Levitation Festival is a psychedelic musical extravaganza that takes place in Austin, Texas every year. It was formerly called the Austin Psych Fest. In 2015, its name was changed to Levitation to honor Austin based musical pioneers, The 13th Floor Elevators. That same year, the band reunited and performed at the event to commemorate their 50th anniversary.
The first-ever festival was held in 2008 in North Austin. It was conceptualized by the Reverberation Appreciation Society. The organizers were inspired by other music festivals like Primavera Sound and All Tomorrow's Parties (ATP). Thanks to the tremendous success of the Austin chapter of the event, it was expanded to other national and international destinations like Chicago, Vancouver, and France.
Festivities take place over three days. Over 40 bands and artists perform at the event every year. The lineup typically consists of psychedelic rock legends as well as new and upcoming musical talent.
The Dandy Warhols, Acid Mothers Temple, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Black Angels, Ringo Deathstarr, Dirty Beaches, The Vacant Lots, Pink Mountaintops, The Golden Dawn, The Strange Boys, and Miranda Lee Richards are some of the artists who have performed at Levitation Festival in the past.
Musical performances take place at different venues in Downtown Austin like Stubbs, Empire, and Barracuda. Various types of passes go on sale a few months before the event including General Admission tickets, 4 Day Weekend Passes, 4 Day Stubb's passes, and Deluxe Stubb's Tickets. Passes to individual shows are also available. They can be purchased online or at the door until sold out.
Tickets range in price from $20 (Single Show Pass) to $420 (4 Day Weekend Pass). Check out the festival website for more information on tickets, schedules, and pricing for your favorite Levitation Fest events.
The festival takes place at different venues and locations in the Red River Cultural District. If you plan on driving there, you'll need to head to the downtown area. Try to avoid traveling during rush hour as there are bound to be delays. Driving to the area on festival days may not be the easiest part of your adventure because of the excessive traffic. You may want to park your rig at your campsite and find alternate ways to get there. Motorists to the Austin area can monitor road conditions via DriveTexas online.
The only option is metered parking on the streets around the various venues and festival locations. Spaces are limited, and you'll need to get there early to avoid parking far away from the place you're heading to in Downtown Austin. It's often safer and more convenient to take public transportation or carpool to the event if you will have a larger vehicle.
You can reach the downtown area using Capital Metro, Austin's bus system. Be sure to have quarters on you before you board your ride. The historic trolley car also drives by several tourist attractions in the downtown area. Taxis are plentiful, and you can also use a ride-hailing app.
Onsite camping options are not available at Levitation Festival. Fortunately, there are a number of well-equipped campgrounds and RV parks nearby.
There are several RV parks in the downtown area and within a 25-minute drive, although you may find more facilities if you opt for the ones a bit further away. In addition to the private RV parks, there are a few county and state parks where you can camp out in your rig. McKinney Falls State Park and Pedernales Falls State Park offer outdoor settings for RV campers. At these, you can also enjoy activities like hiking and fishing.
Austin is a walkable city, and you can easily get from one venue to the next on foot. You will also be able to ride your bicycle to travel to the different locations. Be sure to secure your bike with a lock. Patrons with mobility disabilities will be allowed to use manual and motorized wheelchairs.
Austin residents are known for keeping their clothing casual while upping the style quotient with cool vintage pieces. So you'll fit right in if you throw on a pair of vintage Levi's with a trendy top or t-shirt. Don't hesitate to go with bright colors, vibrant prints or quirky accessories. You may appreciate a light jacket or sweater as evening settles into the November skies.
Small bags and backpacks are typically allowed, although the acceptable items and regulations may vary from venue to venue related to Levitation Fest. Some essentials that can come in handy are earplugs, a hat, and a refillable water bottle. Weapons, outside alcohol, illegal drugs, and aerosol or glass containers are not permitted.
Wear plenty of sunscreen and carry a hat before heading out for the day. Stay close to your group and use the buddy system to avoid getting lost in the crowd. Check if any road or weather alerts have been issued for the City of Austin or the surrounding areas before leaving on your trip.
Most campgrounds and state parks permit campfires unless a country burn ban is in effect. Some beach sites also allow them in sandy areas. All fires must be contained within rings, grills or fireplaces. Some campsites come with fire rings, but it's a good idea to carry your own equipment if possible. This is your chance to cook a Texas-sized burger meal and enjoy it with your crew, so stock up before you get to your campsite or bring your favorites with you.
Downtown Austin is the epicenter of the city's culinary scene. Be sure to try the delicious soup dumplings, wood-grilled seafood, and modern Mexican and Southern cuisine. If you're in the mood to party the night away, head to one of the trendy bars in Austin's historic West 6th Street.
Levitation Fest organizers tie up with top local vendors and restaurateurs to make sure that the food and drinks at the festival represent the best of what Austin has to offer. Each of the venues and locations that are a part of the event will have their own unique offerings. There will be a great selection of local craft beers and wines on sale as well.
The safety of festival attendees is taken very seriously by the event organizers. Bag checks will be conducted by security personnel before entry to any of the venues. Security policies may vary from one site to the next, so check what items are allowed before heading to a particular show.
The Levitation Festival takes place at a time of year when the weather is warm and pleasant during the day. Nights can get chilly in the fall, so be sure to take a jacket or some warm clothing. Many of the performance stages are set up indoors, so a little rain is not likely to affect the proceedings. Keep an eye on the Gulf of Mexico for related storm activity as the hurricane season is usually coming to a close in November.
If you or someone you know requires medical attention, alert one of the festival staff members. Patrons are requested to call 911 if there is an emergency or urgent safety concern. Every effort will be taken to make the various venues as accessible as possible although the specifications may vary from site to site. Medical and pharmaceutical services are within walking distance from some downtown locations.