Austin is affectionately called “the live music capitol of the world” by many. For several decades there’s been South by Southwest, a sprawling music (and film and interactive now too) festival. Then there was Austin City Limits Festival, bringing the hottest acts in the world in the same weekend to the Texas capitol. Plus there’s Fun Fun Fun Fest, which boasts more underground, cult favorites, and indie-cred groups. There’s even EDM and reggae festivals, but what you may not know is that Austin is home to one of the most unique music festivals in the world, Austin Psych Fest.
Just as the name implies, this festival is a celebration of music deemed “psychedelic.” The beautiful thing about this designation is that it’s incredibly broad—from the original psychedelic rock of bands like 13th Floor Elevators and The Zombies, to modern rock acts like Dandy Warhols, spaced out, ambient electronic music and even drone; so many sub-genres fit comfortably under this psych umbrella. If it challenges your mind and strays from the conventions of popular music, it has a home here.
Founded in 2008 by members of the Austin band The Black Angels, the event started as a single day-long lineup of like-minded artists. Over the years the festival has expanded to larger venues and stretched from two days to thee. It has famously brought back to the stage legends such as Sky Saxon, Roky Erickson, Silver Apples, and the Moving Sidewalks (members of ZZ Top). Modern acts have included Deerhunter, Boris, Warpaint, A Place to Bury Strangers, and Black Moth Super Rainbow.
This year is the 7th annual festival and the second year at what organizers are calling its permanent home, Carson Creek Ranch, located just outside of Austin on the banks of the Colorado River. It is a fully outdoor location, with three stages, as well several vendors of food, drink, merchandise and other goodies. Not satisfied with just an impressive three day festival, there was also a Thursday night pre-party stretched across two downtown venues, playing host to incredible bands not even on the festival lineup, including Elephant Stone, Indian Jewelry, The Warlocks, and Flamin’ Groovies. That’s four days and 7 stages packed with the best consciousness-altering music being played today.
2014 Austin Psych Fest sports one of the most impressive lineups yet, with can’t-miss bands on all three days, throughout the day. Below are some of my personal favorites/recommendations for each day, as well as an awesome Soundcloud mixtape for each day of the festival so you can get a feel for the wide variety of sounds happening at Psych Fest.
Friday: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Graveyard, The Zombies (yes the classic 60s band!), The Dandy Warhols, Brown Sabbath, and The Black Angels
Saturday: Destruction Unit, Boogarins, Moon Duo, Bombino, Temples, Dead Meadow, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Of Montreal
Sunday: Christian Bland & The Revelators (Black Angels’ guitarist), Sleepy Sun, Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Band (TV on the Radio side project), War on Drugs, Panda Bear
For information on buying tickets, including single day passes, click here.
For more information on the festival and its history, click here.
Written By Jarad Matula
OurVinyl | Associate Editor