Let me tell you a little bit about why I take such an interest in Levitation, a music festival which managed to fit itself into one of the busiest summer weekends in recent memory. This won’t be a typical review. I won’t be recapping set lists or commenting on the sound quality. if you were there then you already know and probably don’t care – but if you weren’t, here’s why you will be next time.
Competing with Vancouver’s craft beer festival, an assortment of outdoor parties, and not to mention the unprecedented — albeit distracting — sunny weather, Levitation drew a modest (yet healthy) audience last weekend. It was very easy to succumb to the call of tasty local brews I know, and to rooftop patios of course, or to the constant temptation of getting sandy and wet on a local beach. But, last weekend Timbre Productions teamed up with Austin Psych Fest to present a music festival at the Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park and at some select venues around East Van. The talent and the atmosphere that came alongside it was quite unique to Vancouver.
I understand the limitations that Garage, Psych, Post Punk, Beach Rock and all the other genre-specific labels that this music can pose. I get it, It’s not for everyone, but that’s not the point. What I think is important about this commendably well executed event (given the short time and big risk it took to plan and produce) was the simple fact that an energetic generation of local music lovers and alike had the balls to put it on at all. More importantly, these cool cats had the mojo to prove to any naysayer or sceptic that it is ABSOLUTELY possible to host a safe, positive and functional music festival in Stanley Park, regardless of the endless types of good music out there that could frame it.
Plain and simple, we have one of the most beautiful public spaces that any city on Earth can speak of… and it is a prime locale for hosting urban, youthful, and internationally sourced cultural exhibitions. AKA: cool, fun, and relevant music festivals. Cut to Levitation.
The Black Angels, La Luz and the spunky rock outfit King Tuff are fun and fantastic to see on there own, but what’s better is seeing them headlining a stage together on a sunny summer day in our backyard. Watching Black Mountain, Curtis Harding (amazing, and sorry if you missed it) and another soulful Seattle gem Night Beats with beer-in-hand and sun-on-face was COOL. Cool being the general feeling from the whole effort. Levitation was a collection of the some really talented and really interesting artists from around North America and beyond, its mood was overwhelmingly relaxed, accessible and positive. Its purpose was none other than to bring something memorable and new to our summer calendar. Personally, I couldn’t think of a better excuse to hang outdoors and have a drink or two with friends.
They do this shit all the time in San Francisco, in New York, and in Austin Texas — even Toronto has NxNE. Apples to assholes it’s about f&%ing time Vancouver gets with the times and starts throwing down some proper large-scale new and different music showcases. I applaud Timbre and any/all supporters or volunteers who helped make last weekend’s party possible. A big thank you also to Austin Psych Fest for lending something really cool to our city.
Keep it up, I for one don’t want this town to be left behind.
Words By: The Lion-at-Large