How to Do SXSW 2015 With No Badge and No Wristband

Lead Photo: Photo: Pooneh Ghana
Photo: Pooneh Ghana
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This week the city of Austin will morph into the musical media monstrosity that is SXSW. People from all over the world will flock to the city to see music, film, and participate in the tech/interactive elements of the festival. In recent years SXSW has been critiqued for becoming controlled by corporations and inaccessible to not only festival-goers (a music badge starts at $650,) but also to budding musicians who don’t agree with the restrictions participating in official SXSW events entails. To many, the festival is no longer an event to see and hear undiscovered musical talent but is now just a tool for corporations to shove its products and Miley Cyrus-esque musicians down your throat.

In other words, SXSW has lost its indie appeal.

But instead of just giving in to the man, many culture creators and curators have opened up alternative spaces for a parallel unofficial SXSW experience. I’ve been doing the unofficial SXSW for years and never had a badge or wristband, and it’s always a good time. There are always strategies to see shows for free (and get drunk for free) on the corporate dime. However, the local and unofficial scene has grown into an alternate festival and is pretty damn fun in and of itself. Here are a few unofficial SXSW shows showcasing Latin@ talent at SXSW 2015.

Friday, March 20, 1pm-7pm: Global Local

Global Local, previously ‘Listen Global, Act Local,’ is a space curated by the Sol Collective– an organization that aims to bring together art, culture, and activism. The vision for the show seeks to unite global sounds with an air of consciousness. There will be an eclectic showcase of musical talent as well as live art by Kalakari, Trust Your Struggle, and LURAC. Artist collective Mujeres Mercado will also be vending an array of handmade goods at the event. Artists performing at this year’s showcase are: Scatter Their Own, Etagg, WiseChild
Quese IMC, Buyepongo, RDACBX (Rebel Diaz, Vithym, King Capo,) Tef Poe and T Dubb-O, Gabriel Wolfchild, Queens D. Light, El Indio , Precolumbian, DJ Riobamba, Royal Highness, DJ Sound Culture and other special guests.

Kenny Dorham’s Backyard
1106 East 11th

Friday, March 20, 2-7pm: Future Sonidos

Future Sonidos is a punk music showcase put on by Queer Qumbia en Tejas and House of Shakur — community organizations that create explicitly safe spaces for queer people of color. Performers will be Chulita Vinyl Club, Sodium, Tiarra Girls, Olmeca, Malportado Kids and Pink Leche. The event will be held at Treasure City Thrift where they will be having a $1 sale. Yessssss.

Treasure City Thrift
2142 East 7th Street
Austin, TX 78702

Saturday, March 21, 12pm: The People's Party // Fiesta Popular

Everything about this party is badass: it’s supporting a cause, it’s being held at an anarchist bookstore, there will be tamales, and the musical acts are great. All proceeds will benefit Youth Rise Texas– a youth leadership project aiming to fight against immigrant detainment, deportation, and the prison industrial complex. Tamales and other foods will be sold from local Austin caterer Conjunto Contigo, and performers will include: LLAMV LLVMA, Rebel Diaz, Olmeca, Krudas Cubensi, Marcus Frejo/Quese lmc, The ReMINDers, and more.

MonkeyWrench Books
110 E North Loop
Austin, TX 78751

Saturday, March 21st, 12pm: All Latino Auditorium Shores Showcase

This is actually an official SXSW event but it is open to the public. You simply have to pick up a guest wristbands which will be available for pick up before you enter the event. Tejano legends Intocable, energetic tropical Bomba Estereo and Compass – a collab between Mexican Institute of Sound and Toy Selectah – will be performing. The event is part of SXAmericas, SXSW’s effort to include the work of more Latino and Latin-Americans.

Auditorium Shores
800 W Riverside Dr
Austin, TX 78704

Sunday, March 22, 12-7pm: Latin American Cultural Showcase

On the last day of SXSW, when most people call it quits, there will be another specifically Latin American showcase of artists Diogo Poças, Estrela & Teo Ruiz, and Buyepongo. DJ Busca will be spinning and there will be art, food, performing arts and dancing.

Kenny Dorham’s Backyard
1106 E 11th.
Austin, TX 78702

Sunday, March 22, 5-9pm: #CODESWITCH

This party has it all: “ethereal goddess trap operas to the diasporic global thump of hot and sticky beach cumbia riddim, to Black American proverbs and PSAs.” Sounds like a really fun way to end your SXSW weekend if you still have the energy. This event is also put on by Queer Qumbia en Tejas and House of Shakur in an effort to unite black and brown people through the celebration of culture.

The Sahara Lounge
1413 Webberville Rd
Austin, Texas 78721


Sunday, March 22, 5-9pm: PELIGROSA

Last but not least, you can always get turnt to the cumbia/trap/hiphop/all things danceable mash up mixes of the Peligrosa djs who will be playing unofficially all week. Tuesday will be their SXSW opening ceremony at The Volstead, and Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday they will be posted up at Chupacabra Cantina.

Volstead Lounge
1500 E 6th St,
Austin, TX 78702

Chupacabra Cantina
400 E 6th St,
Austin, TX 78701