Austin Psych Fest Turns Back the Clock: Toro Y Moi, Cuco, and Levitation Favorites Headline Spring Gathering

Yves Tumor, Mdou Moctar, Melody’s Echo Chamber also psychin'

From synth pop to psych funk: Toro y Moi, from the cover of 2022's Mahal, his most adventurous album to date.

Austin Psych Fest turns back the clock this spring, reviving its classic name and format as an all-in-one-place festival running April 28-30 at the Far Out Lounge in South Austin. The gathering will be headlined by Toro Y Moi, Cuco, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Yves Tumor, and the Black Angels.

The lineup – a typically international, multi-generational, and expansive palette of psychedelic music – also brings in two guitar heroes from Africa: the trance-inducing Saharan rocker Mdou Moctar and Vieux Farka Touré from Mali. The latter recently collaborated with Texas favorites Khruangbin on an album based on songs by his father, the great Ali Farka Touré. Guitar-burning Japanese psychedelic space rockers Acid Mothers Temple return as a longtime APF/Levitation favorites, a distinction shared by the Danny Lee Rajan-helmed project Night Beats and, of course, festival co-founders the Black Angels, who’ll be playing their 2008 breakout album Directions to See a Ghost.

French indie artiste Melody’s Echo Chamber meanwhile makes her Texas debut, following Levitation cancellations in 2015 due to visa issues and 2016 due to weather. Meanwhile, dark psych San Franciscans Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and noise pop Danes the Raveonettes make their return to the festival after a decade. Austin-based acts on the initial lineup include Annabelle Chairlegs, Being Dead, Daiistar, Hey Cowboy, El Combo Obscuro, and Nemegata.

Austin Psych Fest first materialized in 2008 and changed its name to Levitation in 2015. In 2018, it became a club-based event taking place in Downtown Austin around Halloween. Now, Levitation will continue to exist as a separate concert series in the fall and both will now be co-produced by the Austin concert promoters Resound Presents. APF/Levitation co-founder and booker Rob Fitzpatrick contextualized the occasion in a press release:

“We’ve always been a little bit of the weird underground party, for the seekers, even as it’s gotten bigger each year. This spring we’re throwing it back to where it all started, with the first Austin Psych Fest back in 2008. Its 15th anniversary is a great excuse to book a stacked lineup and killer party to celebrate. We’re also excited to bring it back with our friends at Resound. The team there has been behind a crazy amount of our favorite Austin music moments - very stoked for what we have coming up.”

Meanwhile Ian Orth, Managing Partner and Creative Director at Resound, laid out this team’s deep associations with APF in an email to the Chronicle. He called the revived partnership a "no brainer."

“We've been a production and marketing partner since our Transmission and Margin Walker eras, since the days of Radio Room on 6th street, the Carson Creek Ranch years, and most recently the past few iterations of the venue-based Levitation. When Rob came to us with his dream to re-launch Austin Psych Fest as a returning-to-roots of sorts, and allow Levitation to continue to grow into the multi-genre weekend it's become, it was an easy 'yes' from the whole Resound team to get involved. Not to mention Far Out Lounge is a truly one-of-a-kind venue that not only already lives and breathes the vibe and vision for Austin Psych Fest, but is a true home for what this scene and spirit are all about. [The line-up touches] every corner of what 'psych music' is, has become, and is going, I mean you're talking about a damn fun weekend right there!”

The massive Far Out Lounge – with its spacious exterior, multi-stage capabilities, and ample food offerings – is a prime spot for a festival. That much was made clear in a May 2022 Chronicle feature on the venue, in which Fitzpatrick, who’d booked a sold out Kikagaku Moyo show there the following September, mused about the Far Out: “Lots of places have gotten expensive as the city has grown but when you go to Far Out it's not like that. They do a great job of bringing the whole Austin community in there, whether it's cumbia, hip-hop, or indie rock, they've brought a scene in there for those smaller shows, but big things are going to start happening there pretty quickly."

Single day tickets and weekend passes for Austin Psych Fest are on sale now. Fixate the poster below for daily lineups.

art by Fez Moreno

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