If you’re coming to Austin, Texas, this week without an official SXSW 2011 music badge, don’t worry. Being badgeless won’t prevent you from seeing non-stop free music throughout this entire week. With bands like The Strokes, TV on the Radio and Big Boi performing at various free events, unofficial parties in Austin will have no shortage of big name and unknown musical acts worth checking out.
That being said, there’s almost too many unofficial parties, making decisions of where to go and who to see all the more complicated. To help make things simple, we’ve compiled 15 events this week that are entirely free and don’t require badges to attend. All you need to do is occasionally RSVP and show up. See our favorites below, as well as a gallery of lineup posters at the very bottom from each of these events.
Play with Zynga at the Dog House
Date and time: March 14, 9 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Location: 301 Brazos
Who’s playing: TV on the Radio, Sleigh Bells, Flying Lotus
Why you should go: The best choice for a relatively quiet Monday night of music.
RSVP: Email RSVP@ZYNGA.com.
Ice Cream Man Free Party
Date and time: March 15, 2 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Location: Club Deville at 900 Red River St.
Who’s playing: White Mystery, Futurebirds, Screaming Females, J. Roddy Walson and the Business, Rich Aucoin, Malajube, Hacienda, Eagle Eye Williamson, Ali Holder
Why you should go: White Mystery and free ice cream? Can’t complain with that combination.
RSVP: RSVP at Do512.com.
Knerd Launch Party
Date and time: March 15, 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Location: Skinny’s Ballroom at 115 San Jacinto Blvd
Who’s playing: Not In The Face, Twin Tigers, The Authors, Lacuna Incorporated, Black Books, Lost in the Trees, The Boxing Less, Birds & Batteries
Why you should go: We wouldn’t blame you for seeing Lost in the Trees multiple times this week (including at our Paste Party in Austin). This, however, would be your first chance to see the group this week.
RSVP: RSVP at Knerd.com.
Terrorbird Media & Force Field PR Day Party
Date and time: March 16. 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Location: Red 7 at 611 East 7th @ Red River
Who’s playing: tUnE-yArDs, Toro Y Moi, Weekend, Generationals, Braids, Exray’s, Violens, Lord Huron, The Soft Moon, The Death Set, Lower Dens, Nite Jewel, Rainbow Arabia, Pictureplane, Cloud Nothings, Screaming Females
Why you should go: These two music publicity firms have rounded up a slew of their best acts at SXSW.
Paste Party In Austin
Date and time: March 16-17, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Location: The Stage On Sixth at 507 East 6th St.
Who’s playing: J Mascis, The Submarines, David Wax Museum, John Vanderslice, Rural Alberta Advantage, Exene Cervenka, Kim Taylor, Sarah Jaffe, Luke Rathborne, Oryx & Crake, Nathaniel Rateliff, Seryn, Ólöf Arnalds, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Eisley, Sondre Lerche, Ezra Furman & The Harpoons, Kopecky Family Band, Lord Huron, Matthew & The Atlas, Lost In The Trees, Jeremy Messersmith, Trampled By Turtles, Keegan Dewitt, The Civil Wars, The Wealthy West, Futurebids, TV Torso and Ponderosa
Why you should go: While all of us at Paste would all agree that this is clearly the best event going on this week, we may be a little biased. We will encourage you, however, to learn a little more about who’s playing our Wednesday and Thursday parties.
RSVP: RSVP here.
Fader Fort by Fiat
Date and time: March 16-19, 1 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Location: 1101 E. 5th Street
Who’s playing: Matt & Kim, Yelawolf, Wiz Khalifa, James Blake, Lil’ B, Odd Future, Twin Shadow, Smith Westners, Killer Mike, The Cool Kids, Cass McCombs, Lower Dens, Ellie Goulding, Raphael Saadiq, Friendly Fires, Dom, Toto Y Moi, Givers and many more.
Why you should go: Four back-to-back-to-back-to-back day parties with solid lineups across the board.
RSVP: RSVP at TheFader.com.
Under the Radar Announces Two SXSW Day Parties
Date and time: March 17-18 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Location: Flamingo Cantina at 515 E. 6th Street
Who’s playing: Atlas Sound, Okkervil River, The Dears, Menomena, Lord Huron, Telekinesis, Anna Calvi, Surfer Blood, Yuck, Owen Pallett, The Dodos, Hooray For Earth, Violens, Porcelain Raft
Why you should go: Under the Radar has amassed a impressive lineup, topped with Okkervil River and an exclusive Atlas Sound performance.
The Strokes Play SXSW Auditorium Shores Stage
Date and time: March 17
Location: Auditorium Shores Stage (Lady Bird Lake)
Who’s playing: The Strokes, Twin Shadow, Luke Rathborne
Why you should go: The Strokes for Free, enough said.
The AV Club, Canvas Media and Flowerbooking Present March Into Softness
Date and time: March 18, 12 p.m.
Location: Mohawk at 912 Red River St.
Who’s playing: Baths, Low, Sharon Van Etten, Chikita Violenta, Ted Leo, Wye Oak, Gentleman Jesse and His Men, Maritime, An Horse, Tristen, Small Sins, No Joy
Why you should go: Wye Oak, Ted Leo, Gentlemen Jesse and Sharon Van Etten.
RSVP: Email avclubRSVP@theonion.com.
BrooklynVegan, Partisan Records & KF Records Free Day Party
Date and time: March 18, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Location: Barbarella & Swan Dive at 615 Red River St
Who’s playing: Middle Brother, J Mascis, The Dodos, Wye Oak, Old 97’s, Oberhofer, John Grant featuring Midlake, Deertick featuring Corndawg, Vetiver, Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers, Holy Sons, Dolorean, Warm Ghost, Bobby, David Wax Museum, Paleo, JBM, Ages and Ages.
Why you should go: Middle Brother, J Mascis and Wye Oak are must sees at this year’s SXSW. Everything else here is gravy.
Muzzle of Bees – Backyard BBQ
Date and time: March 18 12-7 p.m.
Location: 3217 1/2 Hampton Rd.
Who’s playing: Josh T. Pearson, Lost in the Trees, The Loom, Erland & The Carnival, Great Lake Swimmers, Strand of Oaks, The Luyas, Yellow Ostrich, One Hundred Flowers, Chimneys.
Why you should go: Muzzle of Bees has always had great folk-rock tastes—something clearly reflected in their lineup with artists including Lost in the Trees and Great Lake Swimmers.
RSVP: Email email@example.com.
MyOldKentuckyBlog.com – Glitter Taco Smoosh Party
Date and time: March 18, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Location: 402 E. 6th Street
Who’s playing: Das Racist, Asobi Seksu, Burnt Ones, Turbo Fruits, Pujol, Ema, Dominique Young Unique, BRAHMS, Headless Horseman, No Joy, Andy D, We Are Hex, Still Corners, Keepaway, Carol Bui, Jones Street Station
Why you should go: The name says it all.
RSVP: RSVP at Do512.com.
Axis of Audio’s Austin Day Party
Date and time: March 19, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Location: The Rumbler Lounge, located at 402 E. 6th Street
Who’s playing: The Greenhornes, A Place To Bury Strangers, Astronautalis & P.O.S., Ezra Furman & The Harpoons, Le Butcherettes, Jukebox the Ghost, Hollerado, The Gay Blades, Dirty Ghosts, Fences, The Silent Comedy, Sabrosa Purr, and God-Des & She.
Why you should go: The Greenhornes and A Place To Bury Strangers catch our eye with this one.
RSVP: RSVP at Do512.com.
MOG – Unofficial SXSW Party
Date and time: March 19, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Location: The Mohawk is located at 912 Red River Street
Who’s playing: Big Boi, TV on the Radio, Okkervil River, Wild Flag, Smith Westerns, Twin Shadow, Theophilus London, Yuck, tUnE-yArDs
Why you should go: Do we really have to explain this one?
Mess With Texas Party
Date and time: March 19, 11:30 a.m.
Location: Eastside Drive In at 6th St. & San Marcos St.
Who’s playing: Odd Future, Surfer Blood, The Dodos, Ted Leo, Thee Oh Sees, Deer Tick, OFF!, Screaming Females, Strange Boys, Fresh & Onlys, Davila 666, Big Freedia, Lemuria, Dom, Esben & The Witch, Devin Therriault, The Growlers, We Barbarians, EMA
Why you should go: Odd Future comes in as one of the most hyped acts heading into SXSW. Beyond that, this is a garage rock fan’s dream party.
RSVP: RSVP at MWTXParty.com.