SXSW returns to Austin, Texas, from Friday to March 19. The annual culture festival brings various industries together at the intersection of art, fashion, technology, music and education.
For those looking to participate in the event’s festivities, a pass can run anywhere from $129 to $1,995. However, the festival does offer a certain number of free events open to the public. WWD has rounded up a select list of events for those looking to participate in this year’s SXSW conference.
Road to Electrification: Volkswagen’s ID.4 and Upcoming ID. Buzz Display
When: Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT
Where: Long Center
What: Volkswagen fans will get to preview two electric cars from the famed automobile brand at this event. The ID. Buzz will also go on display before it even hits car dealerships. The event is officially sponsored by Volkswagen.
Neo-Wulin: The Era of Black Ark
When: Sunday, 7 to 8 a.m. CT
Where: Online event
What: The show, “The Era of Black Ark,” is a fantasy world between virtual and reality created by Neo-Wulin and folk singer Hongyu Chen. The project is based on Chen’s residency project in his hometown of Erguna.
Fostering Equality in Gentrified Communities
When: Monday, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. CT
Where: The Carver Museum
What: For those into social activism, the Carver Museum is offering a special session on how gentrification is impacting major cities and communities of color. The talk will address how to address these issues via education and workforce development programs.
When: Tuesday, 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. CT
Where: The Metaverse
What: Ristband’s SXSW metaverse world runs alongside the XR and Music festival from Monday through the 18th. The event will feature digital art, unreleased tracks and an EP from Miro Shot, only available on the platform. Exclusive NFTs will also be available for collectors.
Austin Industry Day at the Creative Industries Expo
When: Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT
What: The Creative Industries Expo brings together the industries of technology, design, social good, health and wellness. On Wednesday, the expo is open to anyone in Austin, Texas. The event features hundreds of exhibitors.
Alesia Lani at Sheraton BackYARD
When: Wednesday, 11:30 p.m. to midnight CT
Where: Sheraton BackYard
What: Homegrown Austin R&B and soul singer Alesia Lani returns to SXSW this year. The songstress is known for delivering strong performances and recently became the new signing artist on Los Angeles-based label Trailing Twelve Records.
When: Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT
Where: Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 5
What: Flatstock is an ongoing series of opportunities to see poster art in person and meet the artists who created them. The American Poster Institute is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to serving the poster artist community and promoting the art form.
Dr. Martens at SXSW
When: March 16 and 17
Where: Clive Bar
What: Dr. Martens returns with a music-filled event at Clive Bar. The brand is offering two days of live music from emerging acts and free tattoos. Admission is on a first come, first serve basis.
AJ Smith at Community Concerts at Lady Bird Lake
When: March 17, 4:30 to 5:10 p.m. CT
Where: Lady Bird Lake
What: AJ Smith has managed to go viral on TikTok with his song “We’re All Gonna Die.” The pop star, who recently relocated to Nashville, plans to entertain fans with a free concert.