds, The Reputations, and more. (Historic Scoot Inn, 1308 East 4th Street, Austin)

Waterloo Records Day Party Day Three with Spoon and more

Waterloo Records Day Party is a 4-day event running the Wednesday – Saturday of SXSW Music. Held in the Waterloo parking lot, 28 bands will perform over the 4 days, during the day from 12- 6 p.m.  It is FREE, all ages, no badge or wristband required! On Friday the headliner will be Austin’s own Spoon at 6 p.m. There will also be a signing with the band Future Islands. For a complete line-up with times, click here. (Waterloo Records, 600A North Lamar Boulevard, Austin)

93.7 KLBJ Live Broadcast Day Three with PT Banks, Nakia, and Lisa Morales

93.7 KLBJ is ready to party with you during SXSW 2017! This year our live broadcast will be headquartered at Austin’s favorite food and drink spot, Shady Grove, throughout the week. FREE live music will kick off at 3 p.m. every day and will feature many of your favorite local bands, as well as some noteworthy out-of-towners that rock! Friday’s live music guests include PT Banks, Nakia, Lisa Morales, The Blues Grifters, and The Digital Wild. (Shady Grove, 1624 Barton Springs Road, Austin)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Rebels and Renegrades SXSW Showcase at Threadgill’s South

The FREE showcase starts at noon and features lots of favorites! Live performances by Guy Forsyth, Kinky Friedman, Whitney Rose, Shinyribs, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and James McMurtry. This one is definitely worth checking out! (Threadgill’s South World HQ, 301 West Riverside Drive, Austin)

Rachel Ray’s 10th Annual Feedback Party

Rachael Ray will celebrate her 10th anniversary at South By Southwest this year with her 10th annual Feedback day party, along with a Feedback House. Weezer, De La Soul, Action Bronson and Margo Price will be along the 14 acts playing three stages at Stubb’s BBQ. The lineup will be filled out with the Districts, Benjamin Booker, the Drums, Caitlyn Smith, Gutxi Bibang, Big Thief, Radkey and Lolo, as well as regulars Bob Schneider and the Cringe, led by Ray’s husband John Cusimano. This is a FREE event and opens at 10 a.m. It will fill up fast so get there early! (Stubb’s BBQ, 801 Red River Street, Austin)

Quantum Collective Southwest Invasion with Hanson, Bridgit Mendler, and more

Mmmmbop! The Quantum Collective Southwest Invasion will touch down at SXSW for its 6th annual concert series and lifestyle village hosted by Whole Foods Market, benefiting Whole Planet Foundation. The FREE, all ages event draws a huge crowd to the Whole Foods Market flagship store’s rooftop venue on North Lamar Boulevard every year for live performances by emerging and legacy bands. This year’s three-day event will feature over 40 artists on two stages. Headlining the Saturday show at 6:15 p.m. is Hanson. Additional performances by Bridgit Mendler, Sundara Karma, Colony House, and more. Click here for a full line-up. (Whole Foods Rooftop Plaza, 525 North Lamar Boulevard, Austin)

Black Fret Austin Music Showcase

Help celebrate #Austinmusic at #SXSW2017! This event starts at noon and is FREE to the public, subject to capacity. Check out live performances by Capyac, Otics the Destroyer, Name Sayers, Trouble in the Streets, and Carolyn Wonderland. For a full line-up with times, visit here. (The North Door, 501 Brushy Street, Austin)

Sunday, March 5, 2017

7th Annual Lucy’s South By South Austin Fried Chicken Revival

Come out to Lucy’s South for their 7th Annual Lucy’s South By South Austin Fried Chicken Revival! Live music begins at noon and ends around 7 p.m. each night. The event is FREE and features live performances by Jesse Dayton, Jason Eady, Kelley Mickwee, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and more. Click here for a full line-up with times. (Lucy’s Fried Chicken, 2218 College Avenue, Austin)

The Dream Wanderer Mobile Virtual Reality Gallery

The Dream Wanderer was once a forgotten Ford Econoline transit shuttle parked in the back lot at a used car dealership in Olean, NY. After being gutted and wrapped and retrofitted, the Dream Wanderer has a third life as a touring virtual reality gallery showcasing all-original virtual reality artworks by Buffalo-based arts collective Flatsitter. On Sunday at noon, it can be found at The Museum for Human Achievement for FREE. Come out and experience the dream! (Museum for Human Achievement, address can be found here)