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Top 10 SXSW Parties 2013

Sifting through the thousands of artists playing in hundreds of venues in downtown Austin each year at SXSW is a daunting task for both first-time festival-goers and veterans.

This will be my 4th consecutive year making my annual pilgrimage to Austin, TX for the massive music portion of South by Southwest, which will take place mostly between Wednesday March 13-Saturday March 16.

After much review and RSVP’ing Here are ten of my top SXSW (music) day (and some night) parties for 2013.

10. FREE NOW! (3/13-3/16)

Badge/wristband required: No
Open To Public
Cover: Free
Location: Brew Exchange (706 W. 6th)

Lineup includes: The Limousines, Andy Clockwise, The Mowgli’s, Ambassadors, Royal Teeth, Little Daylight, more.

It’s a bit of a walk from everything that’s happening on the heart of 6th st. but the lineup makes it worth the trek. Last year it was band’s setting up across from each other on opposite ends of The Brew Exchange. It was hectic and things ran late (which happens at most every party, by the way), but there are too many great acts this year for you to pass it up four days in a row.

9. Paste Magazine (3/13-3/16)

Badge/Wristband required: No
Open To Public
Cover: Free
Location: Stage on 6th (508 E. 6th)

Lineup includes: Billy Bragg, The Lone Bellow, Foxygen, Josh Ritter, & more.

An official SXSW day party done right at the stages on sixth. Two stages. Free drinks. Wednesday-Saturday noon-6PM.

8. Pandora Den (3/12-3/15)

Badge/Wristband required: No
Cover: Free
Location: Antone’s (213 W. 5th)

Lineup includes: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Emmylou Harris, Gold Fields, Robert DeLong, more.

This party takes your RSVP seriously so make sure you sign up prior to March 12. Solid lineup in a decent venue. One of the pros of this party last year was lockers you could charge your phone in. Always a plus.

7. Warner Sound & Nikon (3/12-3/14)

Badge/Wristband required: No for day parties, YES for night showcases.
Cover: N/A
Location: The Belmont (305 W. 6th)

Lineups include: Fitz & The Tantrums, Paramore, Flaming Lips, Alt-J, Macklemore & Ryan lewis, Icona Pop, Joy Formidable, Tegan & Sara, more.

The day parties on 3/13 & 3/14 will be much easier to get into and you won’t need credentials for those, but good luck getting into the showcases at night with big headliners like Paramore, Macklemore, and Flaming Lips.

6. MTVU Woodies (3/14)

Badge/Wristband Required: No, but priority given
Cover: Free (18+)
Location: Corner of Red River & E. 1st.
RSVP at Convention Center on 3/13 from 12-5 PM

Lineup includes: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Jake Bugg, Joey BadA$$, Alt-J.

It’s set up like an outdoor festival. Lots of free stuff. Bands get half hour sets. Lines were lengthy last year for non-badge/wristband holders. If you have the desire to escape from the bars and clubs for a brief moment, hit up the Woodies.

5. Waterloo Records (3/13-3-16)

Badge/Wristband Required: No
Cover: Free
Location: Waterloo Records Parking Lot (600 N Lamar)
No RSVP necessary

Lineup includes: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Tegan & Sara, Twenty One Pilots, Joy Formidable, Ra Ra Riot, Airborne Toxic Event, much more.

Waterloo Records always impresses with their day party lineups and this year is no exception. It is in a parking lot that’s a decent trek from the heart of the rest of the happenings, but the acts are more than worth it.

4. Fader Fort

Badge/Wristband required: No
Cover: N/A
Location: 1000 E. 5th

Lineup includes: Future, Delorean, Disclosure, Trinidad Jame$, 1975, Jake Bugg, more.

One of the premiere SXSW parties each year with HUGE up & coming hip hop and electronic acts. One of the more difficult day parties to get into, in fact, I’ve never even made it inside, but there are plenty of festival-goers who make The Fader Fort a go to destination each day of SXSW.

3. Windish Agency Parties (3/13 & 3/15)

Badge/Wristband required: No, priority to credentials though.
Cover: N/A
Location: On 3/13 @ Red 7 (611 E.7th). On 3/15 @ Mohawk patio (912 Red River)

Lineup includes: Icona Pop, CHVRCHES, Thermals, Alt-J, Toro Y Moi, more.

A strong, industry party. If you plan to attend the night show on 3/13, you might want to lineup VERY early if aren’t a badge or wristband holder.

2.. Rachael Ray FEEDBACK Day Party (3/16)

Badge/wristband required: No, first come-first serve
Cover: Free
Location: Stubb’s (801 Red River)

Lineup includes: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Delta Rae, Frightened Rabbit, The 1975, more.

The first time I heard that Rachael Ray throws a party at SXSW I laughed. Years later, it’s clear that the cooking show star has actually become synonymous with throwing one of the best annual SXSW day parties on the last Saturday of each year’s festival. Arrive early and come hungry to this one. Great bands, great food.

1. Filter Parties (3/13-3/16)

Badge/wristband required: No
Cover: Free
Locations: Lustre Pearl (97 Rainey), Cedar St. Courtyard (208 W. 4th), Clive Bar (609 Davis), & Bar 96

Lineup Includes: Bastille, Willy Moon, The Neighbourhood, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, !!!, Cold War Kids, Local Natives, more.

There are no weak parties associated with the Filter name at this year’s SXSW. My favorite is always The Showdown at Cedar St. A great little courtyard venue to watch up & coming bands. Check out the flyers on the RSVP page & schedule accordingly.

BONUS: Hype Hotel (3/12-3/16)



BONUS X2: Spotify House
Badge/Wristband required: No
Location: 110 E. 5th


Lineup includes: Kendrick Lamar, Robert DeLong, Youngblood Hawke, Twenty One Pilots

BONUS: ASOS Lounge (3/14-3/16)Badge/Wristband required: No
Location: Cedar Door (201 Brazos)

Lineup includes: The 1975, Foxes, Dan Croll, San Cisco, The Nighbourhood, more.


Location: Secret Wherehouse (undetermined)
Cover: $20 for guaranteed entry

Lineup includes: Baauer, Just Blaze, Shiny Toy Guns, Big Sean, much more.

There are SO MANY great parties, I mentioned just a tiny fraction of what’s out there. Get acquainted with RSVPster & Do512. Follow SXSW related-twitters for breaking news & more party announcements. Also, the National Geographic 80’s Themed party featuring Girl Talk on 3/11 deserves it’s own post altogether.

Hope to see you out there.

– Dallas

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