Austin businesses prepare for free SXSW music venues

The rush of SXSW is only a couple days away. Are you ready?

Get ready Austin.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected in less than 48 hours as South by Southwest (SXSW) gets ready to kick off.

The music portion of the festival starts next week. But some businesses, like Hotel San Jose, are starting early. Workers there stacked wood and unloaded furniture of what will be "South x San Jose."

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Soon, the hotel parking lot will transform into the annual free music venue at the Hotel San Jose on South Congress Avenue.

It's one of Jake Tanner's favorite SXSW music spots.

"This place is awesome," said the music manager.

Tanner manages musician Jesse Dayton. Because of that, he's attended the first SXSW in the 1980s.

"I've been here since the first one," said Tanner

He even prefers the free venues over the ones sanctioned by the music festival.

"They're just fun, just have a good time, practice songs," said Tanner.

In the last two years, bands like Tanner's helped contribute $323 million to the Texas economy.

Brendon Anthony with the Texas Music Office said music is important to our state.

"It puts nearly 200,000 people to work every year. It creates billions of dollars of taxable revenue," said Anthony.

So if you want to keep supporting musicians who support the Texas economy, there are free shows at the Continental Club, Yeti Headquarters, Whole Foods and Waterloo Records, just to name a few.

We've got a list of all the venues showcasing free music right here.

By the way, Tanner's band plays at South x San Jose this Friday.