Free SXSW Fun

The 8 best official SXSW events that are totally free

The 8 best official SXSW events that are totally free

SXSW Festival Austin skyline
One of the highlights of SXSW's free programming is three days of music on Lady Bird Lake. SXSW/Facebook

Contrary to what you might think, attending Austin's annual SXSW festival doesn't have to break the bank. Here's the lowdown on the best free official SXSW happenings. All you need to get in is a Guest Pass, and it won't cost you a dime. 

SX Create
This community-oriented showcase from SXSW Interactive offers cool tech-driven demonstrations and activities for innovators of all ages at the Palmer Events Center. March 11- 13.

SXSW Outdoor Film Screenings
New this year, SXSW has launched a free film series at the Long Center. Catch anniversary screenings of Darkon and Heavy Metal Parking Lot, plus Smokey and the Bandit (with an intro from Burt Reynolds himself) and the world premiere of The Powerpuff Girls movie. March 12-14.

SXSW Job Market
Sure, SXSW is about partying and having fun, but the festival is also about networking. Connect with some of the hottest companies and employers during the SXSW Job Market at the Austin Convention Center. New this year is a stage showcasing speeches from top businesses and professionals. March 12-13.

Dewey Winburne Community Service Awards
The unique award ceremony honors the legacy of the late SXSW Interactive co-founder Dewey Winburne by celebrating 10 humanitarians using tech to change the world. Everyone is invited to this celebration at the JW Marriott on March 13.

SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake
SXSW's annual outdoor music showcase returns with a stellar three-day lineup. Acts such as Coheed and Cambria, Intocable, Wolfmother, and Grupo Fantasma have been confirmed, and more will be announced. Our advice? Come early and prepare for a massive crowd. March 17-19.

SXSW Gaming Expo
The Gaming Expo is the epicenter of video game culture at SXSW, with access to unreleased games, competitive tournaments, networking opportunities, happy hours, and more. The expo returns to the Austin Convention Center during the second weekend of the festival. March 17-19.

Flatstock at SXSW
Flatstock is a long-running tradition at the Austin Convention Center, displaying beautiful work from top poster artists. March 17-19.

SXSW Music Gear Expo
This expo is a one-stop shop for all musicians. Check out the latest and greatest gear as well as hot music acts and fun activities at the Austin Convention Center. March 17-19.