BBQ, tunes, and a whole lotta events vying are for your attention if you're lucky enough to be southbound: South By Southwest has arrived. So instead of waiting in line for ages outside of the pit at Ironworks, check out these must-see events, which'll definitely be the events everyone will be gabbing about until next March.
Ice-Cream Man Party—Rich Aucoin and Screaming Females head up the third annual Ice Cream Man shindig, which promises free ice cream along with tasty music.
Tuesday, March 15, from 1:30-10 p.m. Club de Ville, 900 Red River Street (at Ninth Street), 512-457-0900.
Pitchfork At SXSW Interactive—Pitchfork is also for geeks, not just music geeks, so to close out the Interactive portion, the Fork hosts an indoor/outdoor event with Surfer Blood and Beach Fossils.
Tuesday, March 15, from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Emo's, 603 Red River Street (at Old Pecan Street/Sixth Street), 512-505-8541.
Terrorbird Media and Forcefield PR's 4th Annual SXSW Showcase—LA-based Forcefield features some of the biggest names at the festival this year, like the dreamy Nite Jewel and hip-hop-funk Toro Y Moi. Go early for a sweet gift bag, too!
Wednesday, March 16 from 12-6 p.m. Red 7, 611 East Seventh Street (at Red River Street). 512-476-8100.
AllSaints Spitalfields Presents IAMSOUND 2011—Get your rum on with Sailor Jerry and Brit hipsters (and R29 favorites) AllSaints. Friendly Fires and Theophilus London take the stage, and Local Native is DJing.
Wednesday, March 16, from 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Shangri-La, 1016 East Sixth Street (at Medina Street), 512-524-4291.
Windish Agency's "Austin Or Bust" Opening Day Party—Check out Twin Shadow and wunderkind Cloud Nothings (he's like Sonic Youth meets Justin Bieber, srsly) at this day party, which is known for always packing a cool but energetic crowd.
Wednesday, March 16, from 12-6 p.m. Mohawk, 912 Red River Street (Between Ninth and Tenth streets).
Prefix Day Party—Troublemakers Das Racist get funky at this day party, which also hands out free tacos to early arrivals.
Thursday, March 17, from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. ND at 501 Studios on I-35 (between Fifth and Brushy streets).
Brooklyn Vegan Free Day Party—Not one, but three stages are set to be curated by everyone's favorite indie blog, which will serve free vegan snacks and ice-cream and host comedy inbetween sets. Not for the sensitive: members from the über-viral Odd Future and the queer-core band Hunx and His Punx will be making mischief.
Thursday, March 17, from 12:00-6 p.m. Barbarella/Swan Dive, 615 Red River Street (between Sixth and Seventh Streets). 512-476-7766.
The Fader Fort By Fiat—Sure, the Fader Fort is always bumpin', but Friday's lineup is certainly not to be missed. Brit songstress Ellie Goulding, Odd Future, and Matt & Kim will take the stage, but not before attendees score tons of freebies, tasty snacks, and a whole heap of celebrity sightings.
Friday, March 18. 1101 East Fifth Street (at Baylor Street).
Official SXSW Showcase—Enjoy a "Combination Pizza Hut And Taco Bell" with Das Racist, but don't forget to bring your comfy shoes to get down to Chicago's The Cool Kids.
Friday, March 18, from 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Emo's, 603 Red River Street (at Old Pecan Street/Sixth Street), 512-505-8541.
Mess With Texas—Saturday is the most jam-packed SXSW day, but the incredible MWT party is to South By what Marc Jacobs is to NYFW: the best show around. Punk classics The Dead Milkmen will play alongside !!!, while Ted Leo goes solo. Pro Tip: Free bike valet.
Saturday, March 18, from 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. The Eastside Drive-In (at Sixth and San Marcos streets).
MOG at the Mohawk—Outkast's Big Boi and Brooklyn supergroup TV On The Radio headline this event, but that doesn't mean supporting acts like Wild Flag (ex-members of Sleater Kinney) and Theophilus London are slouches, either.
Saturday, March 18, from 12-6 p.m. Mohawk, 912 Red River Street (between Ninth and Tenth streets).
EXTRA CREDIT: Kanye West at Vevo Power Station—Just announced and flying around the Web, Kanye has released a tempting video which mashes up his greatest hits, promising to appear in Austin exactly at Midnight. Location, a way to get in, and any other concrete deets are still emerging, but you can tempt yourself here.