Garth Brooks to Perform Free SXSW Concert

Country singer, who delivers the keynote address at the annual music festival, will headline a March 18th show in Austin

Garth Brooks will perform a free concert at SXSW in Austin. Credit: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Garth Brooks is performing at South by Southwest. The "Friends in Low Places" singer has announced a free show for Saturday, March 18th, at the annual music festival in Austin. The concert, held at Ladybird Lake and open to Austin residents and SXSW wristband holders, is, not surprisingly, already sold out.

Brooks is also slated to participate in a "keynote conversation" today with Amazon Music vice president Steve Boom, addressing Brooks' entrance into the digital music marketplace after years as a hold-out. Last year, he partnered with Amazon's streaming service to allow fans to stream his entire catalog.

The singer-songwriter, who defined Nineties country music with hits like "Rodeo," "The Thunder Rolls" and "The Dance," also announced the latest single off his new album Gunslinger. "Ask Me How I Know," a finding-the-woman-of-your-dreams mid-tempo anthem, evokes Brooks' 1989 debut single "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)" with its acoustic intro, before exploding into a yearning chorus.

Brooks' headlining SXSW performance will cap a daylong lineup at the SXSW Outdoor Stage, which also features sets by Rolling Stone Country Artists You Need to Know Cale Tyson and Colter Wall, and Texas singer-songwriter Sunny Sweeney.

Free performances are in Brooks' wheelhouse. In 1997, he played a massive concert in New York City's Central Park, attracting nearly 1 million people.