Levitation (formerly Austin Psych Fest) is an annual 3-day music festival developed and produced by The Reverberation Appreciation Society. Since its sixth year in 2013 it has been held at Carson Creek Ranch in Austin, Texas. Inspired by the creative explosion of the 1960s, as well as by festivals such as ATP and Primavera Sound, they set out to create their vision of a music festival.
Over the years, this independent festival has grown to an internationally acclaimed, full weekend event that attracts attendees from all over the world. In 2015 Austin Psych Fest was renamed LEVITATION in honor of Austin's legendary psychedelic rock godfathers The 13th Floor Elevators.
The Reverberation Appreciation Society is a creative collective composed of Rob Fitzpatrick, Oswald James, and Christian Bland and Alex Maas of The Black Angels. In addition to the festival in Austin, the group has branched out into other cities beginning in 2013 with Levitation France and in 2015 with Levitation Vancouver and Levitation Chicago. The group also runs The Reverberation Appreciation Society record label and has curated events at Austin's SXSW, The Netherlands' Le Guess Who?, NYC's CMJ and NRMAL in Mexico City.
In 2009, the festival was extended to three days and was held from March 13-15 at the Radio Room, a short lived venue on Sixth Street. The Seeds' Sky Saxon performed with Shapes Have Fangs as his backing band and Austin psychedelic legends The Golden Dawn performed their 1968 album "Power Plant" in its entirety. The lineup included modern psychedelic heavies Dead Meadow, A Place to Bury Strangers, Wooden Shjips, The Warlocks, and The Black Angels.
The third Austin Psych Fest was held April 23-25, 2010 at The Mohawk, a multi-stage venue on Red River. 41 acts performed, among them, The Raveonettes, Warpaint, The Gaslamp Killer, The Black Angels and 1960s legends Silver Apples.
The 2011 festival was held on April 29-May 1 at the 1950s art deco Seaholm Power Plant, a decommissioned steam power plant on the bands of Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin that had been made temporarily available for events. Due to changes in city ordinances and construction plans, the festival changed venues 3 times before landing back at its originally intended location, The Seaholm Power Plant, and the festival would be the last concert held within the plant's walls. The 63 band bill was topped by Roky Erickson of The 13th Floor Elevators, Spacemen 3 offshoot Spectrum, Omar A Rodriguez group playing as The Mars Volta lineup, Crystal Stilts, the first performance from Black Moth Super Rainbow in several years, and The Black Angels.
Austin Psych Fest 2012 was held April 27-29 at the east-side location of legendary music venue Emo's in conjunction with the Beauty Ballroom. The 5th annual festival featured a 61 band lineup including The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Black Angels, and the Black Lips along with Meat Puppets, The Olivia Tremor Control, Thee Oh Sees, and Bombino, among others.
The 2013 and 2014 festivals were held at Carson Creek Ranch in Austin, Texas, located on the Colorado River. The 2013 festival, the 6th annual festival, held April 26-28, was the first year for the festival to be held at a completely outdoor venue, as well as the first year to have 3 stages of music, camping, and a poster series featuring US and international artists. The seventh annual festival, held May 2-4, 2014, included 1960s legends The Zombies, as well as Panda Bear, The Horrors, Loop, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, of Montreal, The Dandy Warhols, The Black Angels and many more.
The 2015 festival was held May 8-10 at Carson Creek Ranch. The lineup included The Flaming Lips, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream, Spiritualized, Tame Impala as well as a reunion performance by The 13th Floor Elevators, the band's first performance in 45 years.
The dates for the 2016 festival were April 29 - May 1, 2016, and the lineup featured Brian Wilson performing Pet Sounds, Ween, Animal Collective, Caribou, Flying Lotus, Slowdive, Courtney Barnett, Sleep, The Arcs, Brian Jonestown Massacre and many more.
The 2016 festival at Carson Creek Ranch was cancelled due to severe weather, resulting in significant damage to the festival grounds and infrastructure. In response over 20 concerts were organized in downtown Austin hosting the lineup and attendees.
In November 2016, festival organizers announced that the festival would not be held in 2017, but would return in 2018.
Created in 2013, Levitation France is held annually at Le Chabada in Angers, France. The first Levitation France was held on September 20-21, 2013, hosting a 17-band lineup including The Black Angels, Dead Meadow, Night Beats, Wall of Death, and The UFO Club. The second Levitation France festival was held September 19-20, 2014 and included Loop, Moon Duo, Woods, Allah-Las, La Femme, and Al Lover. Levitation France 2015 is scheduled to take place September 19-20, 2015.
The Reverberation Appreciation Society has released a number of concert films. Austin Psych Fest: Beyond the Third Sound features footage from Austin Psych Fest 2013 and includes performances and interviews with The Black Angels, Roky Erickson, Clinic, White Fence, Acid Mothers Temple, and Tinariwen, among others. Other concert films released include APF 2012, APF 2011 "Live at the Power Plant," and APF 3, which features footage from Austin Psych Fest 2010.