Inside guide to free SXSW Auditorium Shores events


by KRIS BETTS / KVUE News and photojournalist ROBERT MCMURREY

Bio | Email | Follow: @KrisB_KVUE

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 10:13 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 15 at 10:44 AM

AUSTIN -- Against the backdrop of downtown Austin, Auditorium Shores offers three nights of free music during SXSW, each bringing more than 15,000 people together.

This year’s shows at Auditorium Shores will also be the largest to date.

“We've expanded the area across Riverside onto the Long Center so we've got all this property here as well,” Austin police told KVUE.

Police are prepared for the crowds, especially after a 2011 incident where 7,000 people were turned away, and several hurt, when a crowd rushed the fence.

“We have blowout gates, so if it does get to where the crowd gets too large, we can actually open those gates so we can allow people in and out,” said Lt. Derek Galloway.

Parking will be tight Friday and Saturday, so organizers recommend taking a bus, getting to the event early to find a spot at the Palmer Events Center Garage, or walking across one of the downtown bridges.

Another thing that makes the Auditorium Shores shows so great is that they are the only SXSW shows that are considered 100 percent kid-friendly.

“The music is very interesting and also they have fun, start listening to music and they enjoy it,” a mother tells KVUE.

Friday night’s show begins at 6, and the gates open at 3:30. The line-up includes Divine Fits, Jim James and The Flaming Lips.

Saturday night’s show begins at 12:30 p.m. and the line-up includes The Mother Hips, Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, Spirit Family Reunion, James Hunter, JJ Grey & Mofro, Steve Earle, Robert Randolph and the Family Band and The Midnight Ramble Band.

No food, drink, pets, tents or beach umbrellas are allowed inside the gates.

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