Even in the last few days of this year’s South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, the city felt completely invigorated by the music buffs, cocktail connoisseurs and lifelong hipsters that flock there each year. In addition to headliners in music, film and tech, the ten-day long festival also featured a host of activations and satellite musical events that you might have missed if you didn’t know where to look. We gathered our top five under-the-radar moments from SXSW—still bursting with artist and drinks galore, of course.
1. Hotel Vegas Pop-Up Show at Pershing House
As the unassuming warehouse-type space slowly filled, drinks were flowing and guests were mingling before the live music began. Lining the perimeter of the event space were local vendors selling handcrafted jewelry and vintage clothing, perfect to help ease guests into the quirky Austin spirit. (read: #KeepAustinWeird) The music lineup included Sweet Spirit, Blackallac, Sailor Poon, Croy and The Boys and DJ Slimey Steve.
2. StubHub Party at Bangers Sausage House
This traditional German beer garden house was transformed into a massive party, centered around a StubHub-branded stage that featured a roster of artists throughout the weekend. On 3/14 the lineup culminated in an epic performance by Cold War Kids following Two Feet, Jukebox the Ghost and more. Our recommendation? VIP access offered a buzzy crowd bonding over newly discovered artists—a respite from the chaos of general admission.
The Do512 Lounge welcomes guests with an outdoor seating area surrounded by a badass airstream and a totally Instagrammable backdrop of colorful graffiti. The intimate lounge provided a lineup of newer artists throughout the day including Brent Cowles, The Britanys and Mallrat. Inside, attendees picked on the sandwich bar and of course a bar serving up deliciously crafted Deep Eddy Vodka cocktails. Our top cocktail recommendation from the party? The easy and refreshing Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka and soda. Additionally, the Deep Eddy Vodka Tasting Room offers cocktails paired with picturesque scenery.
Our recent “Key to the City” star Jake McDorman wasn’t lying; Cheer Up Charlies is quintessential Austin. Their SXSW activation offered an outdoor stage, various food trucks (including Taco Baby, an Austin staple), picnic tables and a great outdoor patio and bar, and a musical lineup including Girl Ray, Speedy Ortiz and U.S. Girls. With saxophones and psychedelic sounds blaring, this afternoon party brought SXSW to its feet.
The fourth annual FLOODfest party in Austin did not disappoint. For three days Cedar Street Courtyard was completely flooded with guests, posted up along every inch of the two-floor, sun-drenched outdoor space. Guests shaded themselves on the upstairs level of the VIP lounge while others found refuge by watching the performances from the indoor bar. This year’s lineup offered epic sets by Dr. Octagon, Kurt Vile and Brooklyn-based Porches.