Psych Festival brings Instant Pleasure to RVA

Maya Earls
Spectrum Editor

Musicians and artists will collaborate to provide a psych experience at the Instant Pleasure Festival at the Broadberry. Image courtesy of Adrian Olsen

Futurebirds, Avers, the Young Sinclairs and more will provide an all-encompassing psychadelic experience at the “weirdest Richmond music festival.”

Spreading the spirit of the Austin Psych Fest, the RVA Instant Pleasure Festival has been revived to celebrate music and psychedelic artwork. Adrian Olsen of Avers said he was inspired to put together the festival after exploring the staging of the Broadberry.

“I wanted to put something together, not just a single show, but something that can grow and grow,” Olsen said.

Olsen reached out to Ryan Muldoon of Revolt of the Apes and Kyle Harris of The Diamond Center, and discovered there was a psych festival held at Strange Matter years ago. After expressing his interest in putting together another psych festival, Olsen said Muldoon and Harris volunteered the previous title and festival logo.

“They let me know they had started this thing they wanted to keep going,” Olsen said. “I thought it worked out well.”

Olsen got in contact with local bands and disc jockeys for the festival, and slowly an idea became an event. Keeping with the spirit of the Austin Psych Fest, Olsen said he wants people involved in visual art or projections to participate for a full festival experience.

“When someone shows up it’s not like a regular concert,” Olsen said. “There’s a lot more going on, kind of like a sensory overload.”

Olsen said he wants the festival to become a yearly gathering that benefits the community. For the inaugural year, a percentage of the ticket sales will be donated to the Pink Ink Fund, which helps assist people with post-mastectomy tattoos. Artists are encouraged to bring something different to their performance for a unique audience experience.

“It’s not just like a cornucopia of different bands,” Olsen said. “They’re all playing into this idea of a psych fest.”

The Instant Pleasure Fest is Olsen’s first time organizing a festival. So far, he said he has enjoyed making connections and bouncing ideas around with the people involved. In the future, Olsen said he wants to expand the festival and bring in acts from around the country.

“I’m no pro at this,” Olsen said. “If we can get at least the core of the community excited about this and keep it growing, then I like the idea of a slower moving, expanding thing. A big corporate umbrella … might take some of the soul out of it.”

The Instant Pleasure Festival will take place Oct. 18 at Broadberry on 2729 W. Broad St. The concert begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15, and are available online and at Deep Groove Records, Steady Sounds, Plan 9 Music or Monument City Coffee and Records.

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