Since 2008, St. David’s Church has been an official SXSW music venue, with the number of performers increasing over the years as we have opened more space to host them. What makes St. David’s unique is that we offer a “less crazy” version of SXSW with food, an in-house coffee shop, Wi-Fi, charging stations, and bathrooms.
Over the years, reporters from Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, LA Times, and other publications have discovered us and written stories and blogs singing our praises as a great reprieve from the masses calling us “one of the city’s friendliest SXSW venues.”
“Many artists who play acoustically at South by Southwest have come to realize in recent years that the downtown churches St. David’s and Central Presbyterian may be the events best venues for getting their music across to an audience. Thursday evening, Aoife O’Donovan was a perfect fit for St. David’s Historic Sanctuary, her soaring voice finding a home in the spacious room with high ceilings.”
In 2015, note worthy performers included Robert Earl Keen, James Bay, Wynonna Judd, Anderson East, and Leon Bridges. In 2014, Hozier broke onto the SXSW scene with a performance in our Historic Chruch. Each year, we will post the SXSW schedule on this page as it becomes available.
How to Attend a Show
Both Bethell Hall and the Historic Church are official SXSW music venues. Whether you are a St. David’s parishioner wanting to attend a performance, or in from out of town for the festival, here is what you need to know about the lines that form:
- Those with official SXSW badges will be allowed in first
- Those with SXSW wristbands are allowed in next
- Those without either of these, are then allowed in for a cover charge depending on space. The cover amount varies depending on the showcase.
“St. David’s is a special respite during SXSW, with a large banquet room that sells food and beverages at very reasonable prices adjacent to the Historic Sanctuary room and a second SXSW venue, the high-ceilinged Bethell Hall, down the corridor.” Austin 360.
Our very own hospitality team opens up Sumners Hall, located between the two music venues, for concert-goers to relax and recharge. Entrées are made in-house, and we serve local beer brewed by Strange Land Brewery and a selection of wines (beverages are not allowed in the worship spaces). Our menu includes brisket sandwiches, greek salads, veggie burgers, and more. Visit Café Divine’s web page for more information or view a full SXSW menu here.
Holy Grounds Café
Holy Grounds is a coffee shop and gift store located in the heart of downtown Austin inside St. David’s church. We offer a wide variety of Austin-made food, and our full espresso bar serves fair-trade organic coffee from Texas Coffee Traders. We also strive to support local artists, green products, and the fair trade movement.