Keep Austin Weird
by Mary-Cate Machalec
If you’ve lived in Austin for any amount of time, you probably (hopefully) have heard someone say the phrase “Keep Austin Weird” at least once or twice. Austin definitely is a weird city, and sometimes we get a lot of flack from people who like to hate on it.
But any Austinite will tell you—we’re proud of our weirdness and it’s a part of what makes this city great. Here in Austin we support hippies, hipsters, tattoos, small businesses, live music, the outdoors, and strange, funky things in general.
Here’s a few facts about how “Keep Austin Weird” started and some reasons why our weirdness is so awesome.
-The slogan was originally used to support small businesses
The slogan was inspired by Red Wassenich’s comments on a radio station, and afterwards he began to print bumper stickers and promote the slogan. Eventually, Austin Independent Business Alliance adopted it to promote small businesses in Austin. From there it started being seen on t-shirts, hats, mugs, and other memorabilia, as well as being used all over the city as Austin’s well-known slogan.
(Shop for our "Keep Austin Weird" shirts here!!!!)
-There’s a book written about it
The Keep Austin Weird movement is so significant Joshua Long actually wrote and published a book called Weird City: Sense of Place and Creative Resistance in Austin, Texas. The book talks about how the movement has affected the city in social, cultural, and economic ways.
-“Keep Portland Weird” is a thing and it’s dumb
There’s somewhat of a silent battle between Austin and Portland about which city is weirder and who can claim the reputation. In 2003 Portland adopted the slogan for their own and now tries to claim that their weirdness is more unique than Austin’s. If you Google “Austin vs. Portland” you’ll stumble across numerous articles that debate which city is weirder, but trust us—the original slogan started here and the “Keep Austin Weird” vibe is alive and well in the ATX.
-There’s a Keep Austin Weird festival
We’re all about the festivals here—Austin City Limits, SXSW, Fun Fun Fun Fest….the list goes on and on. So naturally in the spirit of Austin there’s even a Keep Austin Weird Fest, which is a daylong event downtown with lots of local vendors and of course, live music. There’s a 5k, costume contest, armadillo races, big toe wrestling, and so. much. weirdness.
This is just a small, small taste of the Austin weirdness, but there’s a whole city out there full of odd places and eccentric things and strange people.
Deep down, we’re all a little weird, and here in Austin we’ve just decided to celebrate that instead of trying to act normal. And trust us, it makes for a really, really fun time.
We have a full selection of items for sale to celebrate your love for Austin! We featured some of our favorites below!
Texas Keep Austin Weird T-Shirt - Blue
Heart of Texas Mug and Austin Bat Mug
Keep Austin Weird Mugs
Hi, How Are You - Austin T- Shirt Hi, How Are You - Austin T-Shirt
Comfort Colors Collection - Austin Texas Skyline T-Shirt
I Texas Longhorn T-Shirt
Texas Longhorns Southern Tradition T-Shirt
You can shop our full Texas collection in-store or online HERE!