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Here are some free things to do in Austin during SXSW

Musicians play on a stage with a sign that says "Radio Day Stage" behind them.
Patricia Lim
KUT News
Hermanos Guitérrez performs at the Radio Day Stage during last year's SXSW. The shows at the Austin Convention Center are free and open to people without passes or wristbands.

South by Southwest is upon us! The festival has just begun, and soon crowds will line up for exclusive events, film premieres and various live performances across the city.

With loads of activities, SXSW can be overwhelming to navigate. Here's how to get the most out of the festival for free.

LaCroix Water House

Stop by this event at Inn Cahoots for photo ops, complimentary goodies and all-you-can-sip mocktails. The spot is open this Friday through Sunday, from noon to 6 p.m. Reserve tickets here.

Swift Fit Recovery Lounge

Escape the hustle and bustle of SXSW at this tranquil spot. Enjoy live music, Sans Bar mocktails, nutritious treats, IV drips, tarot readings, reiki, massages and more. The space is open Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. RSVP here.

Third Annual ATX Game Makers Showcase

Play games, network, listen to speakers from the gaming industry at Valhala this Sunday and Monday. The showcase includes complimentary food and drinks during happy hour and a special business lunch. Sunday the space is open 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., and Monday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Attendees must be 18 or older. RSVP here.

Paste Magazine: East Austin Block Party

Stop by High Noon and its neighbor Coral Snake in East Austin for free concerts from noon to 7 p.m. March 13-15. Organizers are partnering with Ilegal Mezcal to give away screen-printed East Austin Block Party T-shirts and flash tattoos by Scott Barbier. Register to attend here.

KUTX Rock the Shores

Head to Auditorium Shores from 3 to 7 p.m. on March 16 for a family-friendly official SXSW event. The showcase features Sabrina Ellis and Andrew Cashen of A Giant Dog, Waco Brothers and Parker Woodland. Find the full lineup and showtimes here.

The Rainey Street Revival

Celebrate Rainey Street's origins, before the high-rise condos took over, at this party at Lustre Pearl from 1 to 7 p.m. on March 14. The event will feature live music, drinks and "good vibes." RSVP here.


Catch Confucius and Fresh from our sister station KUTX from 7 to 11 p.m. March 13 at Revival Coffee. Eight bands will perform, including Magna Carda, Blakchyl and Malik Baptiste. The show is open to the public, but SXSW badges and wristbands will receive priority entrance. Find the full lineup here.

Get Roasted Day Party

Join comedian Collin O’Meara from “Roast Battle” at this event, which offers free tattoo removal sessions as well as free tattoos. The party is March 15 and 16, from noon to 6 p.m. at Removery Tattoo Removal & Fading. RSVP here.

Art & Parks Tour

The third annual Art & Parks Tour, presented by the Downtown Austin Alliance in collaboration with Ride Bikes Austin, will take place Saturday at 11 a.m. This guided bike tour will highlight murals and art installations. It will include discussions with artists, live performances and an exclusive preview of the Thomas Dambo troll at Pease Park. RSVP here.

Rolling Stone's Future of Music

Enjoy four days of free concerts at ACL Live at The Moody Theater. The shows will take place from March 12-15 and run from 5:30 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. An RSVP is mandatory if you do not have a badge or wristband. Find the lineup here.

Colton House Hotel

Make your way to the Colton House Hotel for an all-ages concert series featuring a wide variety of music genres. The series will take place noon to 8 p.m. from March 13-16. RSVP here.

25th Annual South By San José

Bring your leashed furry friend along for four days of live music and local vendors in the parking lot next to Hotel San José and Jo’s Coffee. No badge, wristband or RSVP is required. Music kicks off at noon from March 13-17. Find out who's playing here.

West of the Fest Concert

Mix 94.7 is hosting a concert at 11 a.m. March 15 at Buford's on Sixth Street. There will be performances by Phillip Phillips — the 11th season winner of American Idol — with Sam Nelson from X Ambassadors, Sarah Reeves and Knox and Cecilia Castleman. This event is for those ages 21 and up. No RSVP is required. Find the lineup here.

Public Radio Day Stage

Stop by Ballroom A in the Austin Convention Center from 1 to 5 p.m. on March 15 for a concert presented by KUTX and other stations. Corridor, Dry Cleaning, Brittany Davis, Shannon and the Clams, and Reyna Tropical will perform. Find the full lineup here.

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