Sidestepping the SXSW Scene

Corporate sponsors? Big buzz? These homegrown Texas queers say "No thanks" to the South by Southwest hype machine.

BY Alexander Cho

March 24 2009 12:00 AM ET

The annual music
industry hustle-fest that is Austin's South by Southwest came
to a climax this past weekend, with most hangers-on busy trying
to snag a spot at the Fader Fort, madly spamming the RSVP
e-mail for Perez Hilton's secret party, or Twittering their
thumbs off to figure out who knew who wherever there was any
free booze.

Not everyone, though.
While SXSW scene-stealers were busy bagging swag at events
sponsored by companies from Scion to Levi's to Dell, a
group of volunteers was hard at work decorating a stage that
stretched across two huge dusty backyards in east Austin, miles
away from the hubbub. The daylong counterfest, affectionately
called GayBiGayGay, is now in its fourth year. It has become a
community hub for Austin queers and their visiting friends
looking to escape the largely hetero commotion on the final
Sunday of SXSW.

"It's done our
style, in our place, with our kindness and our talent,"
said event host and Austin drag icon Rebecca Havemeyer.
"We have corporate gays, we have the fairy unicorn queers,
we have the diesel dykes, we have the drag queens, we have
kids. It's all underneath an umbrella of the most friendly
environment you could possibly wish for."

Tags: Music

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