The craziness of SXSW is upon us! Enjoy this special SX edition of FREE date nights in Austin this weekend. There are plenty of free live music showcases to catch, maker faire events, a comedy night with Chris Cubas, and even a S’mores tasting party. The events are free, but RSVP if you can and be sure to arrive early–events fill up FAST!
The City of Austin has temporarily banned public gatherings. Please stay home. The Free Fun in Austin calendar is only for live digital events at this time.
Thursday, March 9, 2017
Casa México aims to display Mexico’s status as a global leader in technology, entrepreneurship, and innovation, as well as a modern country with a vast and diverse culture and traditions. Join them at the Casa and experience live music, entrepreneurship, culture, Mexican food, art exhibitions, and more. For a full line-up of the day-long event, visit the event website here. Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River Street, Austin.
Rick Broussard’s Two Hoots and a Holler has been entertaining crowded dance halls for over 20 years with their unique style of revved-up country and roots rock music. Drawing on influences from everyone from Buddy Holly and Johnny Cash to The Cramps and The Clash, the band can play a mean classic country tune but with a unique punk rock twist. As one of the best-known bands in Austin, they’ve won numerous Austin Music Awards for Best Roots Rock Band and have been nominated for the Austin Music Awards Hall of Fame. Throw on your dancin’ boots and check them out for yourself. This FREE show starts at 8:00 p.m. The Highball, 1120 South Lamar Boulevard, Austin.
The Domain is turning 10 this year, so celebrate with food, music, friends, and lots of good cheer. Throughout the day, mall management will be randomly surprising shoppers with Simon gift cards, Starbucks cards, and more. The celebration will continue from 5-8:00 p.m. with live music by More Cowbell, a photo booth, complimentary Sofia minis and desserts, giveaways, and fabulous shopping. In honor of 2007’s Pantone Color of the Year, ‘Chili Pepper’, Domain retailers that opened during the center’s first year will be decked out in red balloons and streamers all day. Many will also host in-store anniversary events and specials. Domain, 11410 Century Oaks Terrace, Austin.
Don’t miss Cowboy Harley-Davidson’s FREE Bike Night event at 6:00 p.m. They’ll have live music by Slaterica: The World’s Only Slayer/Pantera/Metallica Cover Band, free burgers and Lone Star beer, a bikini bike wash (as long as it’s warm enough), and much more. South Austin Brewery, 415 St Elmo Rd E, Ste 1D, Austin.
Friday, March 10, 2017
Sprout by Southwest is the un-official (but still super legit) kickoff party for SXSW 2017. Stop by the Sprout Realty House at 6:00 p.m. as they kickoff the week of chaos with a concert house party. Enjoy FREE drinks, live music, and a photo booth as they celebrate their new home on East 6th street. Free drinks sponsored by Narrow Path Winery will be available, as well as an assortment of local beer. Live performance by Elodie Tomlinson at 8:30 p.m. RSVP here for entry, subject to capacity. Sprout Realty, 1706 East 6th Street, Austin.
Join Mondo and Acme Archives as they present: SWxMM, a gallery show featuring celebrated artist Mike Mitchell’s STAR WARS character portrait series. Rebel scum, scruffy nerf herders, Sith Lords, golden rods, laser brains, and more will be on display with Mitchell’s dignified and iconic portrait treatment. In addition to new prints, all of Mitchell’s previously released STAR WARS character portraits will be on display with a very limited number of each available for purchase, including the very first portrait released in the series with Acme Archives, “Red 5.” The show kicks off with a FREE opening reception from 7-10:00 p.m. Mondo Gallery, 4115 Guadalupe Street, Austin.
SXSW Create, the hardware hacking and maker arm of SXSW, is at it again with more space, more fun, and even more hands-on excitement. From 3D printing to drones to bio-hacking and much more, this community event showcases the disruptive solutions that are shaping our future. Doing 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 SXSW Create. This SXSW festival event is FREE with a Guest Pass. No badge required. Head on over from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. to create something amazing. Palmer Event Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.
The Mighty Texas All-Stars is an American Blues and southern soul band from Austin. The group’s sound being blue as hell yet completely soul-drenched MTBB will be your favorite band after one listen. Their live shows are complete with a High Caliber performance style and a full horn section (the chuco-austin horns). The show is FREE and starts at 7:00 p.m. Click here to RSVP. Lit Lounge, 215 E 6th St, Austin.
Holp is hosting a FREE photowalk before the kickoff of SXSW 2017. Grab a friend, your camera, and join them for a fun walk around the city taking in the sights and sounds. They’re meeting on the front lawn of the Long Center at 10:00 a.m. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are as a photographer, just join the walk! Holp will also capture some aerial photo/video afterward. Grab a free ticket on Eventbrite here; limited to 200 people. Long Center, 701 W Riverside Dr, Austin.
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Head over to Hotel Vegas at 1:00 p.m. for a FREE all day event featuring a craft fair by Eastside Pop Up with over 30 artists, craftspeople, and vendors. A portion of the proceeds will benefit HOPE. There will by live music by Golden Dawn Arkestra, Roky Moon and BOLT, Annabelle Chairlegs, TINNAROSE, and more. For a full line-up of events and to RSVP, check the official page here. Hotel Vegas, 1500 E 6th St, Austin.
Austinites, this one’s for you! For half of March, our beloved city turns into mayhem. Good mayhem, but nonetheless, mayhem. Shouldn’t there be an unofficial kick off party for locals before the madness descends? Yes, yes there should be. Join Cuvee Coffee Bar, CatSpring Yaupon, and Letsbevy, Inc. as they throw The Local Buzz, an unofficial SXSW music and booze it event. There will be FREE Live Music by 35MM, FREE Breakfast Tacos from El Chilito, FREE KTonic Kombucha Morning Smoothies, FREE Gourmet Pretzel Bites, FREE Black & Blue Lick Honest Ice Creams Floats, FREE Clean Cause Water & Energy Drinks, FREE GoodPop Popsicles, FREE Beanitos Snacks, and plenty of drink specials. This FREE event is from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Cuvee Coffee, 2000 E 6th St, Austin.
Independence Brewing is hosting a special Comedy Mic and Showcase when the entire world is here for SXSW. The FREE show starts at 6:00 p.m. with Bob Khosravi, Vanessa Gonzales, Aly Dixon, Allie Amrien, Yusef Roach, and LaShonda Lester (winner of Funniest Person in Austin 2016). The headliner is Chris Cubas and it’s hosted by Emily Howell and Greg Lockwood. Get there early and hang with DJ Propah English who will be spinning the tunes starting at 5:00 p.m. Independence Brewing, 3913 Todd Ln, Ste 607, Austin.
It’s SXSW time, so make sure you head out and catch some of the great FREE music showcases. Starting at 8:00 p.m., Splash presents: Magic Hours: Celebrating the Power and Mystery of Experience. This showcase will feature Idgy Dean (8:40-9:10 p.m.), The Disfunction (9:30-10:00 p.m.), Jessie Reyez (10:15-10:45 p.m.), The Skins (11-11:30 p.m.), and PVRIS (12-12:45 a.m.). Mohawk, 912 Red River St, Austin.
Sunday, March 5, 2017
This FREE mini-fest starts at 7:00 p.m. and features from LA, Bikini Trill and KOLARS (of the UTOPiAn He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister), from Venice, CA, the amazing Insects vs Robots, from Oslo, Norway, BAYA, from here in town, playing hits from the SXSW Keynote, Cowboy Irie. Sahara Lounge, 1413 Webberville Rd, Austin.
More than 4,000 s’mores will descend on downtown Austin, and you can be part of the gastronomic joy. We’re talkin’ 700 pounds of marshmallows, 3,000 candy bars and enough graham crackers to make Downtown Austin the S’mores Capitol of the World. Plus, they’ll also have gourmet s’mores coffee and other s’mores-themed treats. This FREE event is from 4-8:00 p.m. Click here to RSVP. The Allan House, 1104 San Antonio St, Austin.
The SXSW Hotel Second Play Stage series are officially sanctioned showcases, providing intimate, stripped-down performances in the lobby of the Westin Austin Downtown. Admission is FREE for all ages and open to the public – no badge/wristband required. Starting at 6:00 p.m with Colin Gilmore followed by Band of Heathens at 7:00 p.m. Stella San Jac at Westin Downtown, 310 E 5th St, Austin.