Austin’s Inaugural Stargayzer Fest Celebrates LGBTQ Music and Community

Cody Critcheloe of SSION - COURTESY PHOTO
Courtesy photo
Cody Critcheloe of SSION

Here’s something you don’t hear much: “Austin needs another music festival.” Between the behemoth SXSW, the exponentially growing ACL, the quirky Fun Fun Fun, the tripped-out Psych Fest and several smaller fests in Austin’s orbit, one might well presume that the city’s music festival market is already quite saturated. But if you ask Stargayzer Fest producer and talent booker Brett Hornsby, it becomes clear that there’s room for more. In this fall’s inaugural Stargayzer Fest, Hornsby and his co-conspirators have put together an exciting lineup and ethos for a festival that focuses on spotlighting LGBT artists/performers and celebrating the thriving, stateside LGBT music community. Stargayzer features such diverse acts as New Orleans bounce rapper Big Freedia, Kansas City art-popper SSION, Canadian darkwave synth-poppers Austra, Cali art-rockers Xiu Xiu, NYC rapper Cakes Da Killa and San Antonio punk foursome Fea, among other stellar acts. I caught up with Hornsby via email from a tour in London, and we talked about the what, the who and the why of Stargayzer.


“This is the first year of the Stargayzer Festival, but the people involved, both organizers and performers, have been doing events around Austin for years. We’ve all been working consciously to build up a community/scene and this event is a culmination of those efforts. It’s like a big celebration of what we’ve done, what similar communities in other cities have done, and a meeting of the minds looking toward our collective LGBTQ arts future.”


“The most exciting part about this lineup to me is that we really do have a little bit of everything. Experimental stuff, hip-hop, indie rock, drag artists, DJ/club music, punk bands, comedians, traveling gay parties, burlesque, psychics, yoga, you name it. Even if people aren’t familiar with the artists on our lineup, I guarantee you will fall in love with something before the weekend is over.”


“We wanted to bring everyone together to enjoy great music, meet new people and create an intentional/temporary community filled with the most exciting LGBTQ artists and fans. There have been, and currently are, a lot of really amazing queer music events and festivals, but nothing quite like this. Festivals like Homo A Go Go, ’Mo-Wave, Portland Queer Music Festival, etc. are well organized by amazing people and feature incredible artists, but we really wanted to do something where the festival was your home for three days. A place where you can not only take in incredible art, but really build relationships with people and be immersed in this world we hope to create. I’m not sure there has ever really been an LGBTQ-focused festival in this format, so that’s really exciting to us.”

Stargayzer Festival feat. Austra, Big Freedia, Xiu Xiu, Trust, Mykki Blanco, Fea, SSION and more

Fri, Sept 12-Sun, Sept 14
Carson Creek Ranch
9507 Sherman, Austin