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Can you enjoy SXSW Music without buying a badge?

Missed the badge cut-off on Friday? Don’t feel like spending over $600 to do SXSW this year? Arun Sood has some advice on doing the Austin spectacular on a tight budget:

A few more free drinks later, I vaguely remember stumbling out of The Parish, naively raving to my friend – an SXSW veteran – about the free booze and food, and the high calibre of musical acts. It was then she let me in on the secret: “Just stick to all the unofficial parties and screw paying for tickets – hardly anyone in Austin does.” And so my week of complimentary hedonism began.

…Tweets and posts begin pinging back and forth in the weeks leading up to most of the free shows, generating a buzz on influential music blogs such as do152.com. Websites such as showlistaustin.com and Facebook groups such as Unofficial SXSW Guide and the SXSWPartyList focus on listing the unofficial events.

Head Over to The Guardian for more tip and tricks, and feel free to share your own in the comments!

3 Responses to “Can you enjoy SXSW Music without buying a badge?”

  1. guest says:

    As a former Austin resident, we have been traveling to Texas for 6 years doing it without badges or wristbands.  You can still go to official showcases, just get there early and pay cover (and expect to NOT get into some venues) and stay put for the night.

  2. Guest says:

    ditto guest. with all the free day shows and free night shows you would be stupid to spend any $ on this.

  3. GUUEESSTT says:

    Un-ditto the “conventional wisdom” of guests 1 and 2…If you’re actually into it for the music and have an interest in seeing specific bands play (as opposed to someone who considers the music to be background noise while you stand around drinking free beer with a gaggle of like-minded Spring Breakers) and have the ability to spend a meager $180 for four evenings of music from around the world, the wristbands are an extraordinary deal for local music lovers – which is the reason they sell-out every year – guest 1 and 2′s abstinence notwithstanding.