After the sixth annual Austin Psych Fest was held in 2013 the festival looked on par with some of the cities other more heralded music events.

Much like Fun Fun Fun Fest and Austin City Limits the event now had a permanent base, a solid following and the lineups to match.

2013 was the first time the festival was held in a completely outdoor venue with camping and 3 stages of music.

Held at the Carson Creek Ranch on the Colorado River Austin Psych Fest now had a picturesque setting to go with its strong sense of psychedelic music.

The festival has been crossing stepping-stones each year to get to this point. Those who attended the inaugural event in 2008 will remember the ten-act lineup headed by The Black Angels playing the all day event at The Red Barn in North Austin.

Organisers quickly increased their scope though with the festival expanding to three days a year later and moving to the now defunct Radio Room.

2010 saw the formation of The Reverberation Appreciation Society who organise the event as well as operating their very own record label.

Moving this time to The Mohawk both an inside and outside stage hosted the likes of Warpaint, The Raveonettes, The Gaslamp Killer and The Meek to name a few.

Two more venue changes in the next two years encompassed the Art Deco Seaholm Power Plant, Emos East and Beauty Ballroom as their lineups grew and their reverence for being the world’s greatest psych event became apparent.

2014 will see the festival finally settle on its location as it continues to expose audiences to not only today’s great psych acts but also the legends of the past.


Legendary Scottish alternative rockers Primal Scream will bring More Light to the top spot of the bill for their set with songs from their other 9 studio albums likely to feature as well. The recently reformed Loop will also provide their fare share of nostalgia with the London band sure to bring back the songs that defined their six-year career.

Hometown heroes and regular Psych Fest attendees The Black Angels will play in support of their 2013 opus Indigo Meadow just as other acts will road test material from their forthcoming releases.

The Black Lips are set to release their 7th album Underneath The Rainbow this year just as new records are expected from the likes of The Horrors and Liars amongst others.

Expect highlights from The Zombies, Toy, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, oF Montreal, Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks and Tobacco just to name a few.

Check out the full lineup here.

Where And When

View Larger Map

Held in the live music capital of the world in Austin the festival will once again return to Carson Creek Ranch in 2014. The event will take place from the 2nd to the 4th of May.

How To Get There

Delta Airlines, Virgin Australia, United Airlines, Qantas, American Airlines, Air New Zealand and JetStar are just some of the carriers that can take you across the seas to Austin.

Most flight options will require at least one stop over with Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and San Francisco being your typical in transit destinations.

The following are estimated prices for return airfares that were available at the time of writing.

Adelaide: Two-stop flights start from $2400, while three-stop journeys are valued upwards of $2200.

Brisbane: One-stop flights start from $2200, while two-stop journeys are valued upwards of $1800.

Melbourne: One-stop flights start from $2200, while two-stop journeys are valued upwards of $2000.

Perth: Two-stop flights start from $2600, while three-stop journeys are valued upwards of $2400.

Sydney: One-stop flights start from $2000, while two stop journeys are valued upwards of $1700.

While it’s unlikely that many Australian ticket holders will be hiring a car you can get directions via the festival website here if you intend to do so.

However there are festival shuttles, for those who are looking for a cheaper option, that will take you to the venue from certain airport hotels located at 71 and Riversdale, while another will be organized to cater for the downtown Austin area. More details about the exact locations of these shuttle buses will be revealed closer to the festival date.

Where To Stay

Austin Psych Fest is a camping event but the festival do have several hotel partners for those who wish to avoid tents at all costs.

Both Microtel Inn & Suites and Hampton Inn & Suites are conveniently located near the airport area, while La Quinta is situated in the downtown area. Just remember to mention Austin Psych Fest when you’re booking to get your discounted rate.

Otherwise there are several other hotels located near the airport, which could be worth investigating.

Still there’s no better way to soak up the festival atmosphere than by camping at the event.

The camping area includes showers, bathrooms, plenty of shaded area and a 24-hour café and general store.

A handy option to consider for travellers is investing in the tent rentals that are on offer. The Regular Ol’ Tent Rental option comes with bedding, a battery powered lantern, a combination lock and a cooler. For two it’s valued at US $466.59, while for four people the price comes in at $775.59.

The Deluxe Camping option includes a larger tent, the choice of queen or twin size airbeds, bedding, a table, a battery powered lantern, charging facilities, a combination lock and a cooler. The double twin rental is valued at $981.59, while the queen rental is worth $878.59.

How To Get Tickets

There are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing tickets to the festival. First is that a weekend pass comes in at the bargain price of US $135 plus a $7.15 booking fee. You can also pay an extra $5 (plus shipping) for a screen-printed commemorative pass, which we are assured is perfect for a gift.

For an extra $106.09 you can get deluxe access to the festival. This will get you into viewing lounges that include charging stations, wifi, extra shade and bar access. That’s not to mention access to deluxe restrooms and deluxe bar service. You’ll also be able to skip the line with priority for lines at the main bars, festival entry, pre-parties and artist signings. An exclusive poster and 10% off merch are also included.

If you’ve been to the festival before and want to make it an annual tradition then you might want to consider the Forever Pass or its premium counterpart. That’s a one off payment of $1000 for entry into each Austin Psych Fest that is held from now until the end of time. Camping and parking passes are included. The premium version is valued at $2500 and gets you the same except with VIP access, 6 drink tickets and 3 meal tickets each year and priority access to all events.

Camping passes are valued at $80.34, while RV Spots are worth $106.09. Additionally premium RV Spots with water and electricity will set you back $260.59.

You can purchase you passes from here.

Insider Tips & Tricks/Things You Shouldn’t Miss

In between stages and sets you’ll notice there are plenty of other features to indulge in at Austin Psych Fest besides the music. The festival supports local businesses with cuisine from some of Austin’s best eateries while local retail, clothing and record store vendors all have goods for sale.

There are also multi-media installations and art exhibits, which are worth checking out if you have the time.

While timetables won’t be out until much closer to the festival, doors open at about 3.00pm each day, while the music ends at 1.30am each night.

The festival site may be located near a river, but even if the weather is warm enough has been declared by the organisers as unsafe to swim in. As they say “among other things, too many poisonous snakes”.

In years past, about two weeks out from the festival date The Reverberation Society has announced a couple of pre-parties held in great Austin venues that might be worth keeping an eye out for.

The crowd in the past has been described as being laid back. While some have complained about the lack of dancing and potent levels of pretention others have praised the festival for attracting less idiots. Before booking don’t make the same mistake as the complainers, ticket buyers should already know what to expect in terms of the audience.

For more details head to the official Austin Psych Fest website.

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine