Enjoying SXSW 2015 With the Family

Before we know it, thousands of hipsters, music execs and tourists will descend upon our fair city for this year’s South by Southwest. You have three options: flee (it is Spring Break, anyways), stay far away from any of the action downtown, or stick around and take in music from around the world.

Before I present you with the list of family-friendly SX events covering Film (3/13-3/21), Music (3/17-3/22), edu (3/9-3/12) and Interactive (3/13-3/17), I should offer a few quick tips: 

Be ready for anything. This sounds obvious, but the city changes during SXSW. Not only are students from preschool to college out of school for Spring Break, but over 150,000 people attend the Conference and Festival and many more travel to town to take part in events surrounding SX. This could mean anything from street closures to parking suddenly being $20 downtown in a pay lot (true story) to seeing musicians set up on any street corner. Due to the tragedy which occurred during last year’s festival, the City officials have cut back on the number of event permits issued, and it remains to be seen how this will impact the general public’s ability to attend the free and/or unofficial events.

Pack smart. Assume you should bring food for your kids in case the lines are a mile long or there is only free beer. Hungry kids = cranky kids = no fun for anyone. There may be free food, but it may not be what will sustain your littles for long. Expect that it could be hot, loud and sunny, so you should have sunscreen, sunglasses and ear protection (I bought a pair of these since it’s not easy to get the foam kind in my kid’s ears). Bring cash in case you can’t use plastic. Bring bottles you can refill along the way with water. 

Have a plan, but be ready to ditch it. I add everything conceivable to my Google Calendar and then have a Plan A, B and maybe even C (and if I’m really organized, I print out my calendar, because WiFi can be unreliable). Just like when you are preparing for trips, make sure you know where you are going, where to park and what to expect when you get there. Think about what parks might be nearby in case you need a chance of scenery, or even a library. 

Buddy up. I’ve wanted to meet up with friends during SX, and when you have kids, it’s that much harder to coordinate. Cell reception gets wonky, you get texts hours later and everything takes longer than you would hope, so travel with friends if you want to make sure you spend time with them while you are there. Plus, you can split parking costs.

Take it easy. If you have kids and aren’t working, you are supposed to be on vacation…right? With events in the early morning and more after the kids are in bed, it’s easy to burn the candle at both ends. Few kids are really going to enjoy spending their entire Spring Break braving the crowds and attending the free shows in what is, admittedly, an experience catering to grown-ups. Plan just a few outings a day, make sure you are well-rested and call it a day. There’s always next year! 

Are you starting to get excited?! Here’s our list of family-friendly events happening during SXSW 2015. Check back often, as we’ll be adding to this as we hear about more! 

Tuesday, March 10th:

SXSWedu Education ExpoFREE and open to the public event celebrating the Central Texas community’s hunger and passion for lifelong learning. Austin Convention Center, 2-8pm.

Friday, March 13th:

SouthBites Trailer ParkFrom lobster and kimchi to fried chicken and waffles, the SouthBites Trailer Park is excited to host more of the best rolling restaurants around! Hand-picked SouthBites’s vendors offer an array of gourmet selections paired with a vibrant culinary culture famed in Austin, TX. Open to the public at 604 Driksill St. from 11am-midnight.

SXSW CreateDoing creative and revolutionary things with new technologies embodies the spirit of the SXSW Interactive Festival, and nowhere is this more evident than the diverse mix of activities at SX Create, which is open to the public with FREE Guest Pass wristbands, available in advance or on-site at the event. Click here for more information. City Terrace of The Long Center, 11am-6pm.  

SXSW Gaming Expo – The Expo hosts the latest and greatest that the gaming industry has to offer. With select programming, exclusive demos, and a premiere esports production, this is one SXSW experience you won’t want to miss. Open to the public with FREE Guest Pass wristbands, available in advance or on-site at the event. Click here for more information. Note: Some video games featured at the Expo are rated for adults, so you may want to keep this in mind if you have younger children. Palmer Events Center, Noon-8pm. 

Rock the LotRock the (Austin American-Statesman parking) Lot for music, food and good times during SXSW weekend. Rocking out in the shadow of the Congress Avenue bridge during SXSW weekend, food trucks and tents will be on site, locally brewed beer for sale in beverage tents plus iced cold sodas and water available for purchase. FREE, but entry is first-come, first-serve. Gates open at 4pm and music runs until 11pm. 

Saturday, March 14th:

SXSW Community Workshop: Austin School of Film Youth M.A.F.I.A. – 
Since 2005, Texas high school students, ages 14-19, come together to create short films in only 24 hours during the Annual Youth M.A.F.I.A Day Film Festival & Screening, held in conjunction with SXSW Film’s Annual Texas High School Film Competition. This event takes place from 10am Saturday until 10am Sunday at an area school during SXSW. Space is very limited and participants are asked to pay a $10 fee to secure your spot. 

SXSW Community Workshop: Austin School of Film Youth 3D Workshop10 to 19-year-old participants will use their imagination to create miniature 3D worlds using handmade animation techniques with award-winning Animator, Jeanne Stern. The workshop is $5 and only 18 spots are available. First come, first served. All finished creations will screen at 2015 SXSW Official Film (date and location TBA). Workshop runs from 10:30am-3:30pm. 

SouthBites Trailer ParkFrom lobster and kimchi to fried chicken and waffles, the SouthBites Trailer Park is excited to host more of the best rolling restaurants around! Hand-picked SouthBites’s vendors offer an array of gourmet selections paired with a vibrant culinary culture famed in Austin, TX. Open to the public at 604 Driksill St. from 11am-midnight.

SXSW CreateDoing creative and revolutionary things with new technologies embodies the spirit of the SXSW Interactive Festival, and nowhere is this more evident than the diverse mix of activities at SX Create, which is open to the public with FREE Guest Pass wristbands, available in advance or on-site at the event. Click here for more information. City Terrace of The Long Center, 11am-6pm.  

SXSW Community Screening: Establishing Shots – Older kids might enjoy this showcase of student films from the Austin Community College Radio-Television-Film Department. The films are FREE and open to the public, subject to venue capacity. Marchesa Theatre, 11am-12:30pm.

SXSW Gaming Expo – The Expo hosts the latest and greatest that the gaming industry has to offer. With select programming, exclusive demos, and a premiere esports production, this is one SXSW experience you won’t want to miss. Open to the public with FREE Guest Pass wristbands, available in advance or on-site at the event. Click here for more information. Note: Some video games featured at the Expo are rated for adults, so you may want to keep this in mind if you have younger children. Palmer Events Center, Noon-8pm. 

Rock the LotRock the (Austin American-Statesman parking) Lot for music, food and good times during SXSW weekend. Rocking out in the shadow of the Congress Avenue bridge during SXSW weekend, food trucks and tents will be on site, locally brewed beer for sale in beverage tents plus iced cold sodas and water available for purchase. FREE, but entry is first-come, first-serve. Gates open at 2pm and music runs until 11pm. 

Cultural Placemaking Through Interactive Storytelling – In this fun and interactive workshop, heritage and preservation will be juxtaposed with interactive storytelling. Every community has its stories, its history and its legacy that we want to pass on. Austin’s African American Cultural Heritage District is an area of Austin rich in history and culture, but whose stories are often overlooked or not known in the rapidly growing Austin and gentrification of the neighborhood. Local students who composed music, produced documentaries and animated films will be part of a panel discussion. FREE and open to the public. Carver Museum Boyd Vance Theater, 3:30-5pm.

SXSW Community Screenings: Austin Film Society ShortCase 2015 – Older kids might enjoy ShortCase, the Austin Film Society’s annual short film showcase featuring a diverse selection of shorts made by AFS members. The shorts are FREE and open to the public, subject to venue capacity.
Marchesa Theatre, 4-5:30pm.

[email protected]: No Parties? No Problem! – SXSW creates opportunities for youth and teaches them the skills they need to begin a career creating. Older teens may want to hear from a panel of young people who took the challenge, got inspired, and started a career. FREE and open to the public, subject to venue capacity. Marchesa Theater, 6:30-7:30pm.

Sunday, March 15th:

SXSW Trade ShowCryptoart is fine art that safely stores digital currency like Bitcoin, while nourishing a broader conversation on digital money. Stop by the Trade Show for a limited number of free samples loaded with Bitcoin! Also, check out the #the SELFIE interactive art collection at the Trade Show Bar. FREE and open to the public. Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Halls 3 & 4, 10am-6pm. 

SouthBites Trailer ParkFrom lobster and kimchi to fried chicken and waffles, the SouthBites Trailer Park is excited to host more of the best rolling restaurants around! Hand-picked SouthBites’s vendors offer an array of gourmet selections paired with a vibrant culinary culture famed in Austin, TX. Open to the public at 604 Driksill St. from 11am-midnight.

SXSW Community Screenings: Austin School of Film – Teens might enjoy attending a screening of the amazing short films created by first-time filmmakers at the Austin School of Film’s Digital Filmmaking for Adults course. Each film is a short narrative film with a five minute max. FREE and open to the public, subject to venue capacity. Marchesa Theater, 11am-12:30pm.

SXSW CreateDoing creative and revolutionary things with new technologies embodies the spirit of the SXSW Interactive Festival, and nowhere is this more evident than the diverse mix of activities at SX Create, which is open to the public with FREE Guest Pass wristbands, available in advance or on-site at the event. Click here for more information. City Terrace of The Long Center, 11am-6pm.  

SXSW Gaming Expo – The Expo hosts the latest and greatest that the gaming industry has to offer. With select programming, exclusive demos, and a premiere esports production, this is one SXSW experience you won’t want to miss. Open to the public with FREE Guest Pass wristbands, available in advance or on-site at the event. Click here for more information. Note: Some video games featured at the Expo are rated for adults, so you may want to keep this in mind if you have younger children. Palmer Events Center, Noon-8pm.

SXSW Community Screening: Rainforest Partnership’s Film for the ForestFilms for the Forest (F3) is an annual international short film challenge created by Rainforest Partnership, with a goal to create awareness about the importance of tropical rainforests and threats faced by forests and their communities. FREE and open to the public, subject to venue capacity. Marchesa Theater, 3:30-5:30pm.

SXSW Eco Light Garden – Celebrate the intersection between innovative lighting technology and interactive public art. This annual project provides a peaceful escape from the crowd and offers a chance to interact with the latest efficient LED technologies. FREE and open to the public. Republic Square Park, 7pm-2am.

Bikes vs Cars Outdoor Screening – This World Premiere Documentary examines the impact of cars on the environment. This FREE and open to the public screening will take place outside in Republic Square Park from 7:45-9:15pm.

Monday, March 16th

SXSW Trade ShowCryptoart is fine art that safely stores digital currency like Bitcoin, while nourishing a broader conversation on digital money. Stop by the Trade Show for a limited number of free samples loaded with Bitcoin! Also, check out the #the SELFIE interactive art collection at the Trade Show Bar. FREE and open to the public. Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Halls 3 & 4, 10am-6pm. 

SouthBites Trailer ParkFrom lobster and kimchi to fried chicken and waffles, the SouthBites Trailer Park is excited to host more of the best rolling restaurants around! Hand-picked SouthBites’s vendors offer an array of gourmet selections paired with a vibrant culinary culture famed in Austin, TX. Open to the public at 604 Driksill St. from 11am-midnight. 

SXKids – The Little Yoga House is offering a FREE drum circle with Michael Romero for kids from 1-2pm.  

Troy Campbell’s Swedish Invasion – The Magnettes, Roshambo, Beldina, Sofia Talvik, Amason and Ninsun Poli play for FREE in the Beer Garden (outdoors). Music starts at 3pm.

SXSWedu Community Screening: The Uni-Saders and Mosaic: The Deep Eddy Mural Project SXSWedu presents two locally made shorts about St. Andrew’s Uni-Saders, an elementary unicycle club, and the installation of the mosaic mural at the historic Deep Eddy Pool. FREE and open to the public. George Washington Carver Museum, 5-7pm. 

SXSW Eco Light Garden – Celebrate the intersection between innovative lighting technology and interactive public art. This annual project provides a peaceful escape from the crowd and offers a chance to interact with the latest efficient LED technologies. FREE and open to the public. Republic Square Park, 7pm-2am. 

Tuesday, March 17th

Cryptoart at the Trade ShowCryptoart is fine art that safely stores digital currency like Bitcoin, while nourishing a broader conversation on digital money. Stop by the Trade Show for a limited number of free samples loaded with Bitcoin! FREE and open to the public. Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Halls 3 & 4, 10am-6pm. 

SouthBites Trailer ParkFrom lobster and kimchi to fried chicken and waffles, the SouthBites Trailer Park is excited to host more of the best rolling restaurants around! Hand-picked SouthBites’s vendors offer an array of gourmet selections paired with a vibrant culinary culture famed in Austin, TX. Open to the public at 604 Driksill St. from 11am-midnight.

Hello Lamp Post: AustinHello Lamp Post: Austin is a city-wide platform for play that lets you talk to the city’s infrastructure, lamp posts, bus stops and more to share your stories using the text messaging function of your mobile phone. The project combines art and technology to change the way we interact with the urban landscape to create playful experiences for the entire city. Learn more about the project and listen to a short presentation by Sam Hill of Pan Studio, the project’s designers, at 2pm. FREE and open to the public. North lawn of the Brush Square Museums, 1-4pm. 

SXKids – The Little Yoga House is offering a FREE learn to rap class for kids with Kosha Dillz from 1-2pm. 

Do512 Family PicnicRescheduled for Thursday, March 19, due to the weather. Kids can enjoy music that’s just for them, a magic show, balloon art, face painting, an instrument petting zoo and other activities. The lineup includes The Suffers, The Tontons, Boss Street Brass Band, School of Rock, Groundwork Music Orchestra and more. FREE with RSVP. Midway Food Park, 2-8:30pm.

Amigos de los Guero’sFREE day parties take place on Guero’s outdoor patio from 2-9pm.

SXSW Eco Light Garden – Celebrate the intersection between innovative lighting technology and interactive public art. This annual project provides a peaceful escape from the crowd and offers a chance to interact with the latest efficient LED technologies. FREE and open to the public. Republic Square Park, 7pm-2am. 

Wednesday, March 18th

KGSR Live BroadcastsEnjoy 4 hours of exclusive, live interviews and performances from featured SXSW artists, and the first 300 guests through the door each morning will receive a complimentary breakfast treat! Check out lineup here. The W Austin from 6-10am, $5 donation to Make-A-Wish Central & South Texas. 

KUTX Music Broadcasts at Four Seasons Hotel AustinFour Seasons Hotel Austin is once again teaming up with local radio station KUTX-FM 98.9 to present live morning broadcasts featuring music by – and interviews with – several of South-by-Southwest’s most anticipated performers. These broadcasts include intimate 25-minute sets by 16 artists, giving locals and out-of-towners alike unprecedented access to many of this year’s festival favorites. Four Seasons Hotel, 7-11 am, $10 donation to the Seton Shivers Cancer Center, with a breakfast taco and unlimited coffee as part of admission. 

3rd Annual HOPE Recreate – Get away from the SXSW madness and check out live mural work by over 40 local and national artists. Merchandise, art materials and apparel will be available for sale. FREE. HOPE Outdoor Gallery, 10am-6pm. (This event is subject to weather.) Update: Due to the rainy forecast, this event will now be held on Thursday, March 19, from 10 a.m. to sundown.

SXSW Trade ShowCryptoart is fine art that safely stores digital currency like Bitcoin, while nourishing a broader conversation on digital money. Stop by the Trade Show for a limited number of free samples loaded with Bitcoin! Also, check out the #the SELFIE interactive art collection at the Trade Show Bar. FREE and open to the public. Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Halls 3 & 4, 10am-6pm. 

SouthBites Trailer ParkFrom lobster and kimchi to fried chicken and waffles, the SouthBites Trailer Park is excited to host more of the best rolling restaurants around! Hand-picked SouthBites’s vendors offer an array of gourmet selections paired with a vibrant culinary culture famed in Austin, TX. Open to the public at 604 Driksill St. from 11am-midnight.

SXSW Community Screenings: Austin School of Film’s Youth M.A.F.I.A. Screening A super special screening of all films & animations created in SXSW & ASoF’s Youth partnership events: M.A.F.I.A & 3D Animation Workshop. All films completed by students ages 10-19 years old. FREE and open to the public, subject to venue capacity. Vimeo Theater, 11am-12:30pm. 

Waterloo Records SXSW 2015 Day PartiesWaterloo hosts bands in its parking lot for SXSW. See the lineup here. Music goes from noon until 7pm. FREE.

South X San Jose at Jo’s Coffee on South CongressSouth By San Jose (SXSJ) is an annual 5-day festival concurrent with SXSW Music Festival which takes place in mid-March. The hotel parking lot is transformed into a live music venue with bands, local vendors and concessions. FREE. Music starts at noon.

Jenni Finlay Showcase – Starting at noon, the lineup features Bryan Hanes, Luke Pruitt, Shelley King, Gurf Morlix, Chip Taylor, Jon Dee Graham and James McMurtry. By donation.

Third Annual UGLYFEST – Cherrywood Coffeehouse is hosting this day party. FREE. Noon until 10pm. 

School of Rock Day Party – The School of Rock’s FREE annual day party will take place at Scholz’s Garden, starting at 1pm. Featuring the School’s house band, “The B Team”, SoR staff bands, plus more special guests to be announced.

SXKids – The Little Yoga House is offering a FREE music showcase for kids with David Young from 1-2pm. 

SX Stiles Switch Music Showcase – FREE, family-friendly music at Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew from 2-9pm. 

South By Soup Fest Benefit (SXSF) – The roster party raises money for Caritas of Austin Food Services Program by raffling off CDs (band tips also go to Caritas). FREE and open to the public at Guero’s. 2-9pm.

Family Music Meltdown at the Pan Am Recreation Center – The 2nd Annual Family Music Meltdown has quickly become an Austin tradition for families who like to rock together during Spring Break! This one-day music fest comes but once a year. Local and national acts will perform, including Big Don, The Jellydots, Gina Chavez, Ralph’s World, Koo Koo Kanga Roo and The Not­-Its. Visit the Family Music Meltdown website for the full lineup. Free Fun in Austin is a proud sponsor of this event! 3-7pm. FREE. Update: This event has moved indoors. It will now be held in the Pan Am Rec Center gym (2100 E. 3rd Street).

Mexican American Experience – Enjoy food, fun and music for the whole family! Shuttle service and parking will be offered at Sanchez Elementary, Mendez Middle School and Fiesta Gardens. This event is FREE and will take place at the Mexican American Cultural Center; doors open at 5pm and show starts at 6pm. 

SXSW Eco Light Garden – Celebrate the intersection between innovative lighting technology and interactive public art. This annual project provides a peaceful escape from the crowd and offers a chance to interact with the latest efficient LED technologies. FREE and open to the public. Republic Square Park, 7pm-2am.

Thursday, March 19th

KGSR Live BroadcastsEnjoy 4 hours of exclusive, live interviews and performances from featured SXSW artists, and the first 300 guests through the door each morning will receive a complimentary breakfast treat! Check out lineup here. The W Austin from 6-10am, $5 donation to Make-A-Wish Central & South Texas.

KUTX Music Broadcasts at Four Seasons Hotel AustinFour Seasons Hotel Austin is once again teaming up with local radio station KUTX-FM 98.9 to present live morning broadcasts featuring music by – and interviews with – several of South-by-Southwest’s most anticipated performers. These broadcasts include intimate 25-minute sets by 16 artists, giving locals and out-of-towners alike unprecedented access to many of this year’s festival favorites. Four Seasons Hotel, 7-11 am, $10 donation to the Seton Shivers Cancer Center, with a breakfast taco and unlimited coffee as part of admission.  

MyMusicRX YOU WHO Rock Show for Kids – For the third year in a row, Austin moms, dads and kids can rock out at THE FADER FORT while raising funds for MyMusicRX, the only “kid-prescribed” in-hospital and online music medicine program in the nation, founded by the Children’s Cancer Association. THE FADER FORT, $20 in advance & $25 at the door (children 10 and under are free). 

SouthBites Trailer ParkFrom lobster and kimchi to fried chicken and waffles, the SouthBites Trailer Park is excited to host more of the best rolling restaurants around! Hand-picked SouthBites’s vendors offer an array of gourmet selections paired with a vibrant culinary culture famed in Austin, TX. Open to the public at 604 Driksill St. from 11am-midnight. 

Flatstock 48Presented by the American Poster Institute (API), Flatstock 48 will display the works of the world’s top gig poster artists. The show will feature posters of varying styles, colors and techniques for sale by the very artists who created them. Open to the public with FREE Guest Pass wristbands, available in advance or on-site at the event. Click here for more information. Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 4. 11am-6pm.

SXSW Music Gear Expo – The Music Gear Expo celebrates six years in 2015 with a host of new offerings. In addition to the much loved expo portion, the show will feature a number of special activations including: the Stompbox, Shred Shed and the brand new Synthesizer Space plus the Gear Lounge, Gear Expo Store and Flatstock Stage. Open to the public with FREE Guest Pass wristbands, available in advance or on-site at the event. Click here for more information. Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 5. 11am-6pm.

Waterloo Records SXSW 2015 Day PartiesWaterloo hosts bands in its parking lot for SXSW. See the lineup here. Music goes from noon until 7pm. FREE.

South X San Jose at Jo’s Coffee on South CongressSouth By San Jose (SXSJ) is an annual 5-day festival concurrent with SXSW Music Festival which takes place in mid-March. The hotel parking lot is transformed into a live music venue with bands, local vendors and concessions. FREE. Music starts at noon.

CATvsOWL Showcase – Cherrywood Coffeehouse is hosting this FREE, all ages show from noon until 10pm. 

SXKids – The Little Yoga House is offering a FREE music showcase for kids with Ley Line from 1-2pm. 

Dias de Extraños – Guero’s is hosting this FREE day party from 2-9pm. Note: Music can be pretty loud, even though it is an outdoor venue, so consider bringing ear protection. 

SX Stiles Switch Music Showcase – FREE, family-friendly music at Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew from 2-9pm. 

Outdoor Stage at Auditorium Shores – The SXSW Outdoor Stage at Auditorium Shores features a three-day series charity beneficiary concert events with the beautiful Austin skyline serving as the backdrop. It is SXSW’s largest stage with more than 50,000 attendees over three days. Open to the public with FREE Guest Pass wristbands, available in advance or on-site at the event. Click here for more information. On Thursday, My Jerusalem starts things off at 5pm, followed by Mac McCaughan at 6pm, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires at 7pm and Spoon at 8pm.

Mexican American Experience – Enjoy food, fun and music for the whole family! Shuttle service and parking will be offered at Sanchez Elementary, Mendez Middle School and Fiesta Gardens. This event is FREE and will take place at the Mexican American Cultural Center; doors open at 5pm and show starts at 6pm.

SXSW Eco Light Garden – Celebrate the intersection between innovative lighting technology and interactive public art. This annual project provides a peaceful escape from the crowd and offers a chance to interact with the latest efficient LED technologies. FREE and open to the public. Republic Square Park, 7pm-2am.

Friday, March 20th

KGSR Live BroadcastsEnjoy 4 hours of exclusive, live interviews and performances from featured SXSW artists, and the first 300 guests through the door each morning will receive a complimentary breakfast treat! Check out lineup here. The W Austin from 6-10am, $5 donation to Make-A-Wish Central & South Texas.

KUTX Music Broadcasts at Four Seasons Hotel AustinFour Seasons Hotel Austin is once again teaming up with local radio station KUTX-FM 98.9 to present live morning broadcasts featuring music by – and interviews with – several of South-by-Southwest’s most anticipated performers. These broadcasts include intimate 25-minute sets by 16 artists, giving locals and out-of-towners alike unprecedented access to many of this year’s festival favorites. Four Seasons Hotel, 7-11 am, $10 donation to the Seton Shivers Cancer Center, with a breakfast taco and unlimited coffee as part of admission.  

SouthBites Trailer ParkFrom lobster and kimchi to fried chicken and waffles, the SouthBites Trailer Park is excited to host more of the best rolling restaurants around! Hand-picked SouthBites’s vendors offer an array of gourmet selections paired with a vibrant culinary culture famed in Austin, TX. Open to the public at 604 Driksill St. from 11am-midnight. 

Roky Erickson Ice Cream Social – Starting at 11am in the Beer Garden, this showcase features Jesse Vain and the Happy Hour Holiness Movement, Ill Bones, The Hounds of Baskerville, The Magnets, Chuck Prophet, The Wylds, Death by Unga Bunga, Kill! Kill! Pussycat, NOCONA and Roky Erickson and The Hounds of Baskerville. $10 

Flatstock 48 Presented by the American Poster Institute (API), Flatstock 48 will display the works of the world’s top gig poster artists. The show will feature posters of varying styles, colors and techniques for sale by the very artists who created them. Open to the public with FREE Guest Pass wristbands, available in advance or on-site at the event. Click here for more information. Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 4. 11am-6pm.
 
SXSW Music Gear Expo – The Music Gear Expo celebrates six years in 2015 with a host of new offerings. In addition to the much loved expo portion, the show will feature a number of special activations including: the Stompbox, Shred Shed and the brand new Synthesizer Space plus the Gear Lounge, Gear Expo Store and Flatstock Stage. Open to the public with FREE Guest Pass wristbands, available in advance or on-site at the event. Click here for more information. Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 5. 11am-6pm.

Girls Rock Austin SX Day Party – Cherrywood Coffeehouse is hosting this FREE show, which lasts from 11am-10:30pm.

Music by the Slice (MXTS) – Home Slice Pizza will host the tenth annual Music By The Slice on Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21. The FREE two-day music charity party will be thrown on Home Slice’s back patio (1415 South Congress Avenue) and will feature twenty bands from all over the world. Starts at noon. 

Waterloo Records SXSW 2015 Day PartiesWaterloo hosts bands in its parking lot for SXSW. See the lineup here. Music goes from noon until 7pm. FREE.

South X San Jose at Jo’s Coffee on South CongressSouth By San Jose (SXSJ) is an annual 5-day festival concurrent with SXSW Music Festival which takes place in mid-March. The hotel parking lot is transformed into a live music venue with bands, local vendors and concessions. FREE. Music starts at noon.

Amigos Internacionales Showcase – Lineup includes bands from Ireland, Chile, Australia, Nigeria, Japan and Lesotho. FREE. Note: It can get a little loud, even outside, so you might want to bring ear protection. Guero’s, noon-9pm. 

SXKids – The Little Yoga House is offering a FREE music showcase for kids with The Music Bats from 1-2pm. 

SX Stiles Switch Music Showcase – FREE, family-friendly music at Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew from 2-10pm.  

Pan Americana Festival at the Mexican American Cultural Center – Bellas Artes Alliances presents this two-day festival, featuring music from throughout Latin America. 5-11pm. FREE. 

Outdoor Stage at Auditorium Shores – The SXSW Outdoor Stage at Auditorium Shores features a three-day series charity beneficiary concert events with the beautiful Austin skyline serving as the backdrop. It is SXSW’s largest stage with more than 50,000 attendees over three days. Gates open at 3pm and alt-country singer and Austin native Carson McHone will open the show at 6pm, followed by Jackie Greene at 6pm, and North Mississippi Allstars guitarist and vocalist Luther Dickinson at 7pm. Ryan Bingham will headline the show, taking the stage at 8pm. Open to the public with FREE Guest Pass wristbands, available in advance or on-site at the event. Click here for more information. 

SXSW Eco Light Garden – Celebrate the intersection between innovative lighting technology and interactive public art. This annual project provides a peaceful escape from the crowd and offers a chance to interact with the latest efficient LED technologies. FREE and open to the public. Republic Square Park, 7pm-2am. 

Saturday, March 21st

KGSR Live BroadcastsEnjoy 4 hours of exclusive, live interviews and performances from featured SXSW artists, and the first 300 guests through the door each morning will receive a complimentary breakfast treat! Check out lineup here. The W Austin from 8am-noon, $5 donation to Make-A-Wish Central & South Texas.

KUTX Music Broadcasts at Four Seasons Hotel AustinFour Seasons Hotel Austin is once again teaming up with local radio station KUTX-FM 98.9 to present live morning broadcasts featuring music by – and interviews with – several of South-by-Southwest’s most anticipated performers. These broadcasts include intimate 25-minute sets by 16 artists, giving locals and out-of-towners alike unprecedented access to many of this year’s festival favorites. Four Seasons Hotel, 7-11 am, $10 donation to the Seton Shivers Cancer Center, with a breakfast taco and unlimited coffee as part of admission.  

SouthBites Trailer ParkFrom lobster and kimchi to fried chicken and waffles, the SouthBites Trailer Park is excited to host more of the best rolling restaurants around! Hand-picked SouthBites’s vendors offer an array of gourmet selections paired with a vibrant culinary culture famed in Austin, TX. Open to the public at 604 Driksill St. from 11am-midnight. 

Flatstock 48Presented by the American Poster Institute (API), Flatstock 48 will display the works of the world’s top gig poster artists. The show will feature posters of varying styles, colors and techniques for sale by the very artists who created them. Open to the public with FREE Guest Pass wristbands, available in advance or on-site at the event. Click here for more information. Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 4. 11am-6pm.

SXSW Music Gear Expo – The Music Gear Expo celebrates six years in 2015 with a host of new offerings. In addition to the much loved expo portion, the show will feature a number of special activations including: the Stompbox, Shred Shed and the brand new Synthesizer Space plus the Gear Lounge, Gear Expo Store and Flatstock Stage. Open to the public with FREE Guest Pass wristbands, available in advance or on-site at the event. Click here for more information. Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 5. 11am-6pm.

Music by the Slice (MXTS) – Home Slice Pizza will host the tenth annual Music By The Slice on Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21. The FREE two-day music charity party will be thrown on Home Slice’s back patio (1415 South Congress Avenue) and will feature twenty bands from all over the world. Starts at noon. 

Waterloo Records SXSW 2015 Day PartiesWaterloo hosts bands in its parking lot for SXSW. See the lineup here. Music goes from noon until 7pm. FREE.

South X San Jose at Jo’s Coffee on South CongressSouth By San Jose (SXSJ) is an annual 5-day festival concurrent with SXSW Music Festival which takes place in mid-March. The hotel parking lot is transformed into a live music venue with bands, local vendors and concessions. FREE. Music starts at noon.

Folk Alliance Showcase – This event in the outdoor Beer Garden features Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Bill Kirchen & Redd Volkaert, Sam Baker and more. By donation.

Bizarre Bazaar – Cherrywood Coffeehouse is hosting this FREE day party, which lasts from noon until 10pm. 

SXSFlea! – At this special SXSFlea!, stroll through the hand-picked vendors for local handmade items and vintage wares from some of Austin’s most amazing and talented vendors. Find one-of-a-kind gifts for any occasion including jewelry, glasswork, clothing, artwork, paper goods, textiles and much more. FREE and open to all ages. Lawn of East End Wines, noon-7pm. 

Live Music Records – This FREE day party takes place on the Guero’s outdoor patio from noon-9pm. 

SXKids – The Little Yoga House is offering a FREE SXKids Wrap Party for kids with The Que Pastas from 1-2pm. 

SX Stiles Switch Music Showcase – FREE, family-friendly music at Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew from 2-10pm.   

Rock + Chalk at The Domain – Children of all ages are invited to rock out and celebrate the final weekend of spring break! FREE! Ralph’s World will kick off the afternoon of springtime jams at 3pm, followed by Groundwork Music Orchestra at 3:35pm. At 4:55pm Elizabeth McQueen will perform, then Joe McDermott will take the stage at 4:55pm. At 5:30pm The Que Pastas will play, followed by Koo Koo Kanga Roo at 6:15. At 7pm, The Jellydots will finish off a night that will have kids begging for more! For the full lineup, visit the Facebook event page. Free Fun in Austin is a proud sponsor of this event! 

Outdoor Stage at Auditorium Shores – The SXSW Outdoor Stage at Auditorium Shores features a three-day series charity beneficiary concert events with the beautiful Austin skyline serving as the backdrop. It is SXSW’s largest stage with more than 50,000 attendees over three days. Hunter Sharpe kicks off the show at 2:40pm and the BoDeans play at 4:40pm. Mexican Institute of Sound + Toy Selectah play at 6pm, followed by Bomba Estéreo at 7pm and Intocable at 8pm. Open to the public with FREE Guest Pass wristbands, available in advance or on-site at the event. Click here for more information. 

Pan Americana Festival at the Mexican American Cultural Center – Bellas Artes Alliances presents this two-day festival, featuring music from throughout Latin America. 5-11pm. FREE.  

SXSW Eco Light Garden – Celebrate the intersection between innovative lighting technology and interactive public art. This annual project provides a peaceful escape from the crowd and offers a chance to interact with the latest efficient LED technologies. FREE and open to the public. Republic Square Park, 7pm-2am.

Sunday, March 22nd

Latin American Cultural Showcase This showcase will feature both international music and local acts. FREE and open to the public. Kenny Dorham’s Backyard, noon-6pm.

Bob Fuentes Presents – This FREE day party takes place on the outdoor patio at Guero’s from noon-7pm.

Mad Tiger Festival 2015This family-friendly unofficial SXSW showcase features Peelander-Z, Mother Falcon and Koo Koo Kanga Roo. Starts at 1pm. FREE with RSVP, but subject to capacity. Mueller Lake Park Outdoor Amphitheater.

Ivy and the Wicker Suitcase – Author/composer Brian Beattie will sing the songs and tell the tale of “Ivy!” Artist/illustrator Valerie Fowler will crank the “Cranky Show” a series of 30 foot-long illustrated scrolls, a low-tech hand-drawn audiovisual extravaganza! FREE and open to the public. Faulk Central Library, 2-3pm.

Author/Composer Brian Beattie will sing the songs and tell the tale of “Ivy!” Artist/Illustrator Valerie Fowler will crank the “Cranky Show,” a series of 30 foot- long illustrated scrolls, a low-tech hand-drawn audiovisual extravaganza! – See more at: http://library.austintexas.gov/event/ivy-and-wicker-suitcase-66215#sthash.OgSbHlq6.dpuf
Author/Composer Brian Beattie will sing the songs and tell the tale of “Ivy!” Artist/Illustrator Valerie Fowler will crank the “Cranky Show,” a series of 30 foot- long illustrated scrolls, a low-tech hand-drawn audiovisual extravaganza! – See more at: http://library.austintexas.gov/event/ivy-and-wicker-suitcase-66215#sthash.OgSbHlq6.dpuf



If anything is missing from our list, please let us know in the comments!



A recovering workaholic, Nicole Basham now spends her time rediscovering Austin through her 8-year-old son’s eyes. A soccer-playing mom, Nicole also enjoys tickling too close to bedtime, taking in some live music and being silly. You can also find her writing at LiveMom.


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