SXSW 2015 bringing popular, new artists

Austin festival still accepting volunteers to help out



The music portion of the SXSW conference starts next week, running from March 17 – 22. The music portion includes many free shows for those unable to obtain official badges.

Sarah Luna, Student Life Editor

As the spring season approaches lots of students and Austinites are buzzing about Spring Break and the event music lovers from around the world are waiting for — SXSW.

The music industry conference features performances from more than 2,000 regional, national and international acts. Badges to attend the music portion of the conference, which also includes film and interactive portions, can run up to $800 to $900, but there are lots of free shows to check out.

Because of the high cost of attending, many students volunteer to earn access badges to attend shows.

Senior Andrea Hernandez, a former SXSW volunteer, is definitely looking forward to participating again. SXSW volunteers act as information guides throughout the week for festival goers.

“Last year the people were super friendly, and we went straight to work,” Hernandez said. “It was really fun because while we were volunteering, we could also watch the concert that we were standing outside of. I definitely think students should try to volunteer just for the experience.”

Because of the car accident on Red River Street last year, there is a heightened awareness of the need to keep people safe while they walk around downtown. Two people were killed and 21 others were injured when a car crashed through a barricade and slammed into pedestrians.

It was the first fatal crash that happened in the 27 year history of the music and entertainment conference.  Organizers and police are working to make sure that attendees are even safer this year, said Austin Police Department Even Commander in Chief Timothy Pruett.

“APD and Department of Transportation are in constant discussion on making every event safer including SXSW,” Pruett said. “We are placing marked patrol cars in front of the barricades so they are more visible with the overhead lights activated.”

Math teacher Derek Hamm recommended picking up wristbands for free shows, which can be found  at downtown Austin stores and SXSW events.

“You’ll have just as much fun without a wristband and you won’t have to worry about putting all the money you would spend on a wristband to use. You can just enjoy yourself and the music,” Hamm said.

The free concerts at Auditorium Shores, featuring Spoon and other popular acts, require having a Guest Pass to get in. To obtain the pass, attendees have to request a pass online first and then go to a pick up location.

Below are a few links to free or underaged shows that teens can get into.

Auditorium Shores free shows

SXSW Guest Pass

Waterloo Records’ Day Parties

Thrasher Death Match

House of Van’s Pitchfork Parties