Get Ready For Austin’s 9th Annual Fusebox Festival this April 17-28, 2013

Ant Hampton

Ant Hampton’s Cue China

Culturebot contributor Tim Braun reporting from Austin, TX. 

The city of Austin has a festival almost every week now. South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, The Moontower Comedy Festival, Austin Comic Con and The Texas Book Festival are among the most popular. The city even celebrates Eeyore’s birthday, the glum sidekick of Winnie the Pooh, by inviting people to a park dressed in donkey variations. However, the Fusebox Festival has become Austin’s cool, quiet kid in the corner, offering a blend of theater, dance, music, “free range” art, film, and the unique Digestible Feats program where artists and chefs collaborate to create multifaceted, and tasty, experiences.

Founded in 2005 by artistic director Ron Berry in East Austin (think Williamsburg, Brooklyn with cowboy hats) Fusebox presents innovative works of art across a variety of different mediums. Fusebox functions as a mechanism, or a spark, for new ideas, new artistic models, and methodology. Three years ago the festival kicked-off with 200 dancers performing a Texas two-step on the Capital lawn to the music of contemporary composer Graham Reynolds, and featured talks, exhibits, and Texas shaped waffle making at the Austin Museum of Art. Last year Fusebox began with a riot grrrl explosion as 100 young ladies choreographed by Allison Orr stormed the Long Center for the Performing Arts as The Coathangers played. That festival included a nightly hub in a furniture warehouse, complete with a sustainable beer garden, Italian sandwiches, glow in the dark art, live music from a foot fetish band, and, yes, more waffles sometimes made with bacon, cilantro, and sour cream. In the past, names like Reggie Watts and Gob Squad have been included at Fusebox, not to mention our very own Culturebot.

This year Fusebox, in its ninth season of hybrid work, will feature over forty events in twelve days and fifteen different venues all over Austin. This year’s festival includes artists from across the globe from places like Australia, Belgium, Germany, Lebanon, and the UK. National artists from New York City, Boulder, CO, Boston, MA, San Francisco, CA, Kansas City, MO, Buffalo, NY, and Houston, TX joining dozens of artists from the Austin area. Watts and Gob Squad will be replaced by the likes of Mac Wellman, Ant Hampton, England’s Action Hero, Motion Bank, and the hometown Rude Mechanicals. Notably, the hub will float and rotate nightly across the city, creating an impromptu art party wherever it lands.

The 2013 edition of Fusebox starts on April 17 and concludes on the 28th. In the room of Austin festivals, Fusebox has found that quiet and cool corner to call its own. Some festivals have music, comedy, film, technology, and a hybrid slam of what is new and what is happening now, but Berry works the entire year to make his festival a one-of-kind occurrence, if only for two weeks. He won’t be dressed in donkey variations, but the art is free range, and his waffle irons are warm.

(Originally published on The Huffington Post).

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