RSVP: The Hottest Free SXSW Events

Multiple Days
Piqora Photo Factory @ SXSW
Fri. 3/13 through Tue. 3/17 • 11am–5pm • Piqora Photo Factory, 201 E. 5th St. #108
Free food + beer from Hops & Grain.

SalesForce Marketing Cloud @ SXSW
Fri. 3/13 and Sat. 3/14 • Noon–6pm • Brass House, 115 San Jacinto Blvd.
Food, beverages, swag.

Marketo’s Engagement Lounge
Sun. 3/15 from 9am–5:30pm; Mon. 3/16 from 9am–2:30pm • Vulcan Gas Company, 418 E. 6th St.
Free brunch and networking. RSVP separately for each day: Sunday / Monday

SoftLayer Speakeasy featuring the Catalyst Startup Lounge
Sun. 3/15 through Tue. 3/17 • Noon–10pm • 501 E. 6th St.
Free beer, spirits, coffee, tea, and soft drinks. Live music starts at 7pm.

Spotify House
Sun. 3/15 through Fri. 3/20 • 11:30am–6pm • 901 E. 6th Street
Six days of solid lineups. This has become one of the bigger parties at the fest, so expect the lines to be pretty huge. Get there early, especially later in the week.

Jimmy Kimmel in Austin
Mon. 3/16 through Fri. 3/20 • 4pm • Long Center, 701 West Riverside Drive
Enter drawings for each day for a chance to win tickets.

Lose Control 7
Tue. 3/17 through Sat. 3/21 • 8pm • Krave, 302 E. 6th St.
Not many details on this one yet, but last year’s LC6 was pretty legit, so check back for lineup announcements.

Colorado Music Party
Tue. 3/17 through Sat. 3/21 • Day party (time TBA) • The 512, 408 E. 6th St.
Free beer from New Belgium paired with a bunch of Colorado bands. Always a good one.

StubHub and Culture Collide at Clive Bar
Tue. 3/17 through Thu. 3/19 • Time TBA • Clive Bar, 609 Davis St.
Multiple days of great lineups. The RSVP is for day shows; night shows are badges only. Typically hits capacity very early.

Beautiful Buzz Presents: TBD Austin
Wed. 3/18 through Sat. 3/21 • Time TBA • Brew Exchange, 706 W. 6th St.
Several days of good music, slightly off the beaten path of SX craziness. We have a feeling more acts are … well, TBD.

Midcoast Takeover
Wed. 3/18 through Sat. 3/21 • Noon • Shangri La, 1016 E. 6th St.
Four day’s o’ bands. RSVP separately for each day.

Lyve Presents FloodFest
Wed. 3/18 through Sat. 3/21 • Noon–6pm + night shows • Cedar Street Courtyard, 204 W. 4th St.
Great lineup at a small venue. Day shows are free, but night shows are badge only.

UMG Experience
Thu. 3/19 and Fri. 3/20 • Noon–6pm • Palm Door on 6th, 508 E. 6th St.
No lineup yet but this one is usually a good time, and it’s in a big venue that’s not as packed in as some of the others.

Culture Collide and Dr. Martens at Bar 96
Thu. 3/19 and Fri. 3/20 • 2pm–2am • Bar 96, 96 Rainey St.
The day shows are free but should hit capacity pretty quickly. Night shows are badge-only.

The IFC Fairgrounds
Thu. 3/19 through Sat. 3/21 • 4–10pm • Palm Park, 3rd & Red River
This is one of the better opportunities to see some of the fest’s buzz bands without having to deal with massive crowds. Plus: carny games and a giant rickety slide! A very solid addition to SX.

Hard Rock Presents: Culture Collide at Container Bar
Thu. 3/19 through Sat. 3/21 • 11am–6pm • Container Bar, 90 Rainey St.
Free food while it lasts. Like the other Culture Collide shows, you’re gonna want to get there early to beat the rush.

Quantum Collective Southwest Invasion 2015
Fri. 3/20 and Sat. 3/21 • Whole Foods Rooftop, 6th and Lamar
This is always a fun, chill rooftop hangout. Chances are good that there will be some free beer and/or wine.
 

Thursday, March 12
Pre-SX ATX Startup Crawl 2015
5–10pm • Capital Factory, 701 Brazos St. #1601 — and locations all over downtown
Free drinks, food, and networking at dozens of startup businesses. RSVP to get a map.

Civitas Learning @ SXSW Startup Crawl
5–10pm • Civitas Learning, 1145 W. 5th Street
Free food and drinks.

Austin Local Love
5pm–2am • Swan Dive, 615 Red River
20 Austin bands, plus free drinks from Juiceland.
 

Friday, March 13
Umbelmania
8pm–midnight • ACL Live at the Moody Theater, 2nd Street @ Lavaca
Performance by Spoon. This was crazy packed last year so get there early.

SXSW Internet Of Things Meetup
5–6pm • Long Center Terrace, 701 West Riverside Drive
Free beer and Torchy’s tacos.
 

Saturday, March 14
Lettering & Lattes
9am–noon • TOMS Roasting Co., 1401 South Congress Ave.
Free coffee, breakfast tacos, and letter-writing.

Drupal Drop-In: SXSW 2015
Noon–3pm • Maggie Mae’s, 323 E. 6th Street
Food and drinks.

Social Siesta 2015, Hosted by Blogging4Jobs
Noon–3pm • Malverde, 400 W. 2nd Street
Free drinks and food. Sign up for the waitlist if it’s sold out, because they are releasing more tickets every few days.

SXSW Beers and Barks Yappy Hour
Noon–6pm • Bar 96, 96 Rainey St.
Beer, food, and puppies!

Awesomest Journalism Party. Ever. V.
5–8pm • Palm Door, 401 Sabine St.
This is a fun shindig that has offered lots of free drinks and food in years past. It has grown a lot over the last few years, and we have a feeling they’re gonna be stricter with the guest list this time around.

MOFILM SXSW Industry Mixer and Awards
6:30–8:30pm • Palm Door on 6th, 508 East 6th Street
Free drinks, BBQ, and … “Jon” Slattery (sic)? Whether it’s actually THE Roger Sterling or his non-union equivalent, this one sounds pretty cool either way.

Shake That SaaS: Party with Zendesk
6–11pm • Container Bar, 90 Rainey St.
Free food and drinks.

Livefyre’s SXSW Fyrebash
9pm–2am • Speakeasy, 412 Congress Ave.
Cocktails and music at a rooftop lounge party.

The Illmore House
Time and location TBA … maybe
Expect very few (confirmed) details to come out about this super-secretive hip-hop party until the very last minute. The crowd should be massive so be prepared to wait or charm your way in.
 

Sunday, March 15
#MobileRitas @ SXSW 2015
11am–1pm • Chupacabra, 400 E. 6th St.
Free margs, perhaps?

Dribble Meetup @ SXSW 2015
2–5pm • Mellow Johnny’s, 400 Nueces St.
Free food + booze.

ERA Happy Hour @ The Softlayer Speakeasy
4–7pm • Softlayer Speakeasy, 501 E. 6th Street
Free beer.

Tech Cocktail’s Startup Celebration at SXSWi 2015
7–11pm • Maggie Mae’s, 323 E. 6th St.
Free cocktails at a tech startup showcase.

Crowdtap People-Powered Party
8:30pm–2am • V Nightclub, 409 Colorado St.
Good bands, photo booths, other festivities. The organizers are asking people who haven’t been given official invitations to register via the “Wait List” selection to request an invite. You’ll be notified by March 6 if you make it on the list.

Marketo’s Engage the Rage Party at SXSW
9pm–1am • Vulcan Gas Company, 418 E. 6th St.
Free drinks, photobooth, music.
 

Monday, March 16
Vinyl Ranch presents T For Texas
2–9pm • Texas National Outfitters, 1115 S. Congress Ave.
Free drinks.

Do512 and Covert Curiosity present: Strange Brew 4
2pm–2am • Hotel Vegas / Volstead Lounge, 1500 E. 6th St.
Free drinks and food, plus tons and tons of bands.

Try Swedish @SXSW — The Great Music Party at Threadgill’s
3–10pm • Threadgill’s, 301 West Riverside
Food/drinks/music. SXSWi badges most likely get priority.

The Onion & AV Club Present: Manic Monday
4pm–midnight • Red 7, 611 E. 7th St.
Free drinks and appetizers from TGI Fridays (woo!) from 4:30–6:30pm. Music by Real Estate and other good acts, plus a DJ set from the one and only Elijah Wood.

Take Back Your Internet Party
6pm–midnight • Palm Door on 6th, 508 E. 6th St.
Drinks and discussions about the ol’ www.
 

Tuesday, March 17
Balanced Breakfast: Austin
11am–6pm • Jackalope, 404 E. 6th St.
Kick off St. Patty’s Day with free breakfast and Jameson Irish whiskey, plus free beer starting at noon.

Southern Hospitality 2015
Noon–2am •  The Monstrocity Loft , 2514 Wilson St.
House party with free drinks and music all damn day.
 

Wednesday, March 18
Stage Hop Party 2015
Noon–6pm • Parish, 214 E. 6th St.
Free beer and drink specials. Stacked lineup featuring Geographer, On an On, Quiet Company, and others.

CouchTrippin’ 2015
Noon–7pm • Container Bar, 90 Rainey St.
Free Lagunitas beer; music by Heartless Bastards, Delta Spirit, King Tuff.

Swearing At Motorists present: All Tomorrow’s Tacos
Noon–7pm • The Lost Well, 2421 Webberville Rd.
(Rumored) free drinks + tacos to kick things off, plus bands and comedy all day.

Music Meets Tech Happy Hour
6:30–9pm • Capital Factory, 701 Brazos St.
Free beverages.
 

Thursday, March 19
GhostCat 2015 Unofficial BBQ Showcase
Noon–7pm • 701 East 53rd Street
Free BBQ, Hops & Grain beer, Deep Eddy Vodka cocktails.
 

Friday, March 20
MPressFest SXSW 2015
Noon–5:30pm • Soho Lounge, 217 E. 6th St.
Free cocktails and food.

The Portland Party
Noon–9pm • The Grackle, 1700 E 6th St.
This one is usually a chill eastside hang with free beer early on.

Backyard Party @ Kebabalicious
1pm • Kebabalicious, 1311 E. 7th St.
Kebabs, beer, Americana jams.

Panache Booking SXSW Showcase @ Hotel Vegas
1pm–2am (free before 7pm) • Hotel Vegas, 1500 E. 6th St.
Lots o’ bands, y’all. You’ll probably need a badge to get in after 7pm.
 

Saturday, March 21
Altercation Punk Rock BBQ
Noon–7pm • The Vortex, 2307 Manor Road
Free beer, BBQ, punk rawk.

**You may also be interested in my blog post: Top 50 Free SXSW Parties