OUTsider Festival’s Best Bets and Bites

What to see and where to eat, drink, and hang out to refuel or refresh

The fourth annual OUTsider Festival kicks off in a few short hours and over at “Gay Place” we couldn’t be more excited for the queer art takeover. To pass the time, we rounded up our not-to-miss events for those who need some help deciding on what to see and do between tonight and Sunday’s closing party.

And, to help you live the next five days to the fullest, keep reading for our favorite nearby bars, brunch, and dinner spots to keep you well-fed and superbly hydrated all OUTsider long.

Queer Slowdance (Valentine’s Edition!)

Wednesday, Feb. 14, 7:30pm-midnight, Vortex (Tent)

A previous iteration of Queer Slowdance (Photo provided by Curran Nault)

It's time to forget those cringey memories of high school dances. That's the whole idea behind Sherwin Tjia’s V-Day themed dance. No date? No problem. There’ll be a library of dancers you can check out – literally and consensually, obvi.

Hackers of Resistance: HORhaus

Thursday, Feb. 15, 5:30, 7:30, 10pm, Vortex (Main)

An installation lead by anonymous, badass, queer women of color? Check. Learning how to hack the patriarchy both figuratively and literally? Also check. In short: Sign me the hell up!

La Fulminante Cabaret

Thursday, Feb. 15, 8:30-9:30pm, Vortex (Main)

La Fulminante Cabaret (Photo provided by Curran Nault)

Colombian performance artist Nadia Granados’ alter ego La Fulminante challenges cultural and gender stereotypes with her multimedia cabaret performance.

Sesión Continua: A 24-Hr. Porn Theatre

Thursday-Friday, Feb. 15-16, midnight, Vortex (Tent)

Long before XXX went online and LGBTQ film entered the mainstream, you had to take a discreet trek somewhere IRL for a taste of titillating queer movies. Sesión Continua pays homage to these freaky-deaky cinemas of yore with screenings of classic queer erotic films. Alternating between naughty and avant-garde works for 24 hours, viewers are invited to come and go as they please.

Me and Mr. Mauri and Born in Flames

Friday, Feb. 16, 6-7pm and 7:30-9:30pm, Vortex (Main)

Born in Flames revolution (Photo provided by Curran Nault)

The movies we need, but don’t deserve! Sure, it’s cheating a bit to combine these two, but it’s worth it. Me and Mr. Mauri is an until-now undebuted documentary from the Eighties, during the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis. The film follows the struggles of indigenous and Latinx people – whose stories have been and remain underrepresented within the queer narrative. And, speaking of underrepresented, Born in Flames is another Eighties gem of the sci-fi variety that delves into feminism, racism, and homophobia in America. The film’s director Lizzie Borden is this year’s OUTsider Legacy Award recipient. Y’all better not sleep on these!

Hobo Salon

Saturday, Feb. 17, 1pm-9pm, Vortex (Pony Shed)

A shot from a Hobo Salon pop up (Photo provided by Curran Nault)

The talented stylists of Hobo Salon are lending their hands to you for the afternoon. Take a seat, get a free haircut, and catch the group’s documentary on creating pop-up salons for Austin’s queer, homeless youth. Pro tip, you’ve gotta sign up beforehand by emailing hobosalon@gmail.com.

Queering the Book Arts

Sunday., Feb. 18, 2:30-4:30pm, Vortex (Main)

If no one’s going to give you representation, then you’ve got to make it yourself, right? Learn about zines then practice the punk art of taking apart magazines and other media to reform and tell your own, totally queer story.

Closing Night Party!

Sunday, Feb. 18, 8-11pm, Cheer Up Charlies

San Cha performing Sunday (Photo provided by Curran Nault)

Celebrate OUTsider Festival’s tantalizing, provocative, and riotous spirit one last time with Austin’s fave storytellers from Greetings, From Queer Mountain and performances by electro pop cutie p1nkstar and the ever-explosive San Cha.

Now that you know what to see/do, don’t forget to fuel, hydrate, and caffeinate throughout the next five days. You’ll find these recommendations all within walking distance from OUTsider’s main squeeze, the Vortex Theater.

Places to Grab a Bite

Satisfy those cravings at Sugar Mama's (Photo by John Anderson)

Patrizi's, 2307 Manor Rd.

Honestly, y’all probably already know and love this one, but if we’re recommending places, it’s got to be on the list. This Italian food truck sitting just outside the Vortex is the perfect place to grab an amazing meal without having to miss any of the action. Just be sure to call in your order ahead of time to avoid the wait.

Sugar Mama’s, 2406 Manor Rd.

If you’ve got a sweet tooth like us, then this is the perfect place to drop by for a sugary snack. Sure, it’s not a dinner substitute, but it will definitely provide more than enough energy to power through the night, or offer some sweet comfort to take home after all is said and performed.

Dai Due, 2406 Manor Rd.

Vegans beware, this probably isn’t the place for you. But if you’re game for local produce and some wild boar, this spot is an Austin go-to for meat lovers. Looking at the brunch options? We also recommend the pancakes!

Taco-Mex, 2611 Manor Rd.

As Austinites, we know y’all don’t need to be told that tacos are bomb, but when it comes to Taco-Mex, we’re here to remind you that tacos are always a great idea. With a walk-up window, generous hours, and meat and non-meat options galore, this Manor mainstay has got your back.

Drink Up

Techo Mezcaleria and Agave Bar, Upstairs at 2201 Manor Rd.

Caught the eye of a hottie at the fest? Take ‘em to this Best of Austin Winner, an intimate bar where you can get to know each other over tequila-centric cocktails. Bonus: the sorta-secret location might give you the mysterious edge to snag a second date for the closing night party.

Techo for mezcal (Photo by John Anderson)

School House Pub, 2207 Manor Rd.

Serving a curated selection of cocktails, wine, and beer, School House makes a great hangout if attending the fest with a group. For the indulgent (and responsible) imbibers, their bar food staples like mac & cheese help soak up the boozy feels.

Thunderbird Coffee, 2200 Manor Rd.

Five days of non-stop extravaganzas means you'll certainly need a pick-me-up or two. Get the caffeine you’ll need at Thunderbird. Use the Wi-Fi to get some work done between shows, or if you’ve chosen the wilder route, email your boss to let them know you won’t be coming in tomorrow.

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OUTsider Festival, OUTsider 2018, Born in Flames, Out of Time, Thunderbird, Dai Due, Hobo Salon

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