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SXSW 2018 Parties

What's New. What We are Excited About. What We Don't Want to Miss.

© by SXSW Guest Pass

Let’s face it. SXSW can be overwhelming … and it hasn’t even started yet. First, you must come to terms that you can’t do it all. There are too many parties and activations to count, but we rounded up some new and exciting ones for 2018 that we can’t stop thinking about.

And when not doing one – or all, for you ambitions few – of these, we really do recommend checking out bands you’ve never heard of, catching a new indie flick and just walking around the city and taking it all in!

Around the World

GDay USA AUSTRALIAHOUSE arrives on Rainey Street March 11th for 6 days with some of Australia’s leading figures in film, space, music and philanthropic innovation. Hugh Jackman spills on the inspiration for his socially responsible Laughing Man® Coffee, Chef Curtis Stone pairs wine with talks of the delicious vineyards of Australia, watch real time surf streams of the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro while drinking an Aussie beer, and look to the stars in a conversation with key players in the rapidly evolving global space sector. The activation is open 11 am to 4 pm to SXSW badge holders.

And a little more OUT OF THIS WORLD — Meow Wolf is heading to SXSW. The immersive and interactive art installation outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico debutes their story on the big screen with Meow Wolf: Origin Story. They have also been teasing a free, immersive art activation called MEOW WOLF OUTSIDE, described as a “never-seen-before, never-seeable-after immersive presentation.” Texts will be released with more details on locations and RSVPs. We’ll be ready!

Women Power

Austin’s own social networking app that empowers women to make the first move – Bumble – brings to SXSW Bumble Presents: Empowering Connections, March 9th and 10th at Fair Market.  Rachel Zoe – who speaks on Friday – is just one of the many daytime panelists. Broadway star and author Keke Palmer and Bumble Founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd will lead Friday’s keynote titled “#MeToo, #TimesUp, Now What?” And if that isn’t awesome enough, GRAMMY-nominated group HAIM will close put the party on Saturday night. The activation is open 11 am to 4 pm to SXSW badge holders and Bumble users. Keynotes and musical performances will take place from 6 pm to 9 pm daily and are limited to SXSW badge holders.

Create Cultivate moves their SXSW party to the newly open Refinery for their ATX Pop-Up event, Women to Watch.  The packed full day of events on March 11th starts with meditation by fitness guru to the stars Simone De La Rue, then continues with mentor meet and greets, female-lead panels and pop-up shops & beauty treatments sprinkled throughout the day. It’s a packed line-up including Gina Rodriguez, Camila Alves McConaughey, Brooklyn Decker, Camille Styles, and more! No badge required, but you need to RSVP to secure your spot. And we recommend arriving early for this one!

In Good Taste

No stranger to the SXSW week, Luck Reunion is back March 15th at Willie Nelson’s ranch in Luck, Texas. A favorite event of ours every year, they always are mixing it up a bit. For those who have been out to the party, it’s a full day of easy-going fun, drinks and music. This year, curated by Ben Runkle of  Salt & Time, Austin Food & Wine Alliance is bringing a roster of acclaimed chefs and restaurants to the ranch. The Austin Food & Wine Alliance Corral will feature Texas chefs including: Deepa Shridhar of Indian-Texas trailer Puli-Ra; Hoover Alexander of southern-steeped eatery Hoover’s Cooking; Adrian Paredes of locally-focused Tamale Addiction; Houston’s “Sugar Fairy” Rebecca Masson of pastry institution Fluff Bake Bar; acclaimed Chef David Bull of Austin’s Second Bar + Kitchen; Sawyer Lewis of “new school” barbecue trailer Leroy & Lewis; Diego Galicia & Rico Torres of San Antonio’s highly acclaimed restaurant Mixtli; and Miguel Cobos of Austin taqueria Vaquero Taquero. And, as always, the day will showcase more than 40 musicians across four stages. Performers include: Willie Nelson & FamilyKurt VileNathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, and Nikki Lane. Tickets are for sale and released in waves via social media.

Vox Media brings The Deep End to The Belmont, March 9th – 11th. Eater hosts daily Eater Selected Bites from Austin favorites Launderette, Dee Dee, Contigo, and Veracruz All Natural for lunchtime bites. They’ll also host a Texas Essential Restaurants party Sunday night, including 5 spots from the 38 restaurants on the list. Special foodie highlight: they will also record Recode Decode Live on Sunday with chef and activist José Andrés. RSVP for entrance.

The owners of Lick Honest Ice Creams (Austin) and Beekman 1802 (New York) are joining forces to host an ice cream social and book signing event, An Afternoon with Beekman 1802 and Lick Honest Ice Creams, to promote Beekman 1802’s newest cookbook, “A Seat at the Table.”  Proceeds from all ice cream products sold at Sunday’s event will benefit the Austin Food and Wine Alliance. The event is free and open to the public from 3 to 5 pm on March 11th at Tom’s flagship location on 1401 South Congress Avenue.

As Seen on TV (and the Movies)

One of the most buzzed about activations of the festival is the HBO Westworld “Live without Limits Weekend. From March 9th-11th, guests will be transported to Westworld and Sweetwater — and this is quite literally. The adventure starts at EastSide Tavern for food and drink before whisking you away to the outskirts of Austin, where they have recreated the town of Sweetwater from the show. The rest of the details are vague, telling guests that the evening is an immersive experience, will take a total of 2 hours and to get ready to indulge your every whim. We hope these violent delights will not have violent ends. Reservations have filled for now, but they will be releasing more spots via @WestworldHBO. SXSW credentials are needed, though a free SXSW Guest Pass will work.

Later this month, Steven Spielberg’s highly anticipated sci-fi, action film Ready Player One releases nationwide. March 9th – 11th at Brazos Hall, guests can enter the Ready Player One Expereince, create their own avatars and enter the OASIS. Nightly performances will include a TheWaveVR DJ set by actor Tye Sheridan using VIVE VR. It wouldn’t be Ready Player One without 80s trivia, 4 pm – 6 pm on Friday and Saturday. Film and Platinum Badge priority entrance.

Showtime House takes over Clive Bar on Rainey March 15th – 17th for day and night music showcases. The theme line-up is March 15th – SMILF, March 16th – The Chi (with DMC from Run-DMC), and March 17th – Shameless. We plan to spend our St. Patty’s Day at the Shameless party with the Gallagher’s, especially with Shanola Hampton (V) and Steve Howey (Kevin) behind the bar!

It’s News to Me

New York Times takes over Irene’s March 10th for a day of thought-provoking and topical conversations about music, our current political state and how and when brands should get involved. You’ll see news personalities from both the New York Times and The New York Times Magazine.

Not too far away, CNN hosts CNN @ The Market on March 10th for badge-holders. Watch a live Axe Files podcast taping with guest Jon Lovett over breakfast, an advanced screening of Season 3 “United Shades of America” over lunch with with Kamau Bell, and world premiere of “Sex & Love Around the World” with Christiane Amanpour.

A Few Standards You’ll Always Find Us At

March 14th – 17th
KGSR’s annual SXSW live broadcast at W Austin
featuring Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Cold War Kids, Frank Turner, Elle King, and more. Open to the public with a $5 suggested donation for Make-A-Wish Central & South Texas at the door.

March 14th –  16th
KUTX Live at the Four Seasons
featuring Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real, Bully, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, and more.
Open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Admission to the main show, which includes a breakfast taco, KIND granola bar and bottomless coffee, is $15 per adult or $5 for children 12 and under. Event proceeds in 2018 benefit the Trail Foundation.

March 15th
Austin City Limits Bloody Mary Morning at the GSD&M Lawn
featuring Shakey Graves, Joshua Hedley, Tameca Jones, Wade Bowen and more.
Open to the public and free with RSVP.

March 14th – 17th
South X San Jose at Hotel San Jose
featuring Natalie Prass, Mt. Joy, Joshua Hedley, Soccer Mommy, Los Coast and more.
Open to the public and free.

March 14th – 17th
The Waterloo Records Day Party
featuring Dashboard Confessional, Andrew W.K., Paul Cauthen. Son Little, and more.
Open to the public and free.

March 16th
The Austin Chronicle Presents “Hair of the 3-Legged Dog” at Hotel Vegas
featuring Yonatan Gat, Blackillac, Drakulas, and The Deer
Open to the public and free with RSVP.

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