Did you know you can do SXSW free? Yes, you do not need one of those pricey badges in order to get wined and dined and a load of free swag.
Every year there are tons of free SXSW events and parties, you just have to know how to find them and learn how to get on the list. Since most of these events require an RSVP, be sure to sign up early.
Unfortunately, the popular events and parties can be sold out before South by Southwest even starts! There are still a lot of events that have open RSVP spots and somewhere you can just show up. In addition, there are various ways to get to free SXSW passes and free SXSW badges.
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Finally, if you are going to be at SXSW and would like to meet up or invite me to your super cool event, reach out to me by Instagram.
How to go to 2022 Free SXSW Events and Parties
Each year I provide a South by Southwest guide. Here is the 2022 SXSW Guide. In previous years, I provided lots of tips and tricks for attending SXSW free events. It is now that time of year again to put together my list of SXSW 2022 free stuff.
How to get SXSW Free Badges
Another way to do SXSW for free is to volunteer. Find out How to Volunteer at SXSW in Exchange for a Free SXSW Badge.
How to get Free Passes
Below, I will keep an updated list of the free SXSW parties and events. If you know of any to add to the list, leave a comment and then, I will add them. Usually, I only post the free events for SXSW interactive. These are your best bet for free food, swag, booze, and more. In order to not miss out, be sure to RSVP right away since many of the spots fill up.
The Guest Pass is your free credential to many SXSWeek® events including Flatstock 65, SXSW Job Market, SXSW Wellness Expo, SXSW Marketplace, an Outdoor Film Screening at the Long Center, and more! Get your SXSW free guest pass (I have not confirmed this for 2022 yet).
Here are some recommended items to help you have a happy South by Southwest experience.
What to bring to the South by Southwest Festival
Get a lightweight packable backpack such as one of these.
Bring along a rain jacket. You never know how Austin, Texas weather is going to be.
Don’t forget to bring your business cards.
You’ll be using your phone a lot for maps, verifying RSVPs, communicating, and more. Make sure you have a backup battery option.
SXSW Free 2022 Events and RSVP Lists
Again this year, I keep hoping the Spredfast Social Suite for SXSW 2022 will pop up. Does anyone know if they will do anything this year? If you had the opportunity to go in the past, then you’ll know why I keep hoping they will have the social suite again.
During the festival you can find all kinds of free SXSW stuff such as swag, sxsw free drinks, free shows, and free music.
Multiple Day Events
Inc. Founders House (March 11 – 14)
Just two blocks from the Austin Convention Center, stop by Inc. Founders House from 10:30am – 5:30pm at Cedar Door Bar and Grill. Take refuge, refuel, recharge, and connect. Each day you’ll find star entrepreneurs, guest bartenders, snacks, apps, cocktails, and invite-only happy hours.
Capital Factory House (March 12 – 14)
Head over to the Capital Factory House at 701 Brazos Street from 9am – 7pm, for educational sessions, workshops, interactive experiences, and lots of surprises along the way.
Every day you’ll find: Startup Founders, Army Generals, Angel Investors, State or Federal Government Officials, Entrepreneurs, Foreign Delegations, Venture Capitalists, Fortune 500 Company Executives, and more.
In previous years, I have gotten a ton of great swag and really good food here.
Many of the events at Capital Factory House require a Backstage Pass (free for those that apply and qualify).
With the Capital Factory Backstage: The VIP Experience you get
- A community to meet and make connections with the best entrepreneurs, potential investors, employees, and customers
- Daily catered meals and beverages (BBQ, tacos, local brews, and more)
- A place to work and recharge your mind, body, and electronics
- Fully equipped conference rooms with Cisco video conferencing, phone booths, and WiFi
- VIP access to the SXSW Startup Crawl on March 11
- Invitations to other exclusive events from March 12 – 14, 2022
SXSW Wellness Expo (March 12 – 13)
The Wellness Expo is free and open to the public from March 12-13, 2022 from 11am – 5pm at the Palmer Events Center in Exhibit Halls 1 & 2.
Flatstock 77 (March 17 – 19)
Flatstock 77 is free and open to the public from March 17-19 11:00am – 6:00pm at the Austin Convention Center Exhibit Hall 4 and 5.
Flatstock 77 displays the works of the world’s top gig poster artists. The show features posters of varying styles, colors, and techniques for sale by the talented artists who created them.
Enjoy performances from some talented official Showcasing Artists.
The Future of Food at SXSW 2022 – 100+ Speakers, 12 Incredible Events (March 11 – 18)
Free with an RSVP, The Future of Food at SXSW 2022, at 1400 Lavaca Street, will have 100+ inspiring food system experts and innovators over one week (12+ events).
Fort Worth at SXSW (march 12 -14)
Discover the Modern West with Visit Fort Worth at the Container Bar on Rainey at SXSW, March 12, 13 & 14.
Get free BBQ from Panther City BBQ, free TX Whiskey cocktails, and free beer daily.
Celebrity appearances from Paramount+ hit series 1883, live music, daily giveaways, filmmaker and entrepreneur meet-ups. Panels on fashion, film, music, BBQ and sports. A live podcast studio featuring Fort Worth favorites and an upscale experience from Hotel Drover.
SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake
The SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake is free and open to the public.
The SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake features a three-day series of charity beneficiary concert events, which are free and open to the public.
Dates and times TBD.
Wonder House (march 11 -13)
From March 11-13, join Wonder House by Arizona University for exclusive experiences with speakers, musicians and producers with alumni, fans, and the curious.
Brand Innovators Marketing Innovation in Austin 2022 (March 11 – 15)
“This is a hybrid event. Access to our in-person programming is exclusively reserved for qualified brand-side marketers and active paying sponsors, while our virtual programming will be open to the public.”
Friday, March 11 Free SXSW Events
SXSW Startup Crawl 2022
From 5-9pm on March 11, Capital Factory will have the annual SXSW Startup Crawl. Tour the latest and greatest of Austin’s startup community.
Saturday, March 12 Events
Sunday, March 13 Events
Austin Pop-Up 2022 – Create & Cultivate
At the Create & Cultivate pop-up, from 10am – 7am on March 13, at Fair Market, 100 E 5th Street, come for a day of networking, conversations, live podcasts, food, cocktails, and more. Fuel up with free breakfast and coffee, attend the mentor power hour, hear from blockchain baddies, and listed to the keynote conversation. There will also be lunch and happy hour. You must sign up ahead of time to get your ticket since space is limited.
Everyone in attendance must provide proof of full vaccination or a negative test.
So far, I still haven’t attended Create & Cultivate at SXSW, the years I have tried to go, either the line to get in was way too long or it conflicted with another event I wanted to attend. I’m hoping to finally make it this year.
Digital LA – Digital Drinks
From 4-6pm on March 13, at Digital LA, meet LA tech and entertainment peeps and others from around the US and world at the annual event in Austin during SXSW. Cash bar unless they get a sponsor to provide free drinks. Be sure to RSVP ahead of time.
Lumos in the Park presented by Meanwhile Brewing & Lumos Fitness
From 10-11am at Meanwhile Brewing, 3901 Promontory Point Drive, this donation-based outdoor training class combines strength training, bodyweight movements, and sprint and endurance elements to build well-rounded athletes who excel at any task life throws in their way.
This workout will involve minimal (or no) equipment, include a warmup and a cooldown, scalable for all abilities, ages, and other factors. Come sweat with us and “enter our orbit!”
Innovate State: Changing the Game for Student Athletes
On Tuesday, March 15 from 3pm – 4:30pm at Half Step, 75 1/2 Rainey Street, attend the session about Changing the Game for Student Athletes. This is part of the Innovate State Speaker Series that offers 60 minute sessions on topics such as innovation, startup life, investments, and career paths.
Wednesday, March 16
The CYBRVERSE Experience
From 2-6pm and 6pm-10pm at The South Congress Hotel, view the NFT gallery and then join the social mixer with art and music.
Step into this one-of-a-kind event at SXSW – The CYBRVERSE Experience!
- Upon arrival, enter a world of virtual mindfulness and meditation with ZenVR (optional)
- Purchase a unique CYBRVERSE NFT in an infinite object for a good cause – all proceeds donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Austin!
- Immerse yourself in a theatrical violinist projection art activation
- Network and socialize with fellow SXSW attendees
- Taste craft cocktails and tapas
- Snap photos to remember your experience
- Meet the team behind Cyvatar and learn about the future of cybersecurity
Open bar & light bites courtesy of Cyvatar.
Thursday, March 17 Events
From 6pm -8:30pm at Emmer & Rye, Skyhouse, 51 Rainey Street #110, join Mission-Driven Start-ups in the food and beverage industry. The event will include a curated, exclusive tasting menu by Emmer & Rye’s Chef, live music entertainment, delicious drinks, networking, and surprise celebrity guests.
Hurry, space is limited.