Austin, Texas, the world’s live music capital, got a little gayer this month when it hosted the first annual Stargayzer Festival, the largest happening dedicated to showcasing queer musicians and performers.
The colorful extravaganza brought over 100 LGBT artists to the Pine Street Station and to a satellite stage at the nearby live music venue, The North Door, for three days and three nights of rambunctious music, fierceness galore and plenty of onstage shenanigans.
The lineup was the ultimate list of who’s who in queer music today: JD Samson, Cazwell, SSION, Mykki Blanco, Austra, Christeene, Big Dipper, Crystal Ark, Logan Lynn, Xiu Xiu, Baathhaus, Trust, Hi-Fashion, MikeQ, Big Freedia, Honey Soundsystem, Cakes Da Killa, Double Duchess, Yo! Majesty and way more.
I was lucky to be there and see many of the live acts while mingling with artists backstage between sets. The overall sense I got from Stargayzer was that of collaboration and mutual support. You rarely get to have so many of these talented artists in one city on the same weekend, so it was evident they all took the opportunity to see some shows and even make guest collaborations onstage. JD Samson performed with Hi-Fashion and Cazwell brought out fellow troublemaker Christeene.
During Hi-Fashion’s set at The North Door the last night, Cazwell, JD Samson, Double Duchess, Christeene, Big Dipper and the members of Baathhaus were all spotted among the crowd. At Stargayzer, everyone was a fan.
JD Samson & Hi-Fashion
SSION after he took off his wig
Baathhaus puts on a steamy performance
Jocquese Whitfield & Peaches Christ
Hi-Fashion’s onstage energy is ahhh-mazing
Double Duchess brings S.F. fierceness to Austin
Cazwell and surprise musical guest, Christeene
Ambrosia Salad closes the festivities with some sparkle and high fantasy.
More festivals photos from Sean Daigle:
Even more festival photos from Stargayzer artist Logan Lynn: