SXSW

And it rained and it rained. But that’s not going to stop the SXSW fun. The SXSW Gaming Expo is one of the many events during SXSW that is free and open to the public.

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This expo presents a hand on gaming experience with product demos presented by the ultimate in gaming, Nintendo. This gaming expo is dedicated to the future of gaming, across mobile and console and shows that gaming is everywhere and there is something for everyone.

The expo activity that has me the most excited is “Karting Reimagined” which is a life-sized verison of Ninetendo’s Mario Cart, it’s pretty rad.

Admission: free

today, March 9th noon – 8:00 p.m.

Location:
Palmer Event Center
900 Barton Spring Road
Austin, Texas 78704

http://www.sxsw.com/trade-shows/gaming

Photo Credit: SXSW

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It’s arrived; the weeklong Austin party has commenced. SXSW means something different to everyone, for some, it means  spending the week partying, for other’s networking, and some have the week planned out minute by minute while others just fly by the seat of their pants. This event seems like a pretty great kickoff to the week of wildness.

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Are you in love with your Smartphone? We have all become Mobile Zombies. PPLCONNECT is hosting the crawl, they’re a software company that lets you SMS & call with your number from ANY device.

They’ll have professional makeup artists to help get you Zombiefied, plus drinks and snacks!

Get ready for a Zombie takeover!

When: Today, March 7th

Time: 3:30pm

Location:
Brush Square (O. Henry Museum)
409 E. 5th Street
Austin, Texas 787-1

http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/mobile-zombie-crawl-tickets-10792032259?aff=zvents

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For those of us that have done the SX thing before, we’ve learned a few things over the years. One of those things is to avoid driving downtown at all costs. If you think everyday Austin traffic is bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Even if you’re lucky enough to find a spot, parking prices are astronomical and forget about moving your car.

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So the key here is alternative transportation. A bike is by far the best way to get around during SXSW, the problem is that not everyone has a bike, or maybe they live too far from downtown to get it there. This is where Austin startup Spokefly comes in handy. They are one of the hottest startups in Austin, pitching at the SXSW demo day this Friday, http://schedule.sxsw.com/2014/events/event_IAP994562.

Think of it like a ‘car2go’ system for bikes, expect they’re a peer to peer bike sharing program. People who own bikes that they don’t use everyday, have dusted them off from the corner of the garage and listed them on Spokefly, making money when members ride their bikes. This has created a network of bikes to rent all over Austin for bike-less people like me to use!

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Once you sign up on the site, choose which bike you want rent, unlock the lock on the bike using the combination shown in the app, and off you go. You DON’T need to return it to the place of rental, when you are done just lock it up to a bike rack, end your ride using the app or website, and be on your way! Their Android app and website is available now, with an iOS app available in the next few days.

As a bike-less Austinite who plans to leave her car parked for the week plus of SXSW, the discovery of Spokefly comes just in time.

They’re currently offering a SXSW Rider Pass for $59.99 that allows you unlimited rides, with a two hour limit per ride, for 7 days starting from the day of your first ride. There’s a limited number of SXSW passes available to make sure there are enough bikes to ride, so get one early! Note that SXSW passes are restricted to downtown and UT’s campus area. This includes South Congress/South Lamar, Barton Springs, East Austin, West/North Campus, and Downtown. Basically everywhere you would go during SXSW.

For you locals, they have monthly subscriptions available for $14.99 (5 rides), 29.99 (unlimited rides), and 79.99 (unlimited rides + premium bikes). You can be a bike rider, without being a bike owner in Austin!

https://www.spokefly.com

Spokefly also put together this great list of ways to get around Austin during SXSW, check it out for your Austin transportation needs: https://www.spokefly.com/blog/10-ways-to-get-around-austin-during-sxsw.html

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SXSW recently announced their annual call for volunteers.  This is your chance to be in the middle of all the action without spending a dime!  They need volunteers for all sorts of positions, and  each year more than 3,000 volunteers make this festival happen.

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You can volunteer on the Conference Crew or the Production Crew.  The responsibility and perks are very different for each, so check out which one is more up your alley.

Depending on the number of hours you volunteer, you can earn a SXSW film, interactive or music wristband.  For more information on the conference crew, visit http://volunteer.sxsw.com/conference/perks/.  For information on the production crew, visit http://volunteer.sxsw.com/production/perks/.  Either way, it’s a sweet hook up. There are openings for all sorts of positions from transportation, photography and greeting, to volunteering for a charity golf tournament.  It’s a great experience and opportunity!

This is one of the coolest volunteering gigs in town.

If you want to volunteer, you need to register online or attend the volunteer call on January 18th or January 29th.

January 18 th 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

January 29th  6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Location:
Austin Convention Center
500 E. Cesar Chavez
Ballroom ABC
Austin, Texas 78701

If you are unable to attend the Volunteer Call or need any information about volunteering, please contact a SXSW Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@sxsw.com  or 512/467-7979 as soon as possible.

http://volunteer.sxsw.com/

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For anyone who actually lives in town, the SXSW experience is not a quintessential one. Austin…changes. It becomes instantly bigger, slower, and completely over-stimulating. While SXSW tourists get quite a week of free booze, free merch, free music, and plenty to do, they’re not really getting a genuine Austin experience, and many of them probably leave town with some minor misconceptions.

1. Everything is FREE

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Despite what many folks from out of town might think, not everything is always free in Austin. Somehow over the last few years, it’s become a necessity to provide and endless amount of free libations to your attendees. Such is not always the case. We’re not the most expensive city in town, but when we do pay, we get our money’s worth with great food, premium cocktails, and tons of music worth paying for.

2. That it’s always 75 degrees

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The weather during SXSW could not have been any better. Towards the beginning it was a little rainy and near the end it started getting a little bit warm, but right in SXSW Music’s sweet spot, the clouds parted, the breeze blew and a mild 75 degrees made the SXSW experience an even more enjoyable one. Sadly, in a few short weeks, Austinites will be dealing with temperatures in the 90s. Hope you all enjoyed it while it lasted.

3. Stubb’s is the only place to get BBQ in town

foodFor our non-foodie tourists, Austin’s bustling boutique BBQ scene including Franklin and J. Mueller’s was probably hard to spot from dirty 6th. However, several hordes walked by Stubb’s blinking sign and wandered in thinking that they were getting the “best” that Austin has to offer. Not to knock Stubb’s, but there are several other unique establishments that Austin has to offer, so don’t get too comfortable.

4. Metal and Lace is a staple of the Austin music scene.

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During SXSW, everything turns into a venue, even giant vending machines. Folks who stream into town for their latest music fix might be under the impression that Metal and Lace, the reinvented Headhunters on the corner of 8th and Red River, is one of the bastions for Austin’s primo bands and events, but it’s still the same Headhunters. Providing street-level music for the street-level man, Metal and Lace is still the same ole dive it always has been, where brand spanking new bands go to get their chops and beer selection is slim and relatively cheap.

5. Austin’s Downtown is a Mess of Horrible Lines

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During SXSW, 6th street essentially becomes a massive, crowded sidewalk. Every available parking lot becomes a venue. Parking skyrockets to $25/day. Our out of town friends probably spent a good deal of their time dodging in and out of other people and then waiting in lines around the corner from the venue. Well, Austin’s not always so obtuse, so next time you come back, expect the easy-going, funky town you’ve always heard rumors about.

This post was provided by Chris Galis of Realty Austin, experts in Austin real estate.

Happy SXSaturday everyone. If you are looking for another free music showcase, Austin Java is the place to be.

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Both the Barton Springs location and the Parkway location will have a stage set up with live music all afternoon. These locations are great because they have fantastic outdoor (and indoor) seating and this weather is perfect for sitting outside. Austin Java’s locations are easy walking distance to downtown so they would be a great place to stop and relax, get some great food and listen to live music. Austin Java’s showcases are free and open to the public.

When: today, March 16th

Time: noon – 11:00 p.m.

Location:
Austin Java (Barton Springs & Parkway locations)
Austin, Texas

https://www.facebook.com/events/540667285954146/permalink/540677272619814/?notif_t=like

If you are looking to listen to some live music and enjoy some of the fun of SXSW but do not want to attempt to go downtown, Guero’s on South Congress has a great line-up on their outdoor stage.

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South Congress was alive with the energy and excitement that comes along with SXSW yesterday. It is a great alternative to headed downtown. This stage is free & open to the public.

Today their live music line up starts at noon.

When: today – Sunday, March 17th

Time: noon – 8:00 p.m.

Location:
Guero’s Taco Bar Outdoor Stage
1412 South Congress Ave.
Austin, Texas 78704

http://www.guerostacobar.com/calendar.php

Yes , you can still enjoy the madness of SXSW without the luxury of a wristband/badge. The free shows are at Auditorium Shores are on of the best things for those that do not have credentials.

Free music plus the city as a backdrop are a sure good time.

As one that has experienced the free shows before here are some pointers:

  • Parking is NOT easy. Take a cab, ride a bike, get dropped off, walk. If you are there early you may be able to park at Palmer Event Center (yet you have to pay to park).
  • Be prepared for a crowd but it is a great time!
  • If you don’t have  a specific show in mind that you want to see late afternoon/early evening is a great time to head out because watching the sky turn from day to night with Austin as a backdrop is pretty incredible.
  • Also, feel fee to tag me on instagram @365thingsaustin so I can see your pictures!
The Shins. Courtesy of Jordan Naylor.

The Shins. Courtesy of Jordan Naylor.

Here is the line-up for the next few days.

Thursday March 14:

Friday, March 15 (Gates open at 3:30pm):

Saturday, March 16:

Location:
Auditorium Shores
800 W. Riverside Drive
Austin, Texas 78704

http://www.sxsw.com/music/shows/auditorium-shores

This is one of the day parties that are worth checking out. Waterloo just does it right.

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They have solid music all day, plus they are free and open to the public. Luckily the weather cleared so there is no excuse not to be outside enjoying this fantastic Spring Break weather we are having. The shows our on their outdoor stage and normally bring quite the crowd. It is the place to stop by if you are looking for free, outside, music and fun. Locals know that Waterloo knows music.

Here is the line-up for the week.

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Admission: free & open to the public

When: today – Saturday, March 16th

Time: noon – 7:00 p.m.

Location:
Waterloo
600A North Lamar
Austin, Texas 78701

http://www.waterloorecords.com/Home

Since it’s SXSW, it seemed appropriate to spice up Trailer Tuesday.  While we are still featuring “local trailers” today, it’s more along the SXSW theme of the week.

Photo Credit - Rebecca Fondren

Photo Credit – Rebecca Fondren

 

Top Chef winner and local food genius Paul Qui has done it again. He has orchestrated a gathering of food trailers to bring you South Bites. There is a section called “Qui’s Corner” which features some of his top choices including Cazamance, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, DUK Truck, and East Side King. While you are down there, it’s a must to try one of Mr. Qui’s own specialties so be sure to grab something from East Side Kings.

South Bites will also have a full service bar.  “Trash Artist” Jason Mecier will be there working on a custom mural.  South Bites does a great job of celebrating what Austin is about including good food, good drinks, and local art!

Open to the public.

When: today – Saturday, March 16th

Time: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 a.m.

Location:
Corner of Driskill Street & Rainey Street
Austin, Texas 78704

http://eskaustin.com/south-bites/

http://sxsw.com/music-film-interactive/news/introducing-southbites-lineup