How to Have Fun at SXSW 2019 For Free


Going badgeless to SXSW, but still want to catch some great events + films? You’re at the right place! Austin School of Film has curated a guide on how not to spend a dime but have tons of fun.

Here are our top 5 picks for this year’s fest!


SXSW Official Community Screenings

March 9 & 10 @ AFS Cinema

There are 6 great SXSW Official Film Community Screenings on the schedule this year. What does that mean? It means that although these screenings are SXSW Official, they’re free and open to the public.

 Austin School of Film is one of the six with our screening taking place on March 10 at 2:30pm. During this year’s screening you’ll catch selected works from the ASoF’s community screening shorts in categories such as: Narrative, Experimental, Animation and Documentary Filmmaking courses.  All works created by real-life students, highlighting their experience as filmmakers and artists. Works cover a wide variety of mediums including: Super 8, 16mm, digital, and more.

 While these screenings are completely FREE and open to the public, they are still first-come,  first-serve. So arrive early! All 6 community screenings are also in the first weekend of the fest (March 10 & 11), which is exactly the best time to be downtown to grab some free swag and be amid the chaos.  


aGLIFF’s Filmmaker Brunch

Saturday, March 9th from 11am - 1pm @ The Iron Bear (121 W. 8th St. at Colorado St.)

Our friends over at All Genders, Lifestyles, and Identities Film Festival (aGLIFF) are holding a free brunch event for you to meet up with friends, local and visiting filmmakers, actors, actresses, producers, directors for food, drinks, and networking. Receive info on upcoming aGLIFF events and future screenings plus the opportunity to meet with new, local and returning filmmakers with films screening as part of SXSW 2019.


March 9-April 3 @ Austin Central Library Gallery (710 W Cesar Chavez St.)

In support of the City of Austin’s UNESCO designation, this free arts exhibition features instillation by media artists from Austin, Mexico, Austria, and France. Kicking off the exhibition there will have a panel discussion held on Saturday the 9th at 4PM that will highlight the challenges media artists face and the role of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) and their arts communities in implementing initiatives and best practices to support and promote digital art-making around the world.  



March 14-16, 2019 @ Austin Convention Center (500 E Cesar Chavez St.)

Presented by the American Poster Institute (API), Flatstock displays the works of the world’s top gig poster artists. The show features posters of varying styles, colors, and techniques for sale by the talented artists who created them, and is a must-go event if you’re a fan of screen printed artwork. This seemingly pop-up event has a lively atmosphere and puts you side-by-side with some of the more prolific artists working in this medium.

Outdoor Stage at Ladybird Lake

March 14-16 @ 800 W Riverside Dr.

If the weather is as nice as it looks to be predicted, we recommend spending some of the end of the week outside under the stars at the Lady Bird Lake SXSW Outdoor stage.  Concerts at this venue are FREE, and this year’s line-up looks to include, X Ambassadors, Jamie N Commons, Odette, VOILÀ, Dungeon Family,  Big Boi, Sleepy Brown, Goodie Mob Abhi The Nomad, Patty Griffin, Andrew Bird, Courtney Marie Andrews, William Tyler, and more TBA.

The SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake is free and open to the public with a SXSW Guest Pass. Visit for more information. SXSW Badge and Wristband holders do not need a Guest Pass to attend.