BBQ and Softball Tournament

The annual South By Southwest Closing Barbecue and Softball Tournament is the traditional closing social event of the SXSWeek.

Photo by Kara Mosher

Photo by Kara Mosher



The 2019 South By Southwest Closing Barbecue and Softball Tournament is free to all SXSW Music and Platinum 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). Registrants MUST bring their badge and photo ID (everyone gets carded) to claim one free meal per Music and Platinum Badge. Film Badges, Interactive Badges and general public guests can purchase a $15 food plate. Note: For insurance reasons, we cannot sell beer to non-registrants; however, you’re welcome to bring your own (no glass containers, please).

BBQ service begins at 12:30 pm. The first round of games begins at 1:00 pm and the Championship game is at 4:00 pm. Grab a spot in the bleachers for three rounds of softball and the chance to catch up with other registrants in a relaxed setting to make plans to be back in Austin next March.

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

*Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.

Play in the Softball Tournament

Any SXSW Platinum or Music registrant can sign up to play in the SXSW Softball Tournament. Performing artists with performing 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 4:00pm, 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 team:

  • 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 are available to answer any questions you may have. The in-person Player Registration Table is on the 4th floor of the Austin Convention Center next to the Day Stage, and occurs from 1-5pm on Thursday and Friday during the Music Conference.

More Rules for Players


Krieg Fields are located at 517 Pleasant Valley, about a 10-minute drive from downtown, and about 15 minutes from Austin-Bergstrom airport. SXSW will run a van shuttle between the fields and the Hilton, Hyatt, and JW Marriott downtown hotels, beginning around 11:30am, and running 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: 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: Barbecue will be served 1-4pm, or until it runs out, at the Fiesta Gardens Pavilion on Bergman Street and Lady Bird Lake. (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.) 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.

Have questions? Email

SXSW Softball Rules



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).


On tournament day, players need to check-in at noon at Krieg 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 one of those badgeless band members 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.


  • 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.


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.


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.


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


Mild swearing is okay, as long as it’s not directed at another player (“Oh shit” when injured – fine. “Fuck you!” to another human – not so fine). 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.


SXSW teams are theoretically co-ed, but due to the smaller number of women players who sign up each year and various allegiances within the industry, women players are not always equitably distributed on SXSW teams. For these reasons, there is no minimum number of women required for a team to play. However, every player on the roster must play. No designated benchwarmers!

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