In a brand new feature, we’ll be asking our favourite festivals how they got started, what they’re looking forward to and what you can expect from their festivities. First up is Al Studer of the Bristol-based Psych Fest!
How did you get involved with Psych fest?
I started it up 4 years ago as I thought it would be great to have something like that in Bristol. I felt like there was a huge hole in Bristol’s music scene for psych and general ‘guitar music’. I still think its lacking a bit but its getting better. We’ve got great bands but they’re not always properly supported. We try pay all our bands and support them as mush as we can. I also run Stolen Body Records and so I have a lot of bands on the roster that I wanted to get over and this was a great way of getting that done.
What can people expect from the festival?
This years fest is bigger than its ever been. We’ve filled out the Stag and Hounds and The Crofters Rights so we thought we’d pull out all the stops and take on The Trinity. We’ve got bands from all over the world coming over for this one and we’re really stoked with the line up.
What’s your favourite thing about the festival?
To be honest as much as I’ll bitch and complain about it I really love organising it and getting all these bands together. For 9 months its all virtual and on my screen and then it all comes together on the day. Its kind of surreal. Feels a little like Waynes World…. “book them and they will come”
What’s the most difficult part of organising a festival?
Booking agents. Im not really sure what they do. I mean all the bands I’ve booked so far I’ve dealt with fantastic booking agents. The bands I didn’t get is all because of a bad booking agent… I won’t name any names.
What’s a highlight from a previous year?
I spent most of the time letting bands in and out of the storage area last year. I snuck down to watch The Evil Usses who as always blew my mind. I went right to the front and kind of got to get a vibe of the festival for the first time. It was amazing. The room was completely rammed and it was something like 5 in the afternoon.
Is there anything people would be surprised to know about Psych Fest?
The first 3 years it was a one man operation. This year I’ve enlisted the help of Sam Rowswell. He’s the man behind all the artwork. I don’t think this years festival would be doable without him. Also Christopher Noriss who our chief soundman. He’s organising all the audio part of it. Its taken a whole heap of stress of knowing he’s sorting all that out. The mans a genius.
Psych Fest 3.5 takes place this weekend at The Old England. Saturday 15th April features performances from Dusty Mush and Kabobo while Sunday 16th April welcomes Iceman Furniss Quintet and Blondi’s Salvatation.
You can grab a ticket here or pay £10 OTD. In the meantime, check out Dusty Mush’s ‘Couch Potato’ below.