Ok I'm going to come right out and say it. I'm a SXSW addict. For the last 2 weeks I've been obsessively RSVPing for SXSW. It was a bad habit last year and I told myself (I TOLD myself) I wasn't going to do it again this year. I was going to be happy and content with my shiny wristband and be done with it. But no. Someone sends you a link for a party with free booze and food. Then you get another link. And before long your a growling, snorting, (and ironic hipster sneering) SXSW RSVP monster. I've heard myself utter the words, "no free booze, no RSVP" and "they want me to PAY for this crap??". I know, it's a problem.
It's going to take me a while to ween myself off the obsessive link clicking. But until then, I thought I'd offer up what I feel are going to be the best free food and drink parties of SXSW. Now we all know the Paste and Brooklyn Vegan parties are the best, but lets face it, who wants to stand in line to see the same bands you can see at smaller less traveled parties (if you know where to look). So you won't see any big name giant parties on this list. Most of these should be pretty do-able and a little more low key:
11a-6p Allsaints Spitalfields - Shangra-la - Free Sailor Jerry's drinks all day.. Totally day-drunk worthy
11:30-6:30 BridgeCan Jam - Liberty - Free beer, (not free) Eastside Kings and BRAHMS at 3:45
12p-6p DC Does Texas - Lovejoy's - I've never heard of any of the bands, but they have free Dogfish Head!
12p-6:30p BAAMO - Free beer, alligator chili, black beans, yellow rice and cuban bread (and music)
12p-6p Terrorbird Day Party - Red 7 - Toro y Moi and Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream!
12p-6p Hello Music - Rusty Spurs - No clue who the bands are, but free BBQ and beer
12p-6p San Diego Invades Austin - Lustre Pearl - Free beer and tacos
1p-6p Saint Arnolds SXSW - Music, Saint Arnolds and (supposedly) frito pies
7p-1a Past Future Records - Liberty Bar - Free apps and some of the best bands around (and its being sponsored by my friends, it helps to know people!)
11a Prefix Day Party - 5th and Brushy - Show up at 11 and you'll get free tacos and listen to Bass Drum of Death. That'll kick start your day.
11a-6p Brooklyn BBQ - Hotel Vegas - Brooklyn Brewery beer, BBQ, and some GREAT bands
11a High Five! Party! Party! - Elysium - Or better yet, show up at 11 for a full Irish Breakfast and stay for the free drinks
12p-5p Nacho House - Beauty Bar - Free nachos (and music)
12p-6p Trumer Pils Afternoon Social - Some free Trumer Pils and the BEST music. I swear. Honeymon Thrillers, the Lonely Forest, Tahiti 80! I'm on cloud 9!
12p-6:30p MTV Garage - 9th and RR - This will probably be packed, but theres free BBQ, fried snickers, and funnel cake, might be worth waiting in line for
10:30a-1p BMIs Acoustic Brunch - Four Seasons - I don't know if there will be food (it DOES say brunch), but they have Andy Grammer AND the Civil Wars playing!
12p-9p Sin City's Cosmic American Roadshow - Maria's Taco Express - Free burritos, beer and music (no one I've ever heard of before though).
12p-6p Brooklyn Vegan Day Party - Barbarella - Free vegan tacos from Izzoz, snacks from Sensible Portions and Honest tea. Oh btw, you get to see the Dods, Dolorean, David Wax Museum, and Deer Tick...If you want to deal with the crowds.
12p-7p Muzzle of Bees Backyard BBQ - Liberty - Free beer and BBQ plus Lost on the Trees
11a-6p Detox to Retox - Valhalla - The Vandelles, Leila Broussard and free Barefoot Wine (maybe not the best hangover remedy, though)
12p-6p Smoke and Sand - Rusty Spurs - Free red hook and Waterloo Icehouse BBQ. Yum! Go early at 1pm and see The Wandas.
12p-6p Vita.mn's Music Showcase - Beauty Bar - Free food and Vitamin water. Go at 2 to see Doomtree at stay to see Jeremy Messersmith
12p-8p Axis of Audio Day Party - Rumbler Lounge - No food, but where else can you see the Gay Blades, Le Butcharettes, Ezra Furman, and Jukebox the Ghost?
Friday 3/11-Sunday 3/20
7p-2a Pure Volume House - 504 Trinity - Always a good place to disappear to for a few hours. The bands are generally good but if their not, who cares, the booze is always free!
Thursday 3/17-Sunday 3/20
12p-9p South by San Jose - San Jose Hotel - I don't think there's free food, but there are some reall great bands all weekend at the San Jose. You can pop back and forth between here and Homeslice for a really great afternoon
1p-7p Music by the Slice - Homeslice Pizza - The food isn't free, but the pizza is great. After going for two afternoons and hearing great music both days, I swore I was going to spend more time at Music by the Slice this year. I suggest you do the same (particularly Thursday).