Acid Koolaid Festival Deserved More Attention

Dentonites who didn't check out the second year of Acid Koolaid Festival on April 12 through April 15 missed out on damn good offerings of psych-rock and experimental music, with Rotsnaze Collective collaborating with Weird Destiny Productions to provide visuals that made it seem like art was a life form spreading through the venues of choice. 

The event was an ambitious step up from its 2017 launch, which was a raucous weekend hosted solely at Backyard on Bell. This time, showcases expanded to Andy's Bar and Dan's Silverleaf, with each venue making use of alternate stages to keep the jam-packed lineup churning.

Unfortunately, the reliably unpredictable April weather gave organizers a challenge with a flash storm and chilly temperatures. Despite the less-than-ideal conditions, those who attended were visibly having a blast while in awe of the visual architecture. In addition to psychedelic installations, groovy, masterful visual projections were put on by Emily O'Connor, Quentin Smith and Mike Petty.

O'Connor showed particular brilliance by directing her visuals at certain points of the stage rather than just throwing up a wall of images to drape over the performers. At Dan's Silverleaf, a small image of moving wavelengths was expertly placed over an amp as Helen Kelter Skelter entranced the crowd into wavy dance movements.

At closing night at Backyard on Bell, attendees had to keep moving to stay warm, and thankfully an electronic and experimental music lineup encouraged dance movements as the cold evening couldn't chill out the warmth. As Def Rain took the stage, Weird Destiny set up blocks to spell out their group name behind Ashley Cromeens. It's unclear if that was planned, but it was neat to see a stage installation being put together while the music was going.

Organizers of Acid Koolaid Festival may curse the weather that seemingly dampened the turnout. But if you were there, you know there's something special being put together here. This is a fest that's put together by a community of Texas artists eager to support each other and bring psychedelic music and art to the forefront of creative expression. Hopefully in the next year, Denton shows out for one of the best visual and audio presentations in north Texas.

Photos by Mateo Granados
Header image by Mateo Granados