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Top 5 Things to Do in Austin During SXSW 2018

From Austin haunts to intimate gigs, here are our suggestions for what to do during this week-long creative bonanza

The thriving city of Austin, Texas never fails to disappoint. Visitors can find colorful murals, bustling bars and restaurants and even a few natural springs to frolic in when the Texas heat gets to be too much. One key component to think about when traveling to Austin is timing. From March 9 to 18 the city will be crawling with some of the country’s most influential creative leaders, innovative tech start-up founders and cultural visionaries.

If you’re one of the thousands of media lovers visiting during the annual South by Southwest festival, you will not be without plans. The all-encompassing 10-day festival covers film, music, technology, art and beyond.

From conferences headed by media moguls to intimate gigs by some of the most promising up-and-coming artists, the festival offers a range of panels, workshops and more. If you’ve already secured a SXSW badge, your days will be stacked with scheduled events and shows. But, your nights might be left with a few holes to be filled.

Below, we have put together a list of some of our must-see nightlife entertainment along with a few daytime happenings to check out, just in case.

1. Sony’s Lost in Music

This special showcase of Sony Music artists such as Khalid, Noah Cyrus, Tinashe and Lo Moon will transport you to a “Dreamscape” of sound and space. Guests will walk through the acoustic “Odyssey” vessel into a world of live performances. Utilizing the latest in Sony technology, this fully immersive activation allows audiences to truly get lost in the music. Check it out on March 15 or 16.

99 Trinity St, Austin, Texas

2. Deep Eddy Vodka Distillery Tour and Tasting

You can easily spend a couple of hours at this indoor/outdoor tasting room, located just outside the city. With vodka samplings, craft cocktails and lawn games outside, this is a prime destination for small groups looking to relax and enjoy the Austin weather. On a private tour you’ll learn about Deep Eddy’s history and what makes their vodka so special. We suggest enjoying some time here before hitting up the SXSW music performances in the evening.

2250 E Hwy 290, Dripping Springs, Texas 78620

3. KITTEN’s Live Shows

With so many bands being featured at SXSW, sometimes it can be tough to decide who to commit to. KITTEN is a vibrantly retro indie-pop band led by a fiercely talented frontwoman. The band recently put out a new single, “I Did It!” and are slated to play three shows during SXSW. You won’t want to miss these guys.

3/14: Neon Gold showcase at Empire Garage, 8:00PM
3/15: New Nine showcase at 2511 East 6th Street, 6:00PM
3/16: PledgeMusic Porch Acoustic, 10:00AM

4. W Austin

This live-broadcasted lineup, courtesy of 93.3 KGSR Radio Austin, includes a few up-and-comers we’re loving right now. Artists include Cold War Kids, Frank Turner, Jade Bird, Pale Waves, Cloves, Barns Courtney and others. Make your way to the luxe W Austin on March 14th at 6 p.m. and enjoy live interviews, performances and refreshments.

200 Lavaca Street, Austin, Texas

5. East Side

Austin is a city made for eating, drinking and socializing. We suggest visiting this colorful hub of Austin for your choice of outdoor bars, rooftop restaurants and craft cocktails galore. Check out Whisler’s for a high-end crowd or make your way to Weather Up for outdoor seating and space to spread out. Before leaving Austin, don’t forget to indulge in the famous barbecue, preferably from la Barbecue.

Main image credit: Instagram.com