In our circles, unofficial generally means cheaper booze and unknown acts. So all in all, strictly positive! At SXSW, unofficial instead means you choose to drop everything last minute for that jaw-dropping line-up that came straight out of left field. Also strictly positive!
To provide a little context before we dive in, a few years ago an enterprising group of Austin music scenesters organized and formalized the vast collection of unofficial events that go on yearly alongside, but officially separate from, SXSW. Aptly named Austin Music Week, line-ups from the events rivaled or even outpaced those offered in the officially programmed showcases. What does all this mean to you, dear reader? NO BADGES REQUIRED!
We did our best to feature a number of hometown heroes that you can start cheering for, and it just so happens that this list features performances from two of our most favorite touring DJs. We'll not spoil that surprise just yet, but hurry up and start reading so you can update that Facebook calendar with all these new plans!
BossBabes ATX & GirlFriend ATX present EMPRESS
BossBabes ATX & Girlfriend ATX have teamed up to provide a showcase sponsored by women, organized by women, and featuring art and performances by women! These sister organizations do a myriad of work together on projects involving and promoting talented and smart women. BossBabes produces an incredible array of events and festival spaces, where they build creative spaces in which all may feel welcome to explore. Girlfriend ATX is a non-profit promotion company that uses its successes in throwing events to assist in various foundations centered on women and children. This one gets an absolute YES from us!
Desert Hearts Showcase
Desert Hearts is a movement started by a group of house and techno DJs that include Mikey Lion, Lee Reynolds, Marbs, Porkchop, and Deep Jesus. With roots that took hold at a playa dance party, this squad has blossomed into a jack-of-all-trades collective that has maintained their loving community spirit despite the increased fame and recognition. Apart from their focus on spreading love and acceptance, they now have their very own festival, nationwide tour, and quite expansive burning man sound camp, all which abide by their oft-quoted guideline: “One Stage, One Vibe.” At their events, they invite everyone to spread love, express themselves freely, and have an unapologetically good time, ideally as one big mob of dancing bodies! This showcase will be pumping with high energy and banging beats that are a flavor of house and techno that we don't see often 'round these parts.
We The Beat x Beautiful Buzz x Crossroads x Closed Sessions: Get Buzzed
Oh boy! This one is going to be a doozy! We’ve got four days of music planned by four like-minded groups. Closed sessions & Crossroads are an event planning company that helps coordinate events at any and all levels. Beautiful Buzz is a music blog out of San Francisco that we highly recommend checking out. Lastly we have We The Beat, a west coast music blog whose mission is to share the freshest hard-to-find songs, and throwing events built with that same level of care and expertise. Together they bring you: “GET BUZZED”, featuring a massive line-up of talented indie-electronica artists that honestly made our jaws drop.
Mind The Funk Presents Bedlam W/ the Midnight Perverts (Nëim)
Mind The Funk’s mission is to treat Austin music lovers to a fresh venue and fill their ears with quality techno and house music. These parties are designed to provide an escape from the all too common “Party Fatigue” that comes along with too much time spent in crowded bars listening to incessant top 40 club bangers. As you can imagine, this party is thrown by locals and for locals, and features a whole slew of local talent spinning the freshest beats around. Local selectors ISA, Robert Roman, CHKLTE, DOZAL, MAJINI, and headliner Mignight Perverts will be spinning quite literally all day and all night! This party will be fun, low-key, and will definitely suit any late night dance music needs.
SPACE YACHT presents 12th Planet & Friends
“Oh woooow, another SoCal transplant?? Tell me more.... 눈_눈." Trust us, dear reader, you’ll be thankful for this one. This SPACE YACHT party will bring some SERIOUS electronic heat, because well… that’s what SPACE YACHT does. This one will take place at an open air dance club in downtown Austin and trust us, because we don’t use this word lightly, it is going to get Lit. This party is going to start strong in the daylight and will be there to close out your night. Trust the process. Trust 12th Planet, Smog records and 40 oz cult.
HUSH DISCO - LIVE MUSIC | DJ GROOVES | DANCING
We have it on good authority that you should try to figure out the secret that gets you into Vinyl, our local speak-easy and mini-concert hall, on or before Thursday March 16th. We also have it on good authority that if you DO finagle your way inside on that date, you will find yourself dancing for an extended period to some of Austin's funkiest live and DJ acts. You didn't hear it from us! SHHHHH
Counter Records x Majestic Casual present Off-SXSW 2017
Few youtube channels evoke the level of warmth and fondness as Majestic Casual. Nearly every music geek I talk to can name a song they can't live without that they uncovered digging through Majestic's vast trove of uploads. What a joy it was when we caught wind that they were teaming up with Counter Records to throw a day-party, and what an even greater joy when we finally got our eyes on the line-up. RAC, Chrome Sparks, Two Feet, and Robotaki. Are you kidding me??
DJ Mag presents Yoshitoshi: Sharam, Ardalan, Sacha Robotti
Yoshitoshi is a house and techno label founded by DJ & producer Sharam. To show off Yoshitoshi's versatile style Sharam booked Dirtybird's Ardalan & Sacha Robotti. These two in particular are known for being extremely selective both with their track selection in their DJ sets, along with the samples that make up their masterful productions. If bottle service house can be described as grade D “Genuine” then these dudes are the ones serving up that local non-GMO, grass-fed, house music. Between Sharam, Ardalan, and Sacha this event should be a killer!
Gruv Party at The Drafting Room
GRUV is a secret garden dance party thrown by the Movement Collective. It’s a secret, because the Drafting Room is tucked neatly away on Rainey St and is the perfect place to escape from the crowd, get a drink, and dance to some minimal beats. Founders Robert Roman & Carlos Valera do a fantastic job showcasing local talent, and reaching deep into the underground world to book truly world class underground DJs. Typically your local selectors play from 2-8PM in which Robert, Carlos and the headliner will close out the night.
Doorly & Friends 5th anniversary Showcase presented by DJ Mag
Oh my lord! Doorly & friends! We love Doorly & friends! We love DJ Mag! We love everyone who put this party together! This is the perfect party and venue to close out your Austin Music Week! Unless you’ve been living under a rock, odds are you’ve heard some production from Latmun or the lads behind Solardo. These guys are slaying the Beatport charts on the daily. Look-up Solardo’s songs, "Tribesmen & Aztez". Now look-up Latmun’s "Everybody’s Dancing" and "Golden Boy" remix. Yep. That's right. These guys are coming to Austin. And on the night of March 19th, they are all but guaranteed to demolish the dance floor, Monday be damned. Check out our recent interview here with Doorly to find out more about what to expect!