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America’s First Multi-Arts Queer Festival Set For Austin Next February

America's First Multi-Arts Queer Festival Set For Austin Next February

There’s a new queer festival on the horizon, the first of its kind in the US. OUTsider Film & Arts Festival was officially announced today, and it’s unique in its cross-discliplinary interplay, offering attendees a multi-arts queer festival and conference in Austin, Texas come next February. 

“Our intent is to create a queer festival that defies the rules in ways that inspire and rejuvenate,” Artistic Director Curran Nault said. “By making the festival multi-arts, we hope to foster cross-disciplinary dialogue and creation that is not possible at single-art festivals. By including a non-traditional conference component, in which artistic practice and intellectual engagement will be entirely entwined, we hope to remove barriers between artists, scholars and general audiences.”
OUTsider will officially “introduce its misfit self” at a kick-off event on May 1st at Cheer Up Charlie’s in Austin. Entitled “MayDayGayDay” — in honor of the May 1st holiday — this “bacchanalian celebration will include a maypole gaypole, flower-grams and other spring-themed delights.” More over, the day will feature a line-up of local artists who will perform outside of their usual medium: filmmakers will dance, painters will sing, drag queens will go butch, etc… Which all sounds like an absolutely fabulous time to us.

For more information head to the festival’s website.

This Article is related to: Festivals


Mike Che

Hi Curran, I also want to congratulate you, but as mentioned in the comments above there are many multidisciplinary queer arts festivals in the US. The two oldest annual festivals in the US that I know of are the National Queer Arts Festival in San Francisco and even more unique a municipally organized one called One City One Pride in West Hollywood, CA which has been around since 2008. One City One Pride is a truly multidisciplinary festival with film, dance, visual art, music, literature, public art, and educational/panel discussions. We just got awarded an NEA grant for the 2016 festival.

Curran Nault

Hi Corrie –

As the Artistic Director of OUTsider just wanted to send you a quick note to thank you for your sweet response and well wishes! This means a lot to me coming from a producer of Homo A Go Go!

I was at Homo A Go Go in 2009 and had one of the best times of my life. The community spirit, artistic energy and queer magic generated at this event blew me away (thank you!). I wrote about it in my recently completed dissertation on queercore. These histories are extremely important to me personally, and to our community as a whole, and I agree that they definitely need to be acknowledged, remembered and honored.

Without question, OUTsider owes a great deal to Homo A Go Go and the other festivals you mention, as well as other festivals like GayBiGayGay, the newly conceived Stargayzer Festival, and non-queer specific multi-arts festivals like Fusebox and TBA (indeed, one of our board members will be headlining the upcoming Mo-Wave). Although music will be less central at OUTSider than at some of these other festivals, they have served as great sources of inspiration and renewal for us and, in discussing OUTsider with folks, they have been referenced with great affection.

However, I do admit to telling Indiewire that we are set to be the first multi-arts queer festival and conference. This was an attempt to assert the importance of the latter, as one of our guiding missions is to break down barriers between artists, academics and general audiences, and an interactive art-meets-academe conference will be a primary component of the event. My intent in stating this piece of hyperbole was not to erase these important histories and festival allies, and I sincerely apologize for this effect.

In any case, thank you so much for your note. I do hope to see you and Ed at our event next February. Would love to meet you in person and chat about all things festival, queer and fabulous. So, please keep in touch!

Also with love and solidarity,
Curran Nault
OUTsider Artistic Director

Corrie Varga

Dear Mr. Staley,

I am very excited about this upcoming festival and I want to congratulate the organizers undertaking this awesome event!

In a world where our queer histories often slip through the cracks because our beautiful community is spread around a globe and not passed through generations in the same way other cultures are I believe it is important to use journalism to help foster visibility about our rich past. Understanding where we have been builds us up and develops the global community many of us crave and depend on.

I'd love to see this article pay homage to Homo A Go Go, a multidisciplinary queer arts festival that took place in Olympia, WA in 2002, 2004, 2006, and in San Francisco, CA in 2009. It was a beloved and significant cultural event in the fabric of our queer history that brought queer artists communities together from across the globe. Homo A Go Go grew out of similar arts festivals before it such as LadyFest and Homocore MPLS.

Since Homo A Go Go there have been a myriad of queer multi-arts festivals such as Mondo Homo in Atlanta, Phreaking Queer in Philadelphia, Mo-Wave in Seattle, Cut and Paste Festival in Long Beach, the upcoming Fed Up Fest in Los Angeles and many more I'm sure I'm not aware of.

Thank you for spreading the word about OUTsider and, again, big luck smooches to the OUTsider team. I plan to be there in February 2015!

With love and solidarity,
Producer, Homo A Go Go '09
San Francisco, CA

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