outsiders are in
Austin fest for 'outsiders' toasts 10th year with weekend of boundary-pushing acts
A cavalcade of rainbow revelry awaits as Austin nonprofit Outsider plans its 10th annual blowout in February. Bursting with music, theater, drag, and more, the Outsider Fest showcases the wild imaginings and creative nonconformity of Austin’s queer communities.
Taking place February 15-18, 2024 at The Vortex, this year's programming encourages attendees to take risks and push limits in the rebellious spirit of the community's "limp-wristed" and unruly forebears. Fittingly, the theme is “The Swish Up.”
Founded in 2013, the grassroots festival has grown into a powerful transmedia arts affair celebrating boundary-pushing 2SLGBTQIA+ creativity. Attendees can expect to be immersed in the festival's subversive atmosphere as they discover fresh talents and connect with Austin's inclusive community of outsiders and allies.
“At the risk of being overused, the key term that comes to mind for Outsider’s 10-year anniversary is ‘dream,’” says founder and co-artistic director Curran Nault in a press release. “[It's] the culmination of a fever dream, fomenting since I was a wee lonely queer kid, of a space in which LGBTQIA+ expression could be celebrated in all its manifestations, messiness, and mind-blowing marvel.”
The 10th anniversary fest promises boundary-pushing performances, from vogue troupes to LGBTQIA mariachi. Festival highlights will include the return of Outsider's intimate "Conference on the Couch," which talks exploring queer art and knowledge, plus the beloved Legacy Award ceremony honoring four integral local artists.
Past Legacy Award honorees include singer-songwriter Phranc and punk band Tribe 8. In past years, the festival has showcased talents like Black Eagle Scout, Betty Grumble, and Lechedevirgen Trimegisto.
While celebrating queer creativity, Outsider also facilitates collaboration and community. Interactive panels, activities, and casual events inspire conversations between creators and fans.
The festival aims to shine a spotlight on overlooked talent, while developing new forms of queer kinship.
Early access badges start at $109 for general admission and $49 for students/youth. Prices increase as the event draws nearer, so interested attendees are encouraged to purchase ahead of time. A full schedule of events is still forthcoming.