Last year it was forceful gusts of dust that engulfed and coated your entire person, this year it was mud you could lose an entire foot in, but Austin's Levitation Psychfest has yet to disappoint. There’s just something about lying in the grass listening to the distinct sounds of heavy psychedelic music and enjoying a light show from afar that makes it its own little slice of paradise.
Though not even a decade old, Psychfest has not yet reached the intensity of ACL and Coachella and every other music festival that has become uncomfortably over crowded. The wonderful thing about Psychfest is the vast amount of space that the Carson Creek Ranch offers. With this being its third year out at the Ranch, they’re still working out little kinks. For example, the amphitheater was on the waterfront of the creek that runs through the ranch last year and this year it was on land. I overheard a festival go-er saying that a rogue wave from the creek last year knocked out a pretty important generator. The biggest disappointment (if a disappointment at all really) was that this year, attendees were not allowed out along the banks of creek after the first day.
The overall environment is highly communal due to the fact that many of the attendees are also out there camping for three days and the culture is wild. This isn’t your flower crowns everywhere with billowing tops and dresses paying an ode to bohemian culture, this is legitimate bohemian culture from all over the globe.
The most talked about moments of course were the 13 Floor Elevators 50 year reunion and The Flaming Lips who apparently always put on an amazing show and as someone in the crowd had put it, “I’ve never seen so many colors in my life!”
Some personal favorite highlights of the weekend were by Tame Impala, who in true psychedelic manor would go off into improvisational versions of their songs that was truly stellar. New York group Diiv’s performance was almost made up entirely of new tracks that they were “just practicing” for an album front man Zachary Cole Smith was said due out in September. Primal Scream, was absolutely spectacular live and have the energy of young adults despite most of them being in their 50s. Primal Scream front man Bobby Gillespie’s former band mates, The Jesus and Mary Chain, that drummed for them back in the 80s also put on a beautiful performance. The only bummer was that Melody’s Echo Chamber dropped out at the last moment due to an emergency.
Until we meet again Psychfest! I look forward to seeing how they’re going to top this line-up. v