No badge? No problem. Several events offer free way to experience SXSW

AUSTIN (KXAN) — South by Southwest can be a lot of fun, but the truth is, a lot of people just can’t afford it. But each year, some spots offer you a way to experience some of the festival for free.

Russell McCulloh spent Friday by the phone, answering calls at Waterloo Records on Sixth Street as fans tried to pocket some free South by Southwest passes.

“They’re just saying, ‘do you still have the SXSW passes?'” McCulloh said. “We ask them if they want one or two, cause there’s a limit of two, and they get their passes.”

“It’s awesome,” said Avery Beckstrom. “They’re free. I got them for my friend my housemate and I just walked in got them for free and walked out.

Garrett Coles popped in to buy some music and scored some passes while he was there.

“To be able to get some passes…it’s super valuable,” he said.

These wristbands are good to many events, including the Mario Kart interactive races going on all weekend.

Dude, it’s Mario Kart,” said Rogue Smith. “I rushed down here. I’m excited to be here.”

“Growing up, it’s just been Mario Kart,” said Carlos Garza. “A friend told me about it, so we gotta go…so here we are.”

The Gaming Expo goes through Sunday at the Palmer Event Center. You’ll find video game and app demonstrations, but there are also Lego displays and other activities for younger kids.

South by Southwest Create lets kids make hands-on projects and create items on 3D printers. It runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the City Terrace of the Long Center.

And the Eco Light Garden features light sculptures that move to music and sound. The free event will light up Republic Square Park downtown through March 15.

Here’s where you can get your free passes:
Game Over Videogames
911 W. Anderson Ln., Suite #106
3005 S. Lamar Blvd, Suite #B-105-B
110 N I-35, Suite# 200-A, Round Rock, TX
1504 Aquarena Springs Dr., Suite #110, San Marcos, TX
Mon to Sat 11am-9pm & Sun 12pm-7pm

Oat Willie’s
617 W. 29th St.
1931 E. Oltorf
9505 Burnet Rd. Suite E.
Mon to Sat 10am – Midnight & Sun Noon – Midnight

Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods
5775 Airport Blvd
4970 W US 290 SVC Rd
9900 South IH35
10515 N. Mo Pac Expressway
13015 Shops Parkway, Bee Cave TX
Mon to Sat 10am-9pm

Waterloo Records & Video
600 N. Lamar Blvd.
Mon to Sat 10am-11pm & Sun 11am-11pm

Whole Foods Market
11920 Domain Drive
525 N. Lamar Blvd
4301 W. William Cannon Blvd.
12691 Hill Country Blvd.
Sun to Sat 8am – 10pm

Or pick up at the doors of these Guest Pass Events:
Digital Creative Job Market
Gaming Expo
Flatstock 43
Music Gear Expo
Renegade Craft Fair: SXSW Edition
SXSW Outdoor Stage at Butler Park

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