The 15 SXSW Parties You Really, Really Don’t Want to Miss

They are thinking about parties.

This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder & CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can follow him at @garysguide and reach him at gary [at]

As y’all know, SXSW (a.k.a. “Sundance for the Geek Set”) is less than two weeks away. And ya know what that means. Time to put into place a plan of action on how you gonna be partaying and taking Austin by storm! So to make your life easier to gorge on all those tears-of-joy-inducing Nuclear Tacos and drool-generating Salt Lick BBQs I’ve put together The Definitive Guide to SXSW Interactive 2012 Parties! And of course, it comes with my special commentary & notes to help you make sense of all the madness! You’re welcome.

Now of course, as many a battle-hardened SXSW veteran can attest, the seemingly endless parade of parties, panels and people can quickly become overwhelming. So to make your life even easier I’ve compiled a list of the 15 most-awesome-must-attend-unmissable parties that are bound to give all your stay-at-home-from-SXSW-but-following-the-craziness-on-twitter friends a big, giant, steaming pile of FOMO. 😉

And yes, I’ll be at SXSW, attending every last one of those panels ‘n parties (or well, as many as humanly possible, even for me). So if you’re interested in sponsoring my Red Tie for SXSW and putting your company logo on there, you’d best hurry up and contact me pronto at gary [at]

And now, without further ado, ladies ‘n gentleman, the 15 SXSW parties you really, really, reeeaaallly don’t wanna miss…

FreshBooks Ranch Party Catered by Salt Lick
That Saul Colt. Whatever will he think of next?! This is the place to Get-Your-Texas-On with free mouth watering Salt Lick BBQ at a 32 acre ranch and maybe a Clown or two. Yes, a Clown! Freshbooks will be providing free shuttle service to and from the ranch cuz once you’ve loaded up on all that BBQ, I doubt you’d be able to walk too far! 😉
Thursday (Mar 08), 7 p.m. @ FreshBooks SXSW Ranch, 8515 FM 1826

A Celebration of American Startups at SXSW
Another must-attend SXSW event. Cuz srsly, where else could you be rubbing shoulders with LinkedIn honcho Reid Hoffman, Revolution and AOL founder Steve Case, Lean Startup maestro Steve Blank and others.
Friday (Mar 09), 6:30 p.m. @ ACL Live, 310 2nd Street

TechKaraoke SXSW 2012 – Presented by Blog World & New Media Expo
Live Band Karaoke! With The Dead Motley Sex Maidens and a bevy of hostesses: Ruby Lamb of Satan’s Cheerleaders fame, the luminous Sarah Clark of Pearlescent, Stella from pop-punk legends Cruiserweight, and author/Rollergirl Melicious.
Friday (Mar 09), 8 p.m. @ The Stage on Sixth, 508 East 6th St

Startup Weekend, Zaarly & Twilio SXSWi Party
Dance into the night with fellow startuppers and DJ Christian Barbuto and DJ Remmington Steele. And all the free booze that you can handle!
Friday (Mar 09), 8 p.m. @ Kingdom, 103 E. 5th St, Ste B

SecondMarket House – Parties, Panels and More!
Hang out with Paige Craig (BetterWorks), Naval Ravikant (AngelList), David Tisch (TechStars), Felix Salmon (Reuters), Mike Lazerow (Buddy Media), Barry Silbert (SecondMarket), Roger Ehrenberg (IA Ventures) and others.
Saturday (Mar 10), 9 a.m. @ Thirsty Nickel, 325 East 6th Street

The Foodspotting SXSW Street Food Fest 2012, brought to you by
Austin’s FINEST food trucks, yo! … Arancini, Chi’Lantro, Clem’s Hot Diggity Dogs, Good Pops, Hey Cupcake, Lucky J’s, One Taco, Peached Tortilla and Yume Burger.
Saturday (Mar 10), 4 p.m. @ 2nd and Congress

The Awesomest Journalism Party. Ever. Redux.
With Hacks/Hackers, Huffington Post, New York Times, NPR, SoundCloud, NewsCred, Paley Center, MailChimp and others.
Saturday (Mar 10), 5 p.m. @ Palm Door, 401 Sabine St

SXSW Pre-Party with Evite
Evite’s legendary SXSW pre-party is back. And you know what that means. Endless Cocktails + Apps + Taco Bar = Win Win Win! And to stimulate ur senses even more, here are some pics from last years party.
Saturday (Mar 10), 5 p.m. @ Lanai, 422 Congress Ave, Ste C

Girl+Guy Party SXSW 2012
With the man himself, Guy Kawasaki, and featuring The Tontons, UME, Wild Moccasins, Quiet Company, Dave Wrangler and The Kingston Springs.
Saturday (Mar 10), 8 p.m. @ Stubb’s Austin, 801 Red River

Boxee SxSW Kegger 2012 – Sponsored by SlingBox & Turntable
Five kegs + 100 lbs. of Salt Lick BBQ + Moon Bounce + Photo Booth + Slip ‘n Slide = Are you ready to partayyy?! 🙂
Sunday (Mar 11), 1 p.m. @ 96 Red River St

Made in NY: Austin
Mini SideTours, a fake tattoo parlor by, mind-blowing new 3D from Shapeways, a couple of yellow cabs and much much more. Organized by the NY Tech Meetup. An absolute must-attend!
Sunday (Mar 11), 6 p.m. @ Fast Company Grill at Cedar Door, 201 Brazos Street

PBS Party celebrating @MasterpiecePBS Sherlock
All ya need to know is that the stunning & gorgeous Lara Pulver is going to be there. Don’t know who that is? Well, lemme Google that for ya. 😉
Sunday (Mar 11), 8 p.m. @ The Parish, 214 E 6th St

The Crowdtap VIP Party 2012 SXSWs Cant Miss Party Returns
Aerial Dancers + VJ Culture + Food Trucks + Hipster Orchestra translates into one hot, hot, hot party!
Sunday (Mar 11), 9 p.m. @ Haven, 409 Colorado

The Barbarian Group & Tumblr present: #RobotripSXSW
It’s gonna be big. Like, two venues big. At The Mohawk and Club DeVille with Tim Sweeney, Mathew Dear (live band), Bear In Heaven, Orthy, DJ Mike Simonetti, WAVVES, Kool Keith, Japandroids, Sleep Over, Beach Fossils, Oberhofer, The Young, Grape St, The Sour Notes and more. And for a little preview, here is the Spotify playlist.
Monday (Mar 12), 6 p.m. @ The Mohawk, 912 Red River St and Club DeVille, 900 Red River St

3rd Annual GeekyBeach Party SXSW12
Open bar, swag.
Monday (Mar 12), 9 p.m. @ Roial Austin, 120 W. Fifth Street

Happy SouthBySouthWesting, folks. And don’t forget: Whatever happens at SXSW… is on Twitter within 5 seconds. 😉 The 15 SXSW Parties You Really, Really Don’t Want to Miss