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One of the best and biggest festivals in the country, South By Southwest, (SXSW) is officially underway in Austin, Texas.

From now until March 20th, thousands of industry insiders and fans head to the Lone Star State to take in the newest and coolest in the world of film, interactive technology, conferences and of course, music. Over 2,000 artists rock over 90 different venues around downtown Austin for more than four days.

Tons of free music, epic performances and collaborations culminate in some of the most talked about moments in music for the whole year. 

SXSW is known as the epicenter of the fest, featuring the newest and hippest up and coming musical talent in hip-hop and indie rock. If you don’t have a badge for the actual fest, there are the sponsored parties that only require RSVP.

Most notably, Fadar Magazine hosts the FADER Fort and artists such as Wiz Khalifa, Yelawolf, Mac Miller, Oh Land and Lil B are only a few of the listed performers. Kanye West has also just been confirmed to play the VEVO Power Station Party on Saturday, March 19th. Check out the promo video below. 

GlobalGrind has all of the coolest SXSW shows to catch, parties to attend and places to eat and drink in Austin, so check back each day until the end of the fest for the scoop on what’s happening. 

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Coolest Act Of The Day: Tonight Big Boi headlines the Pepsi Max and Foursquare sponsored show at the Seaholm Power Plant, Swedish electro rockers The Sounds and Wisconsin power poppers Locksley will open. Big Boi has been giving away 2,000 tickets to the show for fans who check into other events in the Austin area on Foursquare. If you can’t be at the show, you can still stream it live on on the Pepsi Max Facebook page. Plus, stay tuned for an exclusive interview with Big Boi following his SXSW performance! 

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Can’t Miss Party: The location-based travel game Gowalla is hosting their See The World party and concert at one of the coolest night spots in Austin, The Belmont. The party takes place tonight from 9pm-1am and boasts patios, two huge outdoor bars and a jazz lounge. Pop-punk duo Matt & Kim will be performing their hits and new material off most recent album “Sidewalks.” The party is free but requires a pass and an RSVP. Check out their Facebook page for more details. 

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Must Stop Food Spot: If it’s your first day in Austin, you need to have the barbecue at Salt Lick. The family that Salt Lick originated from has been cooking BBQ since the mid-1800s and the restaurant has been named the “Tastiest BBQ In America” by the Travel Channel. Ok, so Salt Lick is a little ways from Austin in Driftwood, TX but it’s definitely worth the trip. The BBQ sauce is both sweet and spicy and you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. 

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Best Bar, Nightclub: Emo’s at 603 Red River Road is one of the most well known alternative music spots in Austin and has two stages, one outside and one inside, there’s also a beer garden. Tons of up and coming bands have performed on the Emo’s stage and on Tuesday alternative music website Pitchfork will host their official SXSW showcase, which features Surfer Blood, Like Diamonds and many more. This past weekend, Emo’s hosted a barbecue crash course, wherein professional barbecuers give the hungry masses a taste of how to grill like a pro.