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SXSW Free Party Picks

Bleachers performed at last year's SXSW Music festival.

Do512 Epic Interactive at Hotel Vegas on Friday, March 11 will be hands-down the best look at Austin’s live music scene right now. With Octopus Project, an Austin-born indietronica band, headlining and other big homegrown names such as The Riverboat Gamblers and Chipper Jones, it is the best way to experience the finest Austin has to offer. It is free with RSVP and will be 21+.

The Big One at Barracuda. Nothing goes together like conceptualized electro pop and rock. I really mean it, this eclectic line-up includes Yacht, HÆLOS, Diarrhea Planet, and Sun Club.  It will be 21+ but is free with RSVP. Did I mention that it will be the 10th anniversary of Do512’s The Big One SXSW party? This party might be one of the last ones for SXSW because it is Saturday, March 19 but I’m putting it at the top three of my list because it will be the best and so anyone interested should RSVP for it first before it is too late!

Do Stuff Down There at Empire Control Room featuring Talib Kweli! Do I really have to say more? Just in case that’s not enough, Flatbush Zombies is headlining, another Brooklyn-based rapper. There won’t just be music, but also a free crawfish boil until it’s gone, as well as t-shirt print making, interactive art installations and live digital graffiti wall. Free with RSVP 21+, this party is on Thursday March, 17 and will be the best way to kick off a Thursday!

BrooklynVegan day parties begin Thursday March, 17 to Sunday, 19 and will be at Cheer Up Charlies. This one is a wild card. Everything as of now is yet to be announced, but Cheer Up Charlies is known for its great atmosphere, drinks and live music and is sure to get you in the mood to dance. They always have great underground live music on the weekends and I know they won’t disappoint when it comes to booking new and exciting bands for SXSW. Be sure to RSVP for all three days!

The New American Party at Craftsman will be playing all that great Americana music that makes SXSW the kind of festival it is today. Nothing like great party rock music in the heat of the Texas sun in downtown Austin, and I am speaking from experienc! Headliners include The Daybreaks, The Docs and Don Gallardo, whom are from Nashville and Austin so they kind of know what they are doing when it comes to playing festivals. This party on Thursday March, 17 is another free with RSVP show and also 21+.

The Future of Music Showcase Day One at Shiner Saloon is a a smorgasbord of great bands, my favorite one being Danny Malone. Call me a hack for promoting my favorites, but I’ve listened to this Austinite play since I was in middle school. Other headliners are Sweet Spirit and Calliope Musicals, who describe themselves as psychedelic party folk. I really can’t wait to hear what that means! This event is on Friday March, 18. RSVP is free and this one is 18+ so get there early because the RSVP list will fill up fast!

Keepin’ It Fly at The Iron Cactus features Bob Schneider who is yet another Austinite keeping it real. Since he is playing at the Iron Cactus it is a great chance to refuel on margaritas. It is on Sunday March, 13 and is free with RSVP. Also the first 80 people in the door get VIP airport lounge pass, and who doesn’t like to get free stuff?

ATX Wildfire Day 2 at Flamingo Cantina is nothing but great rock, reggae and jam music! In a day where everyone seems to like electronica, this reporter included, it is a great opportunity to listen to a full band jam out with El Tule and rock out to BXLPLTN. It is free with RSVP, 21+ and features some more great Austin originals as well as great other bands from around the world.

Float The Goat at Love Goat on Saturday, March 12 features Warn The Duke and The Pocket Rockets and of course other great rock bands. This party is great for getting all that angst out and moshing! Free with RSVP and 21+.