SXSW on the Cheap

Photo Credit: SXSW

Can’t afford to pay $750 for a SXSW badge? No worries, we’ve got you covered. We’ll show you how to have a rockin’ time without spending a dime. Plus, badges are overrated anyways. Here’s how to do to SXSW on the cheap.

Get ready for three nights of free concerts at Auditorium Shores Stage (Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin). Aside from free music, there will be food, drinks and arts and craft vendors. CapMetro bus route 10 will get you close to the action, dropping off at First and Barton Springs Road. Private shuttle transportation will also run Thursday through Saturday from 4 p.m.- 11 p.m. from Second and Trinity to Auditorium Shores, but this option is only free for badge holders. Featured performances include:

  • “Little Hurricane” “M. Ward” “The Shins”—March 15, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
  • “Diamond Rugs” “Counting Crows”—March 16, 6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
  • “Shiny Toy Guns” “The Bright Light Social Hour” “The Cult”— March 17, 8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

If you want to take advantage of Austin and check out other events, there will be two weekends of free film and music events at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center located at 1165 Angelina Street.

This short film exhibit showcases the uniqueness of Austin and its filmmakers. Other screenings include “Dysfunctional Friends” and “1 out of 7.”

  • Various musical performers -  March 16, 1 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Musical artists include Afro-Fusion by Sauti Sol, underground Chinese Hip-Hop, The Warrior Gospel Band and many more.

And of course for those game lovers out there, there are some free exhibitions that you might want to check out at the SXSW Screen Burn Arcade March 9-11 at the Palmer Events Center. Showcases include a variety of the newly released video games, game-related toys, gear and more. Check out the SXSW event page for the times and dates of the IGN Pro League gaming tournaments, including competitions for Starcraft II, Street Fighter X, Tekken and League of Legends. 

Another interesting event to check out is PostSecret + BLUEBRAIN on March 11 from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m at the Austin Convention Center. This is a live multimedia performance by PostSecret, BLUEBRAIN and Fireman Creative that will include funny and heart-breaking secrets you don’t want to miss. If you’re unfamiliar with PostSecret’s work, check it out here.

Now, before you go off and enjoy yourself, here are some things you might want to consider. Make sure you dress comfortably, be early and be prepare to test your patience. Also, use the restroom before you leave the house because the port-a-potties stink in more way than one. Most of all, enjoy yourselves and be safe!