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SXSW 2013: A Guide to the Best Parties, Performances and Showcases. Part 1.

06 March 2013, 10:30 | Written by Andriana Albert

Photograph taken at SXSW 2011 by Sebastien Dehesdin.

Planning for SXSW can be an insanely daunting task. With thousands of acts and hundreds of parties boasting everything from free breakfast and booze to vinyl and ipad giveaways, prize packages, surprise performances and more, it’s hard to decide what to attend.

So we’ve decided to lend a helping hand and hook you up with a list of parties providing a guide to the music you should check out, the freebies you should nab and of course those unique events that we know you won’t want to miss. Part 1 of our guide provides you with a list of weeklong parties that cover one, if not all, of the elements listed above.

We like to think one of the best films ever, Almost Famous, put it best. “We didn’t invent the rainy day, we just have the best umbrella”.

Converse Fader Fort

A festival within a festival, Fader Fort is a great bet for brilliant day time performances. This year there is Future, Disclosure, Delorean + more TBA
Perks: Always great lineup, always free booze and beer all day, lots of lounge areas, shade, delicious food for purchase + more
Bottomline: Must RSVP and pick up wristband to get in

Hype Machine’s Hype Hotel (Official and Unofficial)

A week of free food (last year it was Doritos Locos tacos and burritos courtesy of Taco Bell’) and free Tito’s vodka drinks and beer, plus shows curated by your favorite music outlets like Yours Truly, Aquarium Drunkard, I Guess I’m Floating, Gorilla vs Bear and acts like Solange, Ryan Hemsworth, Disclosure, Little Green Cars, Phosphorescent, Jim James, Flume, The Orwells, Rudimental, Laura Mvula, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Goldroom, Chrome Sparks, Kitty Pryde, MØ, Sky Ferreira, Hundred Waters + more
Perks: Free food and booze + Passion Pit and Wildcat! Wildcat! will perform as part of Taco Bell’s first-of-its-kind rockumentary film – which will be created by fans online or at the show using #FeedtheBeat, and through a customizable live stream on
Bottomline: RSVP for a week’s worth of unofficial day shows, if you have a badge stay for the night shows

Waterloo Records Day Parties

Daily shows that are free and open to the public at Austin’s legendary record shop, with performances by Alt-J,Nick Cave, Wild Belle, Ratking, Dawes, Ra Ra Riot, Indians, The Coup, Billy Bragg, Tegan & Sara + more.
Perks: Live stream of all the shows, Tito’s Vodka specials
Bottomline: Just show up

Filter Magazine’s Showdown at Cedar Street

Sóley, Asgeir Trausti, Òlafur Arnalds, Bastille, Charli XCX, Willy Moon, Shout Out Louds, Local Natives, Haerts, St. Lucia, MS MR, Wild Belle, The Neighbourhood, Haim, Heyerdahl, Young Dreams, IO ECHO, Wildcat! Wildcat!, Surfer Blood
Perks: Free BBQ
Bottomline: Free with RSVP and come early

Red Bull Sound Select: 120 Hours In Austin

Best Coast, Hands, Big Black Delta, Master P, Girl In A Coma, John Mccauley and Friends (Feat. sets by Deer Tick and Diamond Rugs), Those Darlins’, John Fritz, The Cool Kids, Chance The Rapper, Geto Boys, Ultramagnetic MCs, The Sword + very special headliner at a secret location
Perks: Probably free Red Bull, maybe free booze
Bottomline: RSVP for five nights of music curated by East Village Radio, Red Bull Music, Filter Mag + more

Haus of Hipsamatic #MorningAfter Brunch

Brunch parties have come to be the most efficient and possibly best thing happening at SXSW. If you can get up in time, it’s more than worth your while to cross off a ton of great acts you had on your ‘must see’ list, down some free cocktails, actually eat something that doesn’t come in a wrapper and most importantly, get some free swag. Performances by Wildcat! Wildcat!, Guards, Capital Cities, Neon Indian (DJ set),Willy Moon, Quiet Company, In the Valley Below + more
Perks: Mexican-fare from La Condesa, coffee, mimosas, a Bloody Mary bar, #MorningAfter recovery kits, a photobooth and other goodies/surprises.
Bottomline: Badge/Wristband and limited RSVP on Facebook

Urban Outfitters Backlot Sessions

Head over to Austin’s UT Campus store for a stacked lineup that includes Icky Blossoms, Nu Sensae, Icona Pop, Young Dreams, Indians, Guards, Night Beds, Matthew E. White, Eddi Front, Mister Lies, WALL, Majical Cloudz, Houses, Doldrums, Autre Ne Veut, Charli XCX, Mood Rings, Pure X, Chris Cohen, Caveman, Ducktails, Mac Demarco, METZ
Perks: Free beer all week
Bottomline: Just show up

Spotify House

Spotify is hosting a house party that includes a food truck, ping pong, a photo booth as well as with live musical guests and dj sets every day. Premium users get priority access to the House and free food and merchandise all week.
Perks: With your RSVP you’ll also be entered to win an exclusive swag bag filled with SXSpotify goodies.
Bottomline: Free with RSVP

Brooklyn Vegan SXSW Day Parties

A packed lineup of acts TBA on two stages at Austin’s famous Emo’s venue
Perks: All FREE + Complimentary beverage and food options
Bottomline: Free and open to the public

House of Vans Mohawk Takeover (Official and Unofficial)

A take-off on the original House of Vans in Brooklyn, NY, the House of Vans at the Mohawk will feature some of the world’s best emerging bands for four very loud days and nights at one of Austin’s most beloved and eclectic music venues.
Perks: Events curated by Pitchfork, IAMSOUND, MFG, Terrible Records, True Panther Sounds and more
Bottomline: All day-time House of Vans at the Mohawk parties are FREE. For evening events, SXSW badge-holders get priority access, then wristband holders (tickets purchased in advance from the House of Vans at the Mohawk), then general admission guests.

Pandora Discovery Den

St. Lucia, Dawes, Dead Prez, TOKiMONSTA, Guards, Billy Bragg, Robert Delong + more.
Free with RSVP

HGTV and Paste Present Stages on Sixth

The 1975, Allah-Las, Billy Bragg, Dawes, Foxygen, Generationals, GUARDS, Indians, Leagues, Lissie, Marnie Stern, Mount Moriah, ON AN ON, Shout Out Louds, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down + more
Perks: Last year they had free beer and free booze all day + nonstop music
Free with RSVP

The Warner Sound

Action Bronson, Rockie Fresh, Icona Pop, Charli XCX, Fitz and the Tantrums, Skaters, Lianne La Havas, The Flaming Lips, Alt-J, Frightened Rabbit, Atlas Genius, Surfer Blood + more
Bottomline: Four days of official shows that require a Badge/Wristband, but the good news is they will all be streamed live on Warner’s Youtube Channel, so at the very least you can live tweet from a nearby cafe and pretend like you were there

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