Words // Alcynna Lloyd Photographer: Travis Trautt Insane weather put Levitation Fest on a hiatus in 2016, but this year, it returned with a vengeance. Levitation blessed Austin with an abundance of psychedelia, doom metal, stoner sludge, shoe-gaze, and dream pop. When we say this festival had a taste of everything – we mean it. Nearly every venue was sold out in testament to this amazing lineup. Acts like Slowdive, Ariel Pink, Electric Wizard, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Dallas Acid, MEIN, LA Witch, Ruby and the Hatchet, DIIV, and more guaranteed that festival goers got their fix. Check out some of the highlights with us. Photographer: Travis Trautt Man, oh man – Ruby and the Hatchet is a magical band. They delivered such a wild and nasty experience that was almost life changing. This woman-fronted doom metal band embodies the spirit of seventies rock and roll. Dorothia perfects the art of performance, and as such, watching her dominate the stage was hypnotizing. If she didn’t get you hooked, surely the guitar riffs and melodic piano kept you in a constant state of headbang. Photographer: Pooneh Ghana Close your eyes, and imagine you are floating. Are your eyes closed? Add some synth to the mix, and perhaps even a soft gong. Do you feel relaxed? Guaranteed, Dallas Acid‘s dreamy set invoked those exact feelings. The French inspired ambient-electronic band’s calming, yet undeniably chilling, sound contrasted with the heavier tones of the night. Regardless, they managed to win the crowd, and us, over. Photographer: Roger Ho Ariel Pink‘s performance was undeniably fun. The dream-pop act was eccentric, colorful, and playful. Pink has an effortless coolness to him, which translates to his performances. When he performs, it truly looks like he’s just having a good time – the type of good time you and your friends find after a night of partying. That is exactly what his set felt like: a grand party. photographer: Travis Trautt Slowdive is a shoegaze staple, a veteran of the 90’s dreamland . Their set was one of the most packed of the entire festival, which one can be sure is largely attributed to their impressive following. The audience was genuinely enthralled to see this band perform, even calling out for an encore performance. Slowdive gave them an encore, and a transcendent experience of ethereal beauty. Levitation Festival 2018 was one to remember. Despite the tribulations of previous years, one of our favorite Austin festival has returned triumphantly to kick some serious ass. We at Austere can not wait for next year’s festival. Photographer: Pooneh Ghana Photographer: Roger Ho Until then, stay up to date with the festival here, and stay hoping that Levitation 2019 is just as groovy.