Locals: Psych Fest 4 frees the mind

Andy Downing, Columbus Alive

Psychedelic music might be geared toward stimulating the mind, but Psych Fest 4 organizers don't want to ignore the five traditional senses when then twice-yearly music festival takes over Dude Locker on Saturday, Oct. 10.

So in addition to musical performances from a dozen psych-leaning acts (hearing), attendees can expect trippy light shows (sight), food trucks (taste) and a looped percussion jam set (touch) that should allow sweaty participants to work up a bit of a funk (smell).

"When all the energy combines - the visual art combines with the music combines with the dancing - you have this feeling and just the smell of people being people," said Psych Fest founder Andrew Davis, who joined wife and co-organizer Amy for a late September interview at a Bexley coffee shop (the two are part of a six-person committee that oversees the event, which was first held in May 2014). "It's like, wow, and suddenly we become this one big organism."

Davis first conceived Psych Fest after he attended Worst Kept Secret Fest a few years back and became enamored with the DIY spirit of the event. "As an artist and musician, I'm all about doing everything. Maybe it's a control issue," he said and laughed. "So we oversee everything all the way down."

Initially, both Andrew and Amy envisioned the festival simply filling a local need - "We'd want to go out for shows and it was like 'Where can we go see psychedelic music? Where can we get a breath of fresh air here?'" Amy said - though it quickly evolved into something larger.

"I'm interested in the conscious evolution of the human being, and I think art - psychedelic music being an art form, of course - is the way to do it," said Andrew, who will also perform at the event with his band Mas Bagua. "I'm trying to enable the soul to find its greatest potential."

Part of unleashing this potential, according to Andrew, is exposure to art forms that challenge convention and force the mind into previously unexplored realms.

"When I go to see a band or a show I really only am interested in hearing something I've never heard before, and the psychedelic jam gives avenue to that," said Andrew, who was initially drawn to psych rock by the likes of Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead. "People let the spirit take them and it moves them out into the cosmos, and wherever they end up is where they end up."

Dude Locker

4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10

527 E. Hudson St., North Campus