BBQ and Softball Tournament

The annual SXSW Closing Barbecue and Softball Tournament is the traditional closing social event of SXSW.

Wrap up your SXSW with a friendly game and some delicious bites!

Photo by Ziv Kruger

Photo by Ziv Kruger



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The SXSW Closing Barbecue and Softball Tournament is free to all SXSW Platinum and Music Badges and also open to the general public (food and soft drink tickets available for sale).


Enjoy an authentic Texas barbecue spread with all the trimmings (vegetarian options as well). Platinum and Music registrants can claim one free meal but you MUST bring your Platinum or Music Badge and a photo ID (everyone gets carded).

Film Badges, Interactive Badges, and general public guests can purchase a $15 food plate. Learn more about how you can upgrade to a Platinum Badge today. Note: For insurance reasons, we cannot sell beer to non-registrants; however, you’re welcome to bring your own (no glass containers, please).

Note to Showcasing Artists: If you chose the Registration Packet, your Artist Packet envelope gets you one free barbecue meal.

Play in the Softball Tournament

Any SXSW Platinum or Music registrant can sign up to play in the SXSW Softball Tournament. Performing artists with SXSW Artist Wristbands can sign up and play as well; one player per band, please.

There are three rounds of games: quarterfinals, semifinals, and a final that starts at 4pm, with live announcers and a rendition of “Take Me Out To The Ball Game.” We recommend you bring your own glove, if you have one, but we have a lot of loaners as well, which you can sign out with proper ID.

Email with your preference of one of the following teams:

  • Musicians
  • Print Media
  • Mixed Media
  • Record Companies
  • Agents/Managers
  • Clubs/Talent Buyers
  • SXSW Staff and SXSW Volunteer teams will be filled from within

Our tournament staff will reconfirm with you closer to the event and answer any questions you may have.

More Rules for Players


The Barbecue and Softball Tournament will be at Krieg Fields (517 S Pleasant Valley Rd), a ~10-minute drive from downtown and ~15 minutes from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

SXSW will run a shuttle van between the fields and the Hilton, Fairmont, and JW Marriott downtown hotels. The shuttle runs every 20 minutes or so.

With advance notice, we can also take you directly to the airport from the field; please report to Player Registration at the Austin Convention Center if you’re going to need airport shuttle service.

Driving directions to Krieg Fields: From downtown, south of the river, take Riverside Drive east. Turn left on Lakeshore Blvd., a couple of blocks past I-35. Make another left on Pleasant Valley when Lakeshore dead ends, and then take the first right, at the traffic light, into the first parking lot for the Krieg Softball Complex. Follow the park road around until you can’t go any further.

Rain Plan

If the weather looks iffy on Sunday morning, call the SXSW Softball Hotline, (512) 467-7979, to find out whether the game is on or not.

If there is rain, barbecue will be served 1-4pm, or until it runs out, at the Fiesta Gardens Pavilion on Bergman Street and Lady Bird Lake.

Driving directions to Fiesta Gardens Pavilion: From the Convention Center head east on Cesar Chavez Street about 10 blocks. Turn right on Chicon and the Fiesta Gardens Pavilion is on your left two blocks before Chicon dead-ends at Lady Bird Lake.



Tournament Rules


Getting On a Team

To play on a team, register in advance by emailing Our tournament staff will reconfirm with you closer to the event, and are available to answer any questions you may have. After the advanced registration deadline, players must register in person at the Player Registration Table on the 4th floor of the Austin Convention Center next to the Day stage from 1-5pm on Thursday or Friday during the Music Conference.

Each player must have either a music badge or a platinum badge to play on a team. This means bands who only have one badge for the whole band may only register one player (though it’s possible to get on a team in a no-show slot – see below).

Player Check-in On Sunday at Noon

On tournament day, players need to check-in at noon at Krieg Fields in the player check-in tent, where you’ll sign a waiver and get your team jersey and cap. If you’re not there by 12:30pm, we’ll give your spot away to the first sober person we see—don’t be late! If you’re a band member without a badge who wants to get on a team, come to the tournament tent by 12:15pm. There will be a standby line for those wanting to play and fill in for no-shows.

Game Time Length

  • First and second round games are 55 minutes; no inning starts after the 55th minute. First round games start at 1pm. Second round starts at 2:30pm.
  • Championship game runs 7 innings, no time limit, but with a 10-run mercy rule after the 4th inning. The game starts at 4pm. Extra innings, if needed, will start with a runner (the last batter from the previous inning) on second base.

Full Roster Must Play

Teams are co-ed with no set requirements other than 9 players minimum per team. Every player on the roster must play. No designated benchwarmers!

Mercy Rule

No mercy rule in 1st and 2nd rounds. For championship game only, there is 10-run mercy rule after 4 innings—that is, the game ends if either team is ahead by 10 or more runs at the end of the 4th, 5th, or 6th inning.

Balls & Strikes

Each batter starts with a 1-1 count. A batter with two strikes is allowed one foul ball. The second foul ball is strike three.


Mild swearing is okay, as long as it’s not directed at another player. Just be aware that some of the umps take the profanity issue seriously so please try to keep the trash talk on the clean side.

Other Rules

In general, games are played under standard city-league softball rules, as applied by the assigned umpires. The umpires are always right.

Stats & Standings


SXSW Championship Game History

2019 SXSW Staff 13, Print Media 2
2018 SXSW Staff 14, Volunteers 4
2017 SXSW Staff 12, Volunteers 7
2016 SXSW Volunteers 12, SXSW Staff 10
2014 Records 20, Print Media 14
2013 Records 21, SXSW Staff 11
2012 Print Media 11, Clubs/Buyers 10
2011 Clubs/Buyers 14, SXSW Staff 7
2010 SXSW Staff 21, Print Media 10
2009 Print Media 17, SXSW Staff 6
2008 Clubs/Buyers 17, Mixed Media 16
2007 Print Media 26, Clubs/Buyers 0
2005 Print Media 14, Clubs/Buyers 3
2004 Clubs/Buyers 4, Print Media 2
2003 Print Media 17, Clubs/Buyers 11
2002 Clubs/Buyers 10, Print Media 4
2000 Print Media 21, Clubs/Buyers 4
1999 Clubs/Buyers 10, Print Media 0
1998 Clubs/Buyers 16, Print Media 12
1996 Records 15, Clubs/Buyers 0
1995 Clubs/Buyers 17, Radio 14
1994 Records 20, Clubs/Buyers 10
1993 Records 16, Agents/Managers 7
1992 Records 24, Mixed Media 3
1991 Club/Buyers 29, Records 12
1990 Clubs/Buyers 15, Print Media 10
1989 Clubs/Buyers 10, Print Media 6
1988 Records 9, Mixed Media 8
1987 Mixed Media 12, Records 3

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