Levitation Vancouver is set to kick off festival season

King Tuff preforming at Rickshaw during last year's festival.

Summer has arrived, which means music festival season is swinging into full gear.

Although there has been some disappointment with the cancellation of the Squamish Valley Music Festival, there are still plenty of other festivals to fill the emptiness.

Levitation Vancouver is back for its second year from June 16–19, featuring artists with an emphasis on psychedelic or experimental sounds. Having gone last year, I recommend this festival to anyone who has the means to attend.

The festival is spread out between the Commodore and select venues. Groups such as garage rock band together PANGEA start the festival off on Thursday night at the Cobalt respectively, for some shows you won’t want to miss.

Tycho’s chilled out electronic ambience will fill the Commodore on Friday, changing the atmosphere from the psychedelic glam pop/rock from of Montreal, and surf punk sounds of FIDLAR.

Beachy surf vibes mark the midway point of Friday with Allah-Las, their music steeped in a 1960s sound reminiscent of the Zombies or the Kinks. Vancouver-based punk group White Lung rounds out Friday’s schedule for Levitation.

Los Angeles experimental electronic master Flying Lotus headlines on Saturday, and is sure to have accompanying psychedelic visuals to set the tone. Californian band the Growlers are set to play beforehand, with a sound that bridges rock, country, surf, and pop into the umbrella of psychedelia.

Another highlight of Saturday will be Thee Oh Sees. John Dwyer always brings a great energetic live show, and since he’s touring with two drummers right now it’s sure to be an excellent set.

Night-time shows will take place at the Cobalt, Imperial, and Rickshaw Theatre after the headliners finish at the Commodore. You can expect to see some great acts, with bands like Montreal-based Suuns, electronic synthwave artist Com Truise, stoner-psych heavyweights Dead Meadow, and mutli-genre/jazz-fusion/electronic bassist Thundercat.

A nice aspect of this festival is that you don’t need to pay for the full weekend, or even a full day. Tickets for the different venues are sold separately, so if you’re only interested in seeing a band or two in the evening you won’t have to break the bank. Or, if you’ve been at the festival since 4 p.m., you don’t have to feel pressured to go see another handful of bands later on in the night.