OUTsider Festival Beams Us Up and Away to a Gayass Galaxy Far, Far Away

Austin’s queer transmedia fest goes virtual on March 5-7

Courtesy of Curran Nault

Beam us up and away to a gayass galaxy far, far away, because it’s (almost) time for OUTsider Festival, Austin’s seventh annual queer transmedia fest, whose dates have changed, and will now run Fri.-Sun., March 5-7.

For this year’s festivities, you’ll be able to watch from home via online (www.outsiderfest.org) or at nightly socially distanced livestreams set up outside the Vortex, which will have limited seating. Passes are priced at pay-what-you-can for access to all three days of virtual content, and the OUTsider team has curated some very cool perks – hand-crafted cactus planters, keychains, and coloring notebooks paying homage to futuristic design – based on donation amounts (perks start at $25).

As always, there will be tons of funky, boundary-pushing, and out-of-dis-world queer performances to feast on. This year’s theme, “Future in Flux,” takes on the strange times we’re living in these days by homing in on the desire for a better future with a renewed interest in objects of the past. Friday’s “Legacies on Legacies” lineup kicks off with an all-star conference held on the internet’s couch (which is to say … virtually), as well as artist performances from OUTsider’s past. Expect to see many of the queerdo cats you enjoyed from fests of yesterqueer, including OUTsider Legacy Award winners singer Dorian Wood; pioneering butch folkster Phranc; artists Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens; and Queercore misfits Tribe 8. Queer Latinx artist Xandra Ibarra (aka La Chica Boom) and Nia & Ness, a Black, out-lesbian couple and performance art duo, are featured guests, too.

Saturday’s events are all about the “Here and Now.” Take in discussions with “XMAP: In Plain Sight,” a coalition of 80 artists fighting migrant detention and the culture of incarceration that was conceived by rafa esparza and Cassils, both of whom will be in attendance. OUTsider’s artist-in-residence, local playwright and poet Jesús I. Valles, will share their new work, Bullet.Fruit, with the evening culminating in a galactically giddy afterparty with Felix III.

Performance artist Elliot Reed leads the pack as Sunday’s “Interactive Extravaganza” headliner. Throughout this part of the festival, organizers are embedding so-called “interactive intimacies,” or break-out sessions encompassing art classes, confessionals, and workouts courtesy of some of your fave ATX and beyond queermos like local queer workout guru Erica Nix’s signature Workout! With Erica Nix programming. Promised as well for all three days of OUTsider are appearances from local filmmaker PJ Raval and (former Austinite) artist Paul Soileau, who’s a longtime collaborator with Raval on music videos for Soileau’s gutter-trash diva alter ego Christeene.

Interested in finding out more? Want to dig into past festivals to see what to expect from this galaxy-brained event? Visit www.outsiderfest.org to get the full schedule, buy your virtual past, and blast off into a “Future in Flux.”

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LGBTQ, OUTsider Festival, OUTsider Festival 2021, Dorian Wood, Xandra Ibarra, La Chica Boom, Annie Sprinkle, Beth Stephens, Jesús I. Valles, rafa esparza, Cassils, In Plain Sight, Felix III, Nia & Ness, Paul Soileau, Erica Nix, Phranc, Tribe 8, PJ Raval, Elliot Reed

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