Manchester Psych Fest, the UK’s trailblazing psychedelic music and arts festival has announced its second wave of artists for the 2024 edition, with more than 60 live acts taking over eight city centre venues, including a brand new outdoor stage.
But before we get to the new names, let’s look at the original line-up, which already looked pretty tantalising when announced a few months back. Headlining is cult hero Baxter Dury, who’ll be spinning wry stories of life among the well-heeled yet poorly behaved alongside psych-goth quintet The Horrors, whose newly industrial sound should make for a thrilling live show.
Also announced last year were Psych Fest favourites Temples, Irish shoegazers NewDad, French retro-indie outfit Juniore, singer-songwriter Willie J Healey, Tuareg guitar star Mdou Moctar and – perhaps most excitingly – James Holden and his rave music for a parallel universe. Lower down, there’s also many a post punk gem, including the riotous Fat Dog and the gothic Heartworms, who join fuzzy psych outfit Wine Lips, Detroit trio Bonny Doon, DIY trio HotWax, and Nottingham rockers Divorce.
If all that wasn’t enough, the second wave announcement adds 20 new acts to the line-up, along with the excitement of a brand new outdoor stage. New acts include the live behemoth that is Pigs x7, Psych Fest graduates Goat Girl, Seattle rockers La Luz, dreamy Paris-based trio Oracle Sisters and Super Furry Animals spin-off Das Koolies. There’s also North London favourites Girl Ray, a first-ever Manchester show from Chicano Batman, Parquet Courts’ frontman A. Savage, the enigmatic and brilliantly named Lambrini Girls, post punks Thus Love, jazzy experimental rockers O., and Swedish synth-driven duo Les Big Byrd.
As for that new stage, CYCO VISION marks the first outdoor stage to ever feature at the festival. It takes over Manchester’s Projekts Skate Park, which will host live music, DJs and food and drink stalls beneath Mancunian Way.
Another exciting leap forward for the festival comes with the visual element that complements the music this year: in-demand visual artist Innerstrings (Overmono, Working Men’s Club, James Holden et al) will provide exclusive Psych Fest video installations, promising to “take you beyond”. There’ll also be DJs, workshops, art, films, talks and food and drink, all sprawling across Albert Hall, O2 Ritz, MMU Students’ Union, Gorilla, Canvas, YES, Deaf Institute and Projekts Skate Park.
Count us very much in.