The first week of January is always a special time for the Austin music scene, bringing with it the annual tradition known as Free Week. The mini-festival is spread out over nine days, featuring a smorgasbord of free shows at many of the most popular music venues in town. Free Week has grown extensively since its start at Emo’s, having expanded its reach to The Parish, Beerland, Red 7, The Mohawk, Club de Ville, Beauty Bar, Stubb’s, and The Scoot Inn, among others.
The experience is like a small-scale version SXSW, with all sorts of interesting shows going on all around you in every direction. You can easily make the rounds at the various participating venues, many of them within walking distance of each other on Red River. The focus of Free Week is placed almost exclusively on the bands and musicians that call Austin home, making it a great opportunity to experience what the Austin music scene has to offer, and to discover great bands that you weren’t even aware of.
The band selections for 2011 come from all corners of the musical spectrum, from the Texas country of Mike & the Moonpies to the sludge-metal of Tia Carrera and the dance-friendly grooves of Soul Track Mind. To help you figure out what bands not to miss, Do512 has built a schedule planner that will allow users to listen to songs and watch videos of each artist, pick bands they want to see, and plan their own custom schedule. Unlike SXSW or ACL, set times are a little less stringent over Free Week, so some times are not exact, but line-up order is. Check it out at FreeWeekAustin.com
Here’s just a small sample of the many good shows taking place during Free Week:
See the full Free Week concert listings at Do512.com/FreeWeekAustin