The Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia (a.k.a. Liverpool Psych Fest or PZYK) kicks into overdrive on September 22-23, celebrating artists operating at the cutting edge of today’s global psychedelic renaissance, alongside visual art, film, performance, and mind expanding visual delights. Once again, masses of psychedelic activities will pack the warehouses and recesses of Camp & Furnace, Blade Factory + District in Liverpool’s so-called Baltic Triangle for a global psychedelic frenzy.
Liverpool Psych Fest finds is a frontrunner of the psychedelic scene, while communities and festivals are flourishing in a global movement in consciousness. Prepare for the time of your life as PZYK presents a whole host of sonic and visual delights in multiple dimensions. This is a true exploration and celebration of extremes. High on visual aesthetics, this festival combines post-industrial architecture with its acid house rave atmosphere and art gallery space with an awesome village kind of mentality. This cohesive approach makes for a breathing art installation much like a psychedelic technicolor dream.
The 2017 programme features an exciting opening party and launch events, exclusive pre-festival gig (headlined by New Jersey’s Ducktails, led by Real Estate guitarist Matt Mondanile), a film programme, exclusive new virtual reality installations, daytime events, and an immersive late night audio visual experience, in addition to a month-long art exhibition developed on key visual themes and ideas present across this year’s aesthetic.
PZYK offers the world’s greatest psychedelic music to bring festival-goers an awe-inspiring trip to the sub-ultrasonic zone, with remarkable live performances interspersed with DJ sets. Headliners include Texas’ neo-psych favorites The Black Angels and Croydon space rock veterans Loop. The 2017 PZYK Congregation also includes Lætitia Sadier, A Place To Bury Strangers, The KVB, The Telescopes, Songhoy Blues, Träd Gräs och Stenar, Träden, W.I.T.C.H (We Intend To Cause Havoc), The Holydrug Couple, Wolf People, The Bug vs Dylan Carlson, Jane Weaver, Adrian Sherwood, Fujiya & Miyagi, The Comet is Coming, White Manna, GNOD, Endless Boogie, Sex Swing, Castles, In Bliss, Celestial Bums, and many more artists.
Following its fantastic inception in 2016, PZYK COLONY – an immersive, 360-degree audiovisual installation – will again transform the Camp warehouse space into a late-night shifting, geometric cube from 11 pm to 3 am throughout the festival. The live installation re-imagines this industrial space as an intense, singular light-emitting diode, a trance-den-cum-live-space, and will play host to much-anticipated performances by The KVB, Loop, The Bug vs Dylan Carlson, Sex Swing, The Comet is Coming, and Adrian Sherwood.
One of the stand-out events is a showcase from California’s Castle Face Records, called ‘Irregular Orbits’, which involves five bands from the label’s roster – Once & Future Band, Male Gaze, Magnetix, Duds, Exit Group (Useless Eaters side project). A world-first for the label, which is now one of the world’s leading off-kilter psych music imprints.
PZYK presents a mix of international and homegrown artists providing a soundtrack to late September madness. The international diversity of this year’s acts are underlined by performances by Songhoy Blues (Mali), Laetitia Sadier and Acid Arab (France), Dans Dans (Belgium), The Holydrug Couple (Chile), Celestial Bums (Spain), White Manna (California), Julie’s Haircut (Italy), and Hurricane Heart Attacks (Argentina).
This is the sixth year for the festival. The first festival took place in 2012, being an international event from the outset. In just a few years, this has become perhaps the most renowned Psych Fest in the world. In fact, it was named ‘Best Small Festival’ at the 2015 NME Awards.
PZYK presents a special ‘Psychedelia In Film’ season, with screenings at FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) of a series of short films drawing on the theme of sensory overload and excess. The screenings will be accompanied by specially curated PZYK playlists in the Picturehouse bar, plus a Q&A with PZYK organizers around the festival’s themes.
Festival-goers will also enjoy the ‘Musings In Drone’ symposia, which is a tripped-out chat show, digging out the stories, tales, and experiences of the artists, labels, and heads within today’s neo-psych scene. Hosted by audio-oracle Bernie Connor from the Sound Of Music podcast, this edition features Q&As with The Black Angels, collaboration with the #AUDiNT research cell (an investigation of sonic extremes in A Century Of Zombie Sound presentation), and W.I.T.C.H.’s Emmanuel ‘Jagari’ Chanda with collaborator Jacco Gardner. Matt Jones of Castle Face Records will also talk about the label’s journey from the Californian underground to the label’s journey from the Californian underground to the world-class psych label it is today – he will be joined by guests from the label’s roster.
As well, the organizers introduce PZYK SKAN, a major immersive AV installation, which is a brain-scanning-meets-audiovisual-extremes collaboration between Luciana Haill, Rob Strachan, PZYK AV and #AUDiNT research cell.
All of the above are carefully curated elements that give Liverpool Psych FestIval its global appeal, and the 2017 edition will undoubtedly become an even more attractive prospect for fans of psychedelia. Running with the motto “THIS FESTIVAL WILL DESTROY YOU”, the organizers qualify “unless it destroys us first”. Prepare for the PZYK of your life… but if you can’t be there, California’s KFJC 89.7FM will be broadcasting the festival live from the four festival stages, as well as interviews, online via KFJC.org and on FM in the San Francisco Bay area.
The PZYK opening party will take place on Thursday, September 21 at Constellations. Real Estate’s Matt Mondanile bring his Ducktails project to Liverpool for this event, joined by Strange Collective‘s Ali Horn, and Goa Express. More detailed information, as well as weekend and day tickets, are available from http://liverpoolpsychfest.com.