Ep 66: Rob Fitzpatrick of LEVITATION on sustaining through adaptability + community building
Rob Fitzpatrick is one of the co-founders and primary talent buyer/organizer of LEVITATION. Originally named Austin Psych Fest and taking place in a more traditional music festival format, today, LEVITATION is a walkable, intimate and community-focused event that showcases Austin’s world-renowned music venues.
The 2019 event takes place in Austin’s Red River and East Side districts on November 7-10. Acts include John Cale, David J, Angel Olsen, Devendra Banhart, Kikagaku Moyo, The Black Angels, White Fence, Mercury Rev, and many, many more.
In addition to the flagship event in Austin, the group has curated LEVITATION events in France, Chicago, and Vancouver, as well as events in Austin throughout the year and showcases at Mexico City’s NRMAL, The Netherlands’ Le Guess Who, and SXSW. They also founded The Reverberation Appreciation Society record label, which has released records by bands like Night Beats, Holy Wave, Ringo Deathstarr, and many more.
Rob’s background is in design but today, he focuses almost solely on LEVITATION. In our conversation, we talked about hurdles they’ve faced over the 11 years they’ve organized the event and how they’ve overcome them, why they moved to a city fest format, how the financials of the event work, their approach to curating, the role of 1960s psychedelic music in art today, and a whole lot more. Listen above or on iTunes or Spotify.
In this episode, we talk about:
- why they moved to a city fest format
- how the traditional festival format was like building a city every year for them
- why Austin is such a perfect place for the current Levitation format
- how the financials of the event work today
- their approach to curating the lineup and showcasing creative talent
- the symbiotic relationship between Levitation, the artists, and labels/presenters
- the different roles 1960s psychedelic music plays in today’s music
- what the future has in store for levitation
- how the team is structured
- how moving to Puerto Rico has allowed him access to surfing as an outlet
- the introduction of showcase co-presenters and their impact on programming
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Levitation Austin
- Levitation on Instagram
- Levitation France
- Chaos in Tejas
- The Black Angels
- Silver Apples
- 13th Floor Elevators
- Davila 666
Dig this episode? Your ratings and reviews on iTunes go a long way – please take a few moments to share one! <3