GAYBIGAYGAY is a big queer FREE-for-all, DIY, all-ages, anti-capitalist, corporate free, big ol gay ol celebration of family and friends and all the beauty we make together! It happens every year on the last sunday of SXSW on a lawn in east Austin. GAYBI brings together dazzling queer performers artists and fans from around the country (and beyond) for a day of love and magic and haaay.
This year will be OUR TENTH FESTIVAL!!! and its happening on SUNDAY MARCH 22nd from 12pm-12am at the Webberville Baptist Church (1405 Webberville Rd in (east) Austin).
read on to hear more about why its important to us to keep GAYBI free and DIY, and why we do it for community not dollar bills!:
over the years and as the festival has grown we have gotten a variety of questions and comments about gaybigaygay. here, we hope to provide some of our thoughts and answers to these wonderings. it has been our intention to provide a utopia from the aggressive merch distribution, capitalist consumerism and over advertised pushing of sxsw. (and in our daily lives!) but we didn’t start off with that as our intention. we started as an idea. an idea to have a back yard party free for all where the gay queer kids could hang free and hard. over the years and as we have grown from a backyard party to a field of thousands we have taken stock at the creation here and as some things have had to change, mostly for the safety of the numbers, it is our dream and demand that we provide this day to be free, anti corporate, DIY affair.
this party comes out of our pockets, and while we ask for donations, have (sometimes) paid parking, and beer for sale, we also say no one is turned away. we invite people to byob and bring snacks knowing that peoples tastes and dietary needs could be different from what we have to offer. we try hard to find a location for the party every year that is not an actual venue so that it still feels like a backyard and so that all those dykes can still roll in with their coolers full of beer.
the money we make from the beverage tent and the parking lot is how we pay ourselves back. sometimes we make it back and sometimes we don’t.
people often tell how we could make so much money off this event, make it bigger, get sponsors, partner with businesses, charge at the door. sure, we know that is true but this is where we want to tell you, we don’t want to.
in aggressive and passive ways, we are encouraged to engage with art/music/community/each other as consumers. with gaybi, we really value the sentimental joy of not being sold something. and this is why we try to make it free as possible. we hope it feels that way- like we are engaging creatively, socially, (sexually) but not commercially. in some ways, this is an aesthetic preference- to have that feeling of being fully present and alive and not suspect you are part of someones bottom line. but also, this choice is totally political. we are trying to build a moment of queer community that is about our coming together and not spending together.
so for one day out of the year we are here to help that happen. we often use the term DIY to describe gaybi but we really DIT- do it together. we believe this festival is better when she’s built collectively, scrappily, from a pool of volunteers and friends. here we head into the 10th (gasp!) year and looking forward to so many more to come.
Love all y’all, Silky & Hazey