Autumn in Austin is a swirl of activity, with the slightly cooler temperatures tempting many folks out of their air-conditioned caves and into the music festival fray. While ACL and FFF get most of the attention, there’s another show Austin’s music lovers need to know about: The Stargayzer Music Festival, which offers a totally different experience than your typical jamfests.
Now in its second year, Stargayzer shines a spotlight on LGBTQ artists, many of whom have rabidly enthusiastic fans. Set over three days and three venues, the festival aims to please with a mix of DJ’s, MC’s, drag queens, and music makers of all stripes.
Stargayzer is the brainchild of Brett Hornsby, longtime Austin resident and DJ for local art/music phenomenon Christeene. After the success of last year’s festival, Hornsby told Austin.com that he’s thrilled to bring Stargayzer back.
“Austin is a festival town with a vibrant LGBTQ arts community,” he said. “We have so many supportive venues, theaters, art spaces and amazing people. I can’t imagine a better city for a festival like Stargayzer to thrive.”
Although the original venue for Stargayzer, Pine Street Station, fell victim to Austin’s redevelopment monster earlier this year, Hornsby has been able to adjust. “I think any event, especially one this size, comes with many obstacles no matter how well you prepare,” he added. “The key is to surround yourself with an experienced, passionate and committed team who are ready to work through any challenge.”
Unlike many entrepreneurs who’ve been forced out of their former digs in Austin, Hornsby views Stargayzer’s forced relocation with a positive attitude. It has forced the festival to morph from an outdoor, multi-stage format to a club setting. Elysium, The North Door, and Cheer Up Charlies will host the main events this year. “I think having three stages of music going at the same time can be a bit overwhelming and we really wanted everyone to be able to appreciate each artist individually,” Hornsby said.
As for the artists, the diverse mix includes Double Duchess, Erase Errata (in one of their final performances), Big Dipper, and the previously mentioned Christeene. In addition, Stargayzer will bring some new faces to Austin, such as Dai Burger, DJ Rekha, Fee Lion, and TT the Artist.
“We always aim to bring cutting edge LGBTQ artists together to inspire each other and the world,” Hornsby said. “The format, venues, and structure may change, but the vision will always remain the same.”
Oh, also: Unlike bigger music festivals, Stargayzer is affordable. Tickets are a measly $15 at the door, and there’s six to 14 acts scheduled every night. Better yet, there will be NO PORTAPOTTIES — a very welcome change from virtually all of Austin’s other music festivals.
Happy Stargayzing, Austin!
This video is from Stargayzer Festival 2014…
Featured photo: Stas THEE Boss & SassyBlack of THEESatisfaction, via Stargayzer Festival on Facebook.