One week in March, usually during Spring Break, Downtown Austin goes haywire with traffic, foot traffic and SXSW-ers crawling the streets looking for the next live show. While this can seem hectic to some who enjoy relaxing during Spring Break, they still have options to see live music in a laid back environment – and for FREE!

For SXSW music lovers who are happy avoiding the lively downtown action (or just don’t want to buy a SXSW badge), Auditorium Shores is a great place to see free live shows from well-known bands like Counting Crows and The Shins. Other popular bands performing at the Shores include M Ward, The Cult, and Bright Light Social Hour (see more below). Bands take the stage evenings of March 15th-17th.

Head to Auditorium shores this SXSW and enjoy music without a badge or the hustle and bustle of SXSW in Downtown Austin.

SXSW lineup at Auditorium Shores
Thursday, March 15th, 5:45 PM Little Hurricane
Thursday, March 15th, 6:45 PM M Ward
Thursday, March 15th, 8 PM The Shins
Friday, March 15th, 7 PM Diamond Rugs
Friday, March 15th, 8 PM Counting Crows
Saturday, March 15th, TBD The Cult

Don’t let the Downtown Austin chaos prevent you from getting to Auditorium Shores. There are several options for transportation to make your trip easier. Shuttles from the Austin Convention Center run everyday from 4-11pm (free for SXSW badge holders). There are also park & ride options, park & walk options, and the Mellow Johnny’s bike parking near the Auditorium Shores entrance. The Shores will be open from noon to close Thursday through Saturday with festival food, vendors and many arts & crafts.

SXSW free events don’t just stop at the music. The George Washington Carver Museum & Cultural Center in East Austin has several interactive events about technology and film throughout the week. In fact, several venues around downtown have other various non-music exhibits, such as the fashion expo at the Austin Convention Center and the ScreenBurn Arcade at the Palmer Events Center. There’s no need to miss out on ALL of the action when there are free sxsw shows and events for all types and ages!

Click here for the full list of free SXSW shows and events.

Special thanks to Skyhigh Photography for the great photo!

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