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

GayBiGayGay 02 x390 (alex cho) | advocate.com

Acts came from as far
away as Philadelphia and Olympia, Wash., to play the festival.
This year's headliner was New Orleans's Big Freedia,
doing her best to underscore the bounce in "sissy
bounce," a genre of bayou-flavored, drag-inspired hip-hop.
Other notable acts included Portland, Ore.'s Purple
Rhinestone Eagle, San Francisco's Excuses for Skipping, and
Austin mainstay Gretchen Phillips, formerly of the
groundbreaking queer rock band Two Nice Girls.

People were quick to
point out that there is no hierarchy here: no guest list, no
flashbulbs, and no jockeying for entrée into the VIP
area (there isn't one). "Everyone's just so nice
and huggy," explained Chivonn Anderson, a programmer at
Austin's iconic Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

Austin filmmaker PJ
Raval, who shot this year's Oscar-nominated documentary
Trouble the Water,

said, "It's something I look forward to every year. It's
one of the most amazing experiences, where you have a group of
people coming together to celebrate a lot of artistic work. I
think it really captures the spirit of Austin, and that's
what South by Southwest is all about."

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