Austin Psych Fest

The team behind Austin Psych Fest, an annual music festival that celebrates all forms of psychedelic rock, doesn’t know the meaning of taking things easy. The sixth installment of Austin Psych Fest takes place this weekend. They recently hosted a day long South By Southwest showcase at Hotel Vegas, and, this past month, they opened up a permanent storefront on 2404 E. 7th St. 

The store, called RVRB Records, serves as a home base of operations for Austin Psych Fest and the record label they run, the Reverberation Appreciation Society, a local label that puts out psych rock records from bands in Austin and around the country. The store sells records, Austin Psych Fest-branded clothing, artwork, accessories and musical equipment such as PureSalem guitars. They opened the space in April, and, for Erica Shamaly, director of business development and marketing, it was a great opportunity to finally have an office space rather than work out of her home. 

“We finally have our first home base,” Shamaly said. “It all kind of came together and was perfect timing.” 

The store had its grand opening on Record Store Day, when it featured some live performances from such musicians as Christian Bland of The Black Angels, one of the four founders of Psych Fest. It came at a busy time as well, as Austin Psych Fest will celebrate its second year at Carson Creek Ranch this weekend. 

“The founders knew they wanted to find a spot in Austin that had a beautiful, serene countryside next to a river,” Shamalay said. “They found exactly what they were looking for.” 

The owner of Carson Creek Ranch, Joan Havard, was looking for a way to make the move from a family ranch to a special events space for a couple years when she got in touch with the owners of Psych Fest. Together, they reached an arrangement, and, after moving around from venue to venue for five years, the festival now has a permanent home. 

The first year there went well, as attendance was up on 2012 by over 75 percent, but there were a few issues along the way, including a rainstorm that caused a long delay. They did their best to be prepared and have fixed a few logistical issues along the way for this year’s festival. 

“A happy accident from the storm that none of us realized was that the next day,” Shmalay said. “Because the ground is clay-based, it was dry within two hours unlike a place like Zilker Park.” 

This year’s festival will feature a variety of different bands and genres. The lineup contains psych rock veterans such as Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Dandy Warhols and Loop. There will also be indie rock bands such as Panda Bear, The War On Drugs and Of Montreal. This year, it’s branching out with electronic acts like Oneohtrix Point Never and metal acts such as Kadavar. The festival features international acts and also draws in crowds from around the world, including a large following from France. Psych Fest even started partnering up with other countries to put on mini-festivals, called Levitation events, in countries such as France, Australia and the U.K. 

One setback this year for the festival was the cancelation of Primal Scream, the original headliner. The band canceled their whole U.S. tour, and the festival appearance was the last date they called off.

“We tried to get them to make this their one U.S. date, and they almost did it,” Shamalay said. “It’s a disappointment, but that is such a typical thing that happens in this business.” 

For this year, the organization plans to keep the basic structure of the festival the same as last year’s. Shamalay says that the only things they’re really changing is adding a few more things to do on the festival grounds, such as expanded camping opportunities and a late-night film screening on the campgrounds. The festival shares an experienced stage manager and crew with the team who puts on Fun Fun Fun Fest. 

They’re looking forward to putting on the festival on a larger scale this year. 

“We learned a lot last year and it was very successful in terms of what we wanted to get out of it,” Shamalay said. 

When musician Robert Hampson finally made the decision to reunite his former psychedelic rock band after 22 years, it was because he had run out of reasons to say “no.” People had been hassling Hampson for years to reform Loop, the British band that put out three critically acclaimed records from 1987-1990, and he always refused. About a year ago, the group had the offer to headline the All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival in England. Hampson decided to finally give a reunion a shot. 

“I thought if we’re going to do it, we best do it now,” Hampson said. “I think the overwhelming feeling was just that we can only try it, see how it goes and take it from there.” 

Loop’s first show since 1991 took place in England last November, and the band is currently in the middle of a short U.S. tour that includes an appearance at Austin Psych Fest this weekend. Hampson has described the response at shows as genuinely surprising, noting that the crowd is split between older fans and people who couldn’t be old enough to have seen them the first time around. 

Hampson said many people don’t like seeing classic bands reunite, but he’s not trying to force anyone to come out to his shows.

“It’s not too much involved in nostalgia I think,” Hampson said. “For us, it’s just a way to perform our music to a newer audience.”

Hampson spent the last 15 years working on solo projects involving sound composition, so this reunion forced him to pick up his guitar for the first time in years. He hadn’t forgotten any of the songs, though. 

“I think when you’ve written a song, even 24 years down the line, you always remember it,” Hampson said. “As much as you might be a little rusty playing it, it’s always there. It never leaves you.”

Loop will close out Austin Psych Fest on Sunday night, serving as one of the headliners. Within hours of making the reunion announcement, the band was asked to play the festival. 

“For them, it was a coup to get us so quickly, and we’re in good territory there,” Hampson said. “I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to be a great festival.”

While the tour is going well, Hampson said he still doesn’t have an answer for fans who have asked if the reunion will last past the tour dates. 

“Everybody’s been asking us if we’re going to make a new record, and I honestly can’t answer that because I just don’t know,” Hampson said. “At the moment, we just have to focus on our priority to play these shows and put on good performances.”

Ultimately, Hampson said he has enjoyed his time playing with the band again and picking up the guitar for the first time in years. 

“At the end of our current commitment, I’ll decide whether we have a possibility at continuing or whether it’s best to leave it and walk away from it,” Hampson said. “I’m not really sure what the future holds yet.” 

Garage Rocker Mikal Cronin plays Austin Psych Fest

Mikal Cronin is a busy guy. When he’s not writing, recording, or touring under his own name, he’s usually playing bass in his friend Ty Segall’s band. Based out of San Francisco, the garage rocker is taking a short break to write his third album as he preps for some shows with the Ty Segall Band. Cronin will be playing this year’s Austin Psych Fest under his own name, which is one of just a handful of festival dates he is playing this year. He answered a few questions about playing in Austin and the differences between playing in his two bands. 

 

The Daily Texan: Is this your first time playing Psych Fest?

Mikal Cronin: Yeah. I’m really excited. I’ve heard nothing but good things. 

 

DT: Do you see any psych rock influences in your music?

MC: I definitely wouldn’t call it psych rock. I can see a little influence in there. It’s such a vague term to me. a lot of guitar or rock based music is at least a little bit influenced by psychedelic rock. I wouldn’t call my music psych but it’s definitely worked its way into some of the guitar solos or sounds.

 

DT: Do you have any favorite psychedelic bands?

MC: I definitely like Thirteenth Floor Elevators. They’ve been huge for me for a long time. It’s probably one of the most directly psychedelic bands that I’ve listened to for a long time. Also a lot of the early stuff like when the Beatles got all psychedelic and weird. I was really digging the Beatles when I was young.  A lot of stuff like Sleep, which is super psychedelic to me. 

 

DT: Are you taking a break from touring behind your material right now? 

MC: Yeah. I’m going to be recording a new record so I’ve dialed back on the tour dates. I’m also doing a lot of touring in Ty Segall’s band, and that touring is picking up again. I just wanted to make sure I had a little bit of free time to write and record the next record I’m going to do.

 

DT: Have you started writing it already?

MC: Yeah. I’m in the early stages of figuring it out. I was doing a lot of singles and one off things but I’m just now getting down to the serious collection of ideas. I’m excited to start working on it. 

 

DT: When you’re touring, what are some of the differences between being the frontman for your band and just playing in Ty Segall’s band? 

MC: For right now, after touring so much behind my own record under my own name, it’s very much a welcome relief to just play some bass and be the second man. It’s very different and I stress myself out a lot more with my band. When it’s my name on the bill I have this pressure to do the best I can, and I want to do the best I can when I’m in Ty’s band as well. It’s just a different experience. We’re doing different things in both groups. It’s really nice to take a step back though. It’s a definite relief and I appreciate being able to ping pong between both of them and cool my jets a little bit playing in Ty’s band, having some fun without as much pressure.

 

DT: What’s your opinion of SXSW? Do you think it’s fun or is it overblown and getting annoying after a while?

MC: I’ve had both experiences with it. The first couple times I did it we tried to play a shit ton of shows, like 9 shows in 2 days or 12 shows in 3 days. That kind of wears me out and is a little too overwhelming. The last couple times we’ve done it, like I was there this past year with Ty Segall’s band and we did no official shows, just some house parties. We did one show a day and that was super fun. If you tour a lot, a lot of your friends from around the country and people you know are all in one place at the same time. It’s really fun catching up with people and seeing a bunch of your friend’s bands that you don’t get to see a lot. I still like it, but it’s definitely a shit show. I try to avoid Red River as much as possible. I think I just discovered that you have to keep it kind of mellow and don’t try to play too many shows and stay away from the crowds. It can be really fun. 

 

Local psych band Pure X is an enigma. The band has almost no involvement in the Austin music scene, but has managed to find
success nationwide. 

Pure X recently signed to Fat Possum Records and released its third album, Angel, earlier this month. The band receives considerable coverage from alternative-focused music websites and just finished a Northeast tour opening for Real Estate.

The band’s upcoming show at Empire Control Room on Saturday night is its first local show in six months. Outside of the occasional appearance at South By Southwest, Pure X only plays about two shows in Austin every year. 

“Austin is what it is,” drummer Austin Youngblood said. “I like to live there, but we don’t really like playing the game in Austin. There are just too many people playing, so we stay out of that.”

For Youngblood and the rest of the band, Austin is a good place to relax from touring and work on new music. While they enjoy playing for their friends in town, there isn’t a lot of local support beyond that.

“As far as doing the circuit and keeping your name out in Austin, there’s not a lot of reasons for us to spin those wheels,” Youngblood said. 

Youngblood said part of the reason the band doesn’t play in Austin often is because it finds more success touring and playing shows in larger cities. According to Youngblood, the band can play a show in Los Angeles or San Francisco to a crowd three to four times the size of a crowd in Austin and make three to four times as much money. 

“We can fly to New York and play three shows in three days and play to more people than a year of doing a show a month in Austin,” Youngblood said. “No one wants to pay us. We go where people pay.”

Youngblood said the band first found success from touring around the country, distributing its early recordings and making friends and connections in those cities. 

One local event that Pure X enjoys playing is Austin Psych Fest, which it will play in a few weeks. The band plays the festival every
other year.

“Psych Fest is cool,” Youngblood said. “It’s like the one thing that happens in town that’s remotely exciting for us, anyway.”

Angel is a more relaxed and atmospheric companion to the band’s earlier work, which Youngblood attributed to the calm nature of the album’s recording process. Angel was recorded in an old dance hall just outside of Shiner, Texas.

“We didn’t have any kind of stress,” Youngblood said. “Our headspace was a big factor. We wanted to do something chill and relaxed.”

Comparatively, Pure X’s 2013 album, Crawling Up he Stairs, was recorded during a stressful period for the band. Singer Nate Grace had just suffered a severe leg injury from a skateboarding accident, and that partly led to what Youngblood called the group’s most challenging record. After it was released, Youngblood said the band wanted to return to the studio immediately and show people other aspects of its sound.

Another big change in the band’s dynamic for the recording of Angel was the addition of multi-instrumentalist Matt Davidson. Davidson had been touring with the band for a few years, playing instruments such as synthesizers and 12-string acoustic guitars, but didn’t become a full member of the band until last year.

“When we got home from touring, we all just figured he would stick around because we knew we would need those elements on the next record and tour in the future,” Youngblood said. “It’s nice to have him.”

Customers Ronnie Miller and Valerie Hernandez browse through the vinyl selection at End of an Ear on Thursday afternoon. The record store underwent an expansion to accommodate a wide range of audio equipment this past December. 

 

Helen Fernandez | Daily Texan Staff 

Photo Credit: Helen Fernandez | Daily Texan Staff

With close to 10 record stores, Austin has many opportunities for music collectors to find rare albums and discover new music. One of these stores that has become a local institution over the years is End of an Ear. Located on South First Street among an assortment of taco joints, the store has won The Austin Chronicle’s award for “Best Small Record/CD Store” for the past six years in a row. In December, the store underwent a large expansion that allows it to carry a wide range of audio equipment on top of its already expansive music collection.

End of an Ear specializes in selling new and used vinyl, but also boasts a robust CD collection, an assortment of DVDs, VHS tapes, books and various independent zines, along with a newly improved selection of audio equipment. Previously crammed into a tight space toward the back of the store, the audio equipment — which includes receivers, speakers and turntables — is now prominently displayed along a wall of shelves in the new back room.

The back room was added after the owner of the vintage clothing store next door decided to relocate. End of an Ear purchased the space, and the addition gave the store about 1,000 extra square feet of room, bringing its size up to about 3,000-4,000 square feet. Aside from housing the expanded audio equipment selection, the add-on is also the new home for the store’s shipping and receiving area. 

With about 45,000 records in stock at any given time, vinyl makes up the majority of the store’s sales. The selection is large, but carefully curated. Blake Carlisle, who co-owns the store along with Dan Plunkett, explained that the wide variety is mainly due to the staff actively seeking out good music from smaller labels around the world. 

“We try to have quality used records rather than having the same ones that everyone else has,” Carlisle said. 

Carlisle and Plunkett are picky when it comes to buying inventory, often relegating less interesting records to the dollar bin section in a separate part of the store. Carlisle’s reasoning is that he doesn’t want customers to flip through Doris Day or Reader’s Digest records to get to what they really want. Carlisle and Plunkett acknowledge that everyone’s opinion is different, which is the main reason why they carry such a varied selection of musical styles, selling as many interesting jazz, new wave and hip-hop records as they do metal or dance. 

End of an Ear also boasts a large cassette collection. But specializing in this medium was not something the owners originally set out to do. 

“It just sort of happened,” Plunkett said. “There were a lot of artists and labels. We liked putting out material that was only on cassette, so that’s how we ended up carrying so many.” 

Aside from its vast inventory, End of an Ear also plays host to intimate live shows throughout each year. Some past performers include artists such as Kurt Vile, Speedy Ortiz, Fear of Men and Perfume Genius.

As far as upcoming shows go, the store expects to have some in-store performances for South By Southwest, even though nothing has been finalized yet. One upcoming event it has definite plans for is Austin Psych Fest in May. There are a few in-store performances scheduled, and Plunkett said that the festival always brings a lot of new customers to the store. 

“Last year we could tell a notable difference,” Plunkett said. “The people who come to town for [Austin] Psych Fest tend to be more of collectors. There were a lot of people who came in from France shopping here last year.”  

With its expansion and aggressive pursuit to seek out new music, the award-winning End Of An Ear shows no signs of slowing down. 

Bassist Este Haim of the band Haim performs at Stubb’s Bar-B-Q during SXSW on Saturday night.

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

Newcomers and long-time Austinites alike should know that springtime in Austin brings a festival to the city almost every weekend. From the uber-popular South By Southwest to smaller initiatives, such as Austin Psych Fest, Austin’s second-semester festival line-up gives students plenty of opportunities to be outside enjoying some of the city’s most pleasant weather. 

The Daily Texan compiled a list and rundown of five of the spring’s most notable festivals. 

South By Southwest

March 7-16

Every year, SXSW manages to simultaneously bring thousands of visitors to Austin and push plenty of citizens away from the city limits in an attempt to flee the 10-day chaos the festival is known for. Perhaps the city’s most notable festival, SXSW has a little something for everyone. The festival’s interactive portion is credited for Twitter’s rise to fame in 2007, and the music portion is always packed with surprise celebrity appearances, such as 2013’s secret Justin Timberlake show at the Coppertank Event Center. Badge prices run from $495 for a film badge to $1695 for the highly coveted Platinum badge, but plenty of free shows are announced in the weeks leading up to the event.

West By West Campus

Feb. 21-22

A popular — and free — SXSW avoidance tactic is the annual West by West Campus festival. Hosted in student co-ops in West Campus, WXWC is great for students hoping to avoid the downtown mobs, or for those looking for after parties a bit closer to home. Every once in a while, the student organizers of WXWC manage to snag one of the SXSW artists.

Art City Austin

April 12-13

Not to be confused with the bi-annual Old Pecan Street Festival, Art City Austin is a weekend-long outdoor art fair that transforms the streets of downtown Austin along Cesar Chavez and the Second Street district into an art-themed block party. Hosted by Art Alliance Austin, last year’s festival attracted more than 15,000 people and featured local food trailers and the People’s Gallery exhibition at City Hall. Aside from serving as a platform for local and nationally recognized artists, Art City Austin also hosts several interactive projects for kids and adults alike. Some highlights from previous years include things such as face painting, interactive screen printing and
origami workshops.   

Austin Reggae Festival

April 18-20

Auditorium Shores is sure to be overrun yet again with dreadlocks and Rastafarian pride at this year’s Austin Reggae Festival. After celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2013, the three-day reggae and world music festival is back for its 21st consecutive year. In previous years, Austin Reggae Festival featured artists like The Wailers, The Aggrolites and Austin’s own Lance Herbstrong. Along with some of the biggest names in reggae, the festival also hosts more than 50 local artists and food vendors. Three-day passes are available for $35, and a portion of the proceeds go toward fundraising for the Capital Area Food Bank. 

Moontower Comedy Festival

April 23-26

Austin’s biggest comedy event of the year, Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival welcomes some of the country’s most notable comedians each year. Past lineups have included nationally acclaimed comics like Maria Bamford, Michael Ian Black and Dana Carvey, as well as a selection of local Austin comics. The festival takes place in a handful of Austin venues, such as The Paramount, The Parish and Scottish Rite Theatre. The comedy festival is a slightly smaller, slightly shorter version of the annual Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, which takes place every fall. 

Austin Psych Fest

May 2-4

Hosted at Carson Creek Ranch, this year’s Psych Fest offers on-site camping for the first time in the festival’s seven-year history. This year’s festival also brings the most notable lineup yet, with acts such as Of Montreal and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. It is the only Austin festival with on-site camping, and could be on its way to becoming an early festival-season staple. 

Correction: Because of a reporting error, the original story misstated the dates of the West By West Campus festival. The festival takes place from Feb. 21-22. 

Photo Credit: Lydia Thron | Daily Texan Staff

Austin Psych Fest, an independent festival devoted to psychedelic rock, will host its sixth annual festival Saturday, encouraging the exploration of life at its fullest. Dan Brinner, member of The Reverberation Appreciation Society, the record label for Austin Psych Fest, said that what separates Austin Psych Fest from other festivals is that it doesn’t showcase popular bands from multiple genres. It is dedicated to psychedelic rock and the subgenres that fall under the psychedelic music umbrella. 

Genres included are garage psych, surf psych, drone psych, blues psych, tribal psych and many others. 

Rob Fitzpatrick, member of The Reverberation Appreciation Society, said these subgenres of psychedelic rock came from many generations of rock. In the 1960s, artists like Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane and Pink Floyd pioneered the classic psychedelic rock sound and were at the forefront of music creation. 

“They pushed the boundaries of what was possible technically, musically and creatively,” Fitzpatrick said. “That zenith of creativity still stands as the template for psychedelic rock, and so in a sense, some of the new bands creating psychedelic rock are creating music in a tradition that is tied to the style, gear and aesthetic of the 1960s and early 1970s.”

Over time, psychedelic rock has expanded beyond the borders of the United States. Brinner said roughly one-fifth of Austin Psych Fest attendees come from outside the U.S. 

In addition to international psychedelic rock artists such as Os Mutantes from Brazil and Tinariwen from Mali, Texas psychedelic legends like Roky Erickson and The Moving Sidewalks will perform at this year’s festival. 

“Rock ‘n’ roll, almost by definition, is rebellious and revolutionary,” Brinner said. “Historically, rock musicians have encouraged every kind of personal liberation — freedom from inhibitions, from conformity, dogma and political oppression. Psych rock is about liberating the mind and spirit.” 

One way psychedelic rock does this is by presenting its genre with the application of visual art that is infused in the concerts. 

A common element of a psychedelic rock concert is light projection, often termed “liquid light projection,” which is a plate of colored oils in a solution through which an overhead projector shines light, casting an intense visual spectacle onto whatever surface it’s facing. 

Brinner said this complements the music perfectly, providing just the right kind of trippy ambience and artistic feeling that has become a staple of psychedelic rock concerts. 

Fitzpatrick said many modern bands in today’s pop culture create a product first and the art second. Psychedelic rock embraces its history while moving forward and continuing to liberate the mind and the spirit. 

“One definition of psychedelic is ‘soul manifesting’ and that’s a loose enough definition that we can kind of throw whatever we’re into under that tent,” Fitzpatrick said. “The artists on this lineup are not doing this for the money or the fame. This is art first and foremost. These are musicians in the true sense.” 

Alex Maas, of the Black Angels and The Reverberation Appreciation Society, said psychedelic music is all about an unbiased, respectful community of people sharing one interest. 

“I’ve never seen a more caring musical community than the psych rock community and I’ve had the amazing opportunity in touring with The Black Angels to see literally thousands of bands,” Maas said. “These people care about the music and soul sharing and searching. Music is therapy and those who leave Austin Psych Fest will understand that by the end of the festival.”

(From right to left) Austin Psych Fest founders Oswald James, Rob Fitzpatrick, Christian Bland and Alex Maas, are excited for the fifth installment of their annual festival. Bringing in acts throughout the country, the Austin Psych Fest shines the spotlight on psychedelic rock music, featuring some of the best new acts from the genre.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Praised by local and national fans alike, the Austin Psych Fest caters to those who like their music strange, transcendent and synesthesia-friendly. Just one look at the festival’s website and you will understand: Bright flashes of neon crimson mix with purple, green and blue, a palette of colors that vibrates and shines with the music it accompanies.

Now in its fifth year, the Austin Psych Fest has come a long way. What was once a one day psychedelic head-trip at The Red Barn has since become a three-day musical adventure, with the festival having relocated to live music hot-spots Emo’s East and The Beauty Ballroom.

“It’s been great to see our ideas and plans come to fruition,” said Rob Fitzpatrick, Austin Psych Fest co-founder. Fitzpatrick, alongside Oswald James and The Black Angels’ Christian Bland and Alex Maas wanted to create a festival inspired by the 1960s psychedelic scene and the resurgence of psychedelic rock.

“The concept was to try to produce a festival that would recreate the environment of venues like The Vulcan Gas Company, The UFO Club and The Fillmore,” Fitzpatrick said. “Christian Bland wanted to invite The Black Angels’ friends and favorite acts to play, who are mostly a part of the modern psychedelic rock scene.”

Even before The Black Angels’ rise to modern psychedelic rock stardom, Austin has always lent a helping hand to one of music’s most interesting genres. The Vulcan Gas Company was one of the first successful psychedelic music venues in Austin, and iconic local group The 13th Floor Elevators have often been cited as the first psychedelic rock band.

“They were a very trippy band,” said Stephen Slawek, Butler School of Music professor. “They used a microphone in a jug to create some aspect of weirdness in their sound.”

Slawek, who has taught a History of Rock Music course in the past, believes that the group, especially frontman Roky Erickson, contributed greatly to psychedelic music’s unconventional sound.

At last year’s Austin Psych Fest, Erickson put on a memorable performance, which Fitzpatrick has highlighted as one of his biggest memories from past festivals. “Seeing the father of psychedelic rock on stage, in [the Seaholm Power Plant], it kind of felt like things had come full circle,” Fitzpatrick said. “At that moment I felt all the struggles, hard work and sacrifices that we went through as a team to put last year together, were worth it.”

This year’s Austin Psych Fest will showcase some of today’s best psychedelic rock acts. More than 60 groups will perform, including local heavyweight The Black Angels and national acts like Psychic Ills and Prince Rama. “There has always been something going on that keeps us from doing it [Austin Psych Fest],” said Tres Warren, Psychic Ills vocalist and guitarist. “We’re glad to finally be able to make it. It’ll be a good time.”

Prince Rama, who were recently in Austin for South By Southwest, also look forward to performing at Austin Psych Fest. “We’re excited to be back on the road and returning to Austin,” said vocalist and guitarist Taraka Larson. “It’s like a homecoming that gets weirder and weirder every time we return.”

There is no purple haze clouding Fitzpatrick’s view on Austin Psych Fest and its future. The organizer hopes to find a permanent home for the festival and bring in larger acts from across the globe.

“We would love to have The Flaming Lips, Animal Collective and Butthole Surfers. There are also a lot of older acts that we would love to have on the bill like The Zombies, or the Moving Sidewalks,” Fitzpatrick said. He also hopes to improve on the interactive and visual aspects of the festival, as well as move toward a more sustainable model in terms of the festival’s ecological impact.

At the end of the day, Fitzpatrick is grateful to have the opportunity to share his vision with people from around the world. “The best thing about all of this is being able to watch people have a great time at the festival, listening to music and connecting with each other,” Fitzpatrick said. “Moments like that stick with you.”