In 2016, Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia could feasibly lay claim to being the most anticipated 'psych fest' on the globe. Although dwarfed in stature by the likes of Austin Psych Fest, the Merseyside offering is steeped in a near-unattainable magic.

Taking place across the otherworldly Camp and Furnace venues, the festival brings together the overlooked pioneers of psych and the buzzbands of the future. It's an utterly transcendent spectacle of hallucinatory art, culture, and ethos.

It'd be so easy to get utterly lost in the vast program of leftfield music and art, and so we've done our best to pick out the four bands that should be penned into your itinerary - beyond the blatantly essential headliners, The Horrors and Super Furry Animals.

Acid Mothers Temple

With hour-long cuts like 'The Beautiful Blue Ecstasy' being among the Japanese stalwart's highpoints, their set could quite possible consist of a single song, which is true testament to the total discard of popular music signifiers that Acid Mothers Temple have ingrained within their legacy. Truly, Acid Mothers Temple are innovators of freakout guitar shreds and feedback-induced commas in the way that Brian Eno is an innovator of ambient. They're a huge part of the reason as to why the culture that culminates in Liverpool Psych Fest exists. This is their party, and you sure as hell had better say hello.

Silver Apples

Simeon Coxe's reincarnation of the Silver Apples live show was an instant standout of the initial Psych Fest poster. The main difference between 2015's Psych Fest and 2016's is that the real highlights of the festival - the innovators, pioneers, and true one-offs - are of a cult ilk, not for the masses. Spiritualized headlined last year, but 2016 sees some of the most important acts in the trajectory of psychedelic rock feature lower down the bill; Silver Apples are the apex of that. The off-beat pulses of Silver Apples are infinite, as is their influence.

The Moonlandingz

The vast middle-ground between dissonance and melody will always be the most satisfying area for psychedelic bands to operate within, and The Moonlandingz rule the roost. The semi-fictional, batshit crazy coming together of Fat White Family and Eccentronic Research Council quickly snowballed into one of the most fascinating projects of recent times - void of any pretense but utterly saturated with head-spinning sonic storms and life-affirming live shows. Few sets over the weekend will be quite as transformative as this, and absolutely none will find such little difficulty in blowing minds with pure and simple pop melody. The Moonlandingz are the band of our times, don't miss 'em.


A year ago, Eagulls would be a tough pitch to 'Psych Fest. The straight-up punk that the band came out of the blocks with would sit uncomfortably next to the likes of Acid Mothers Temple and Ultimate Painting, but not now. Eagulls last record, Ullages, was a total transformation: ditching anger for reflection, and bone-crushing riots for totally immersive, spellbinding walls of reverb and feedback.