No SXSW badge? Here’s how you can still experience it

AUSTIN, Texas — The South by Southwest festival returns to an in-person experience this week in Austin, and if the cost of a badge is a barrier for you, there are still plenty of ways to experience the sights and sounds and get involved.

Here’s something for the whole family. Disney+ will show three free outdoor movies Saturday, March 12 at the Long Center’s Hartman Concert Lawn. All movies will be preceded by activities including costumer contests, giveaways and more. No badge is needed to attend. The films are:

  • “Jungle Cruise” – Pre-screening activities start at 10:30 a.m. followed by the movie at 11:30 a.m.
  • “Cruella” – Pre-screening activities start at 2:30 p.m., and the movie gets started at 3:30 p.m.
  • “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” – Pre-screening activities start at 6:30 p.m., and the screening is set for 7:30 p.m.

If music is more your thing, there are plenty of options. The SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake is the location for free concerts March 17-19. No badge required.

Among the highlights:

  • Austin’s own …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead is among the bands set to perform on Thursday, March 17.  
  • Sammy Hagar and the Circle will headline the show on Friday, March 18.
  • Houndmouth and MT Joy are among the Saturday night headliners.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Other free attractions include art installations, a wellness expo, free yoga sessions and film watch parties, just to name a few.

Remember that in order to attend you will still need to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test. A free testing center will be available at the Austin Convention Center every day in Exhibit Hall 2.