It's that week again. Arguably the best week of music in Austin Texas each year. This year LL Cool J peddles Doritos, grumpy cat makes people happy, and everyone wants to see what Rachael Ray will be cooking up during her day party.
It's also the week where badges seem to think they rule the streets.
Here's a hint Austinites have known for years... you don't need a badge to see great music this week. Heck, if you keep your ear to the ground, you'll probably get to see the act a badge waited in line for 3 hours to get to the back of the room in a sweaty club... for free with 100 or less people.
We thought we'd help you out a little. Here are five of our favorite multiple-day shows that happen this week. Oh.. and they are ALL FREE.
Heart of Texas Rockfest
The 2013 Texas Rockfest blasts into downtown Austin on Wednesday, March 13 through Saturday, March 16 featuring some of the best talent rising from the burgeoning indie rock scene.The line-up includes Austin natives Broken Teeth, Dirty Wormz, D-A-D, Street Light Suzie, Vallejo, South Austin Moonlighters and more.
There are two outdoor stages smack dab in the middle of downtown (7th & Neches) that provide non-stop music, and Austin venues Shiners Saloon, War Horse and Blue Moon are also Rockfest venues. The fest is free, open to the public and benefits Caritas of Austin. No badges or wristbands are needed. Info: http://texasrockfest.com
Locations:TRF Outdoor 1 and 2 - (7th & Neches) Schedule
Shiners Saloon (422 Congress Avenue) Schedule
War Horse (209B W 5th) Schedule
Blue Moon (2200 S IH 35) Schedule
Red Gorilla Music Fest
The Blind Pig (317 E. 6th St.)
Thirsty Nickel (325 E. 6th Street)
Bourbon Girl (212 E. 6th St.)
Chuggin’ Monkey (219 E. 6th St.)
The Dizzy Rooster (306 E. 6th Street)
Amped (300 E. 6th St.)
HandleBar (121 E. 5th St.)
Red Gorilla Music Fest has been a mainstay for the last decade on 6th Street during the week of music in Austin. Their mission is to "promote up-and-coming independent music in all genres and help independent artists further their careers." They give the stage to between 300 - 550 bands each year.
A few bands we reccomend that are playing Red Gorilla: Starma, The Statesboro Revue, Last One Out, and Gobi.
To see the full schedule, visit - http://www.redgorillamusic.com/schedule/
The Outlaw Roadshow
Location: Rusty's (405 East 7th)
This RSVP on DO512 show features 19 bands and, if last year was any indication, some of the best free swag available in Austin this week. It starts at noon on Saturday and has three stages going, so there's never a lull in the music. This show is produced by Adam Duritz (Counting Crows) and Ryan Spaulding (rsblog.com). Callout bands include Nakia, Daniel & the Lion, and Field Report
Listen to and download some of the bands playing here - link
Waterloo Records - Outdoor Stage
Yeah.. it's appropriate that, in a list of Free shows, I put a Macklemore & Ryan Lewis day show here. Who hasn't had "Thrift Shop" stuck in their heads in the last few weeks? If not... here... you're welcome. Anyhow... this is on the "you'll be in a huge crowd and it may not be totally worth it but HEY... where else are you going to see The Mavricks and Emmylou Haiirs for free" list.
Besides... Waterloo Records deserves some support. They are a RECORD STORE IN 2013. And, as far as I can tell, they're actually making it work.
The biggest drawback to these shows is parking. If you find a space...covet it... and as long as you're there, you may as well wander down to The Tiniest Bar In Texas a block away for their day shows... (see the next on the list).
Here's a link to some free music from bands playing the day party: http://waterloorecords.com/NewsItem/3446
See the full line-up here: link
Best Lil' Big Fest in Texas
Location: Tiniest Bar in Texas (817 W. 5th Street)
You could truly spend the entire day in between Waterloo Records and The Tiniest Bar in Texas (especially considering you've got Whole Foods and Amy's Ice Cream right there for snacks).
Looking at this year's line-up we'd HIGHLY reccomend Wednesday's Austin Independent Radio Day Party (Whisky Shivers, Mike & the Moonpies & The Sour Notes), as well as catching sets by Paper Lions, Henry + the Invisibles and Indofin.
See the entire line-up here - link
Free with RSVP:
Day 1 - http://do512.com/c/sx2013/event/2013/03/13/best-lil-big-fest-in-texas-day-one
Day 2 - http://do512.com/c/sx2013/event/2013/03/14/best-lil-big-fest-in-texas-day-two
Day 3 - http://do512.com/c/sx2013/event/2013/03/15/best-lil-big-fest-in-texas-day-three
Day 4 - http://do512.com/c/sx2013/event/2013/03/16/best-lil-big-fest-in-texas-day-four
So... all you folks who will invade downtown Austin this week....
Go forth and be free.
Don't be mean to the badges... it's not their fault they don't understand the beauty of free.
Oh... and he who gets the best swag wins.