With All of the Fun and None of the Hassle
Words By Jessica Devenyns
This year, however, don’t waste your time waiting in line to see the same thing everyone else will be streaming live on social. Instead, visit those tried and true little pockets of art and culture on the east side that make SXSW a truly awesome experience for those willing to dig beneath the surface.
Fader Fort Fest is one of the better-known unknown options for SXSW. It’s free, there’s tons of beer and lots of music. What more could you ask for at a SXSW event? Just off 7th and Pedernales Street, this event has the vibe of a cobbled together music festival right in the middle of the east side.
There is one trick though that keeps this event so exclusive. You have to make sure to register online early. It’s a bit like getting early bird ACL passes, but your efforts will be greatly rewarded.
Residing in a lot that once catered to the African American neighborhood before it became a dive bar for the community, the Skylark Lounge was opened by native Eastsider Johnny LaTouf in hopes of bridging the gap between these bygone eras and the modern reality of a hipster-infused east side. This ramshackle dive preserves its history through the blues-infused integrity of its musical acts. Make sure you drop by. During its week-long SXSW showcase, you’ll likely see legends like Miss Lavelle White and Blues Boy Hubbard.
This bar is a glitzy gold time warp with a back yard. With friendly bartenders, regular musical guests, and a grilled cheese food truck in the back, this psychedelic bar is in prime real estate if you plan to spend your day party-hopping free events on the east side. It opens at 11am and has no cover charge, which makes it a superb starting venue and an even more excellent place to take a time out.
The Buffalo Lounge
Not on the east side, but nevertheless an interesting place to visit, the Buffalo Lounge showcases film, music, and interactive guests exclusively from Oklahoma. Try something a little different this year and go see what our neighbors to the north side of the Red River have created. You won’t be disappointed with this unique creative lighthouse.
Bring a Bike
Regardless of which events you choose to pop into during SXSW, make sure that you do so on your bike. If you’ve done SXSW before, you know that parking is nearly impossible and that walking from venue to venue can be almost as tedious as standing in line. Therefore, the only solution to travel easily from venue to venue is to dust off your pedal-powered hotrod and get
No Lyft or Uber here, we have Ride Fare! Ride Fare allows you to choose your drivers and schedule rides when it’s convenient for you. The Fare app even offers scheduling from up to 7 days in advance. ridefare.com