Miami Psych Fest Unites Local and Touring Musicians With a 40-Act Lineup

The Dewars, one of 40 live acts to play Miami Psych Fest.EXPAND
The Dewars, one of 40 live acts to play Miami Psych Fest.
Courtesy of the Dewars
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The first time Eclectic Overdrive’s Adam put on a show at the now-shuttered, all-ages Pembroke Pines venue Talent Farm in 2012, it was packed with people who didn’t typically attend live music events. The popularity of that night was a sign that Adam, whose last name is Arritola but goes solely by his first, would still be producing shows years later.

“I didn’t know what to expect. I had no idea what I was doing and no help,” he recalls.

Brandon Kersey was the first act up, a guy from Spring Hill who then had no following. Adam says there were more than 50 folks in the audience before he even made it to the stage. “People were dancing and goofing around with their friends. Nobody was in a bad mood the entire night,” he says. There was even a Pikachu in attendance, and people were moshing in a pig costume brought by Astronaut, the band now known as AstroMaps, from their video for “Stranger.”

A native of Pembroke Pines, which he calls “purgatory,” Adam is still very young. He just turned 22. As Eclectic Overdrive, he’s putting on the Perfect Trip: Miami Psych Fest, a two-day event at the multipurpose venue and gallery the Bridge, with about 40 diverse acts he culled from the local and national scenes. The fest will run from 4:20 p.m. to 4:20 a.m. June 23 and 24 and include visual installations and food trucks.

As the name suggests, Eclectic Overdrive is dedicated to bringing together acts and fans of diverse genres — from jazz to electronic to rock and everything in between. “Eclectic Overdrive is a project I started with the purpose of exposing people to new and positive, progressive-minded arts to expand their horizons. [I] really want for it to become a hub for anything creative and progressive,” Adam says.

Though it was launched only in 2015, it already boasts 100,000 Twitter followers. He also plans to expand from shows to include art, clothing, and news. He’s working on expanding its members and going nationally. “Since my first show, I have remained true to the 'diverse genre' idea of it... I believe heavily in individuality, and I believe in trying to better yourself daily and learning from mistakes.”

The name of the event might sound familiar because it echoes the popular Austin annual Psych Fest dedicated to showcasing the psychedelic genre. Adam has attended that festival. “It is a wonderful time. I originally wanted to go with Cosmic Beach [for the Miami festival] for more of a Miami vibe, but the show isn't really at the beach,” he explains. “So while they all wouldn't be categorized as psych acts, they are all a very special treat for anyone who is in the right state of mind.”

The importance of uniting acts that might not usually play together has greater significance than just pumping up the crowd size. “The purpose of this unique lineup mixture is to open people up to things they may not have even known existed. Inspiration can bring incredible creations out of people, and what better way to inspire than putting a multitude of assorted virtuoso talent all on the same lineup?” he asks. But he hopes these shows will have an even larger impact on the South Florida musical output. “I feel there is a massive need for this in Miami because everything down here is very cliquey. By having artists involved in several different music scenes, it will mesh crowds that would normally never be found together. By all fitting the same vibe, this could easily create unity within the South Florida scene, and essentially lead to new bands, new promoters, new artists, new friendships, etc. Ultimately, by opening people's music tastes up, genre-wise, it could essentially lead to the creations of new genres as well, because people try to start meshing things.”

This year's Miami Psych Fest lineup includes acts that aren’t yet national headliners but have been written up by publications such as this one and Vice’s Noisey. It includes national and local bands like former West Palm Beach brothers and current Atlanta duo the Dewars, Miami psych-surf trio Mo’Booty, experimental threesome Pariuh, which incorporates visual elements into its performances, and DJs bringing R&B to electronica Lautlos and Phantasman of XYZA. For a bit of living Miami musical history, wild man and legendary jazz saxophonist Kenny Millions will play with the granddaddy of noise music, Rat Bastard, and his frequent cohort, drummer Steven Bristol.

“My goal is to provide each of my performers with an audience so large it could be documented and networked to increase their individual followings. Every last act on this lineup has beautiful talent,” Adam notes. So a goal of the fest is for its popularity to ripple out and assist the gifted performers with a bit of its social media magic. “I think by mass promoting this festival and having them play for people may not even know they exist, it could create a lot of buzz for these young people working to accomplish their dreams.” As Adam works toward his goals through Eclectic Overdrive, he seems hellbent on bringing those he respects on the journey with him.

The Perfect Trip: Miami Psych Fest
4:20 p.m. to 4:20 a.m. Friday, June 23, and Saturday, June 24, at the Bridge, 4220 NW Seventh Ave., Miami; 305-632-5776; facebook.com/thebridgemiami. Admission is free before 6 p.m., $10 after 6 p.m., and $15 for a weekend pass via miamipsych.eventbrite.com.

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