My first Fusebox Eve party was everything I expected it to be and more.

In part because of longtime Fusebox Festival leader Ron Berry, but also because of the artists and backers he attracts, the casual gala staged inside and outside an empty warehouse on East Fifth Street brought together the widest range of social types imaginable.

The food, entertainment and conversation could not be duplicated at any other Austin social event. And how many cutting-edge performance festivals attract the host city's mayor, city manager and leaders from several mainline arts groups?

What to see during the free fest, which starts today? Check out these six performances recommended by Berry himself.