Listen to Austin 360 Radio

Annual OUTsider festival celebrates LGBTQ community for sixth year

Rebeccah Macias
The Booty Behind the Tooti Fruiti performance with Adrienne Anemone, Joanna Labow and Kerri Atwood during the opening night of the OUTsider festival - Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020.

Austin’s OUTsider Festival celebrates its sixth year this week, but when Curran Nault, the founder of the queer transmedia festival, and his team were planning the first fest back in 2013, they never anticipated to make it this far.

“There’s so much going on in Austin, so you never know what’s going to happen or what to expect, but it’s been exciting to see the community that has fallen in love with it (the festival) has really stuck with us,” Nault said.

OUTsider highlights and celebrates any overlooked and out-of-the-box creators in Austin, creating a space for those who might feel like outsiders and a place for art that doesn’t quite fit into a neat label.

“We’re bringing together different LGBTQ+ art forms and making a space for them to come together in a more intimate setting,” Nault said.

The four-day festival will run until Sunday, Feb. 23., featuring live dance, music and theater performances to film screenings and a speaker series.

To mark the sixth anniversary of the festival, this year’s theme will center around “nasty fruits” — a way for the LGBTQ+ community to celebrate any stereotypes that have been portrayed or given to them.

“In terms of our political climate right now, we were thinking a lot about how certain populations are seen as the ’bad apple’ and are described as dangers and feel like they don’t belong,” Nault said. “We wanted to take those ideas and serve it as an empowerment for people to embrace it.”

Welcome to OUTsider Fest Nasty Fruits: Bad Apples and Beyond’s Opening Night! 4 days of filth and fun await you! #lgbtq #queer #performance #austin #outsiderfest2020 #nastyfruits

— OUTsiderFest (@OUTsiderFest) February 19, 2020

Attendees can view this year’s schedule and badges are available to purchase on the festival’s website. Badges range from $45 to $99 and will provide access to all of OUTsider’s showcases and events.

For Nault, the heart of OUTsider has been and continues to be the family atmosphere the festival instills in its attendees.

“People come to celebrate and embrace all the great things about themselves and their community,” Nault said. “OUTsider becomes this inspiration through art and experience of taking pride of not being ashamed of who they are and basically saying to hell with that.”