Much has been made of how brands have scaled back for the mammoth South by Southwest Music Festival (SXSW) in 2017, which begins March 13. Companies that have had a large presence at past events have indeed pared the size of their activations. Spotify, Fader and others have announced smaller events and Samsung Mobile has yet to announce their usual slate of top-tier acts. Do512's President, Jimmy Stewart, noted last week the number of SXSW parties on his event website is about a third of last year's total. That said, SXSW still offers a ton of events for visitors and locals to enjoy, some of which we included in our list below.
We know five parties are not much, so we included links to other events that will take place on the same dates as our top picks. For example, those that do not have SXSW badges for access to Spoon's opening night of their residency at the old Emo's can RSVP to see a huge slate of great local bands at the All Friend's Ball at Spiderhouse Ballroom. We encourage locals to register for a SXSW Guest Pass which gives access to the free Auditorium Shores shows, Flatstock, SXSW Jobs Fair and select showcases. To find more parties beyond our list, visit do512.com or check our custom Do512 schedule. Fans can RSVP directly from the website.
As we dive into the list, keep in mind there are hundreds of SXSW events taking place. If you don't arrive early enough to avoid a huge line, move to the next event. Be mindful that moving to another event takes more time than usual due to traffic and crowds. As always, be courteous and polite when attending events (this includes staff working venues). Carry cash to tip service staff. This is how they earn an income. It might be a good idea to grab a rain poncho to take along as weather forecasts warn of chances of rain during the week.