The United States is a unique area of the world for psytrance. Due to the number of cities separated over a large geographical distance, the culture is spread around the country. You can find trance gatherings all over throughout the year, featuring diverse sounds and aesthetics unique to each area. Very underground, communities are tight knit and support one another. You would recognize many of the same faces after a few parties in one area.
There is a thriving culture of quality local homegrown DJ’s and producers. Parties mostly feature these acts and fly over one or two acts from elsewhere in the world. This provides opportunities for those aspiring to increase their involvement within the scene.
You can find all varieties of psy parties. In cities, you can find them in clubs, bars, warehouses, lofts, yoga studios, parks, & rooftops. Weather permitting, the best locations are outside in the mountains and forests, next to lakes & rivers, in deserts, on islands, boats, etc… Here, the scene must be creative to avoid complaints and unwanted attention. The community is very diverse as the US is a melting pot of all nationalities, all types of people are welcomed.
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The northeast is surging with new energy. Many long time psy organizers have retired, making way for the next generation. Led by Fractaltribe (MA), Respect Gatherings (NYC) & Radial Engine Tribe (NY), each crew has their own open-air festival during the summer and indoor events throughout the year. Fractaltribe is known for large-scale immersive atmospheres while featuring a smooth variety and flow of psychedelic music throughout the event with psytrance as the pinnacle. Respect Gatherings focuses it’s sounds on progressive/Full on with funky driving basslines and is driving the scene in NYC, while Radial Engine Tribe is known for high-energy dark psy & suomi with parties that can last for days on end.
There are two crews in the southeast who consistently organize quality yearly festivals. T.O.U.C.H. Samadhi’s features its 11th annual edition of Equinox based in Deerfields, NC. Pangea Productions / Pure Perception Records organizes “Welcome to Pangea” in the Appalachian Mountains and is about diversity helping to show that each sound has a place on the dancefloor and that all sounds should be explored in order to give a proper psychedelic transcendental experience. Both these events are well produced intimate gatherings, which can reach up to 600+ people.
There are many crews in the Midwest who stand out and provide psychedelic sounds to an area generally overlooked. If visiting, check out Spacecamp Psyfari (Iowa), The Chilluminati & Plush Industries (Wisconsin), Cosmic E.g.g (Minnseota), Eldritch Crew (Indiana), & 1STOMP! / Atrium Obscurum (Tx).
Spacecamp Psyfari brings all genre’s of psychedelic electronic music together in a heavily themed multi stage deco environment. The Chilluminati feature psychedelic trance, chill and ambient music with art and kinetic performances. Eldritch crew are founders of the Indiana psytrance scene and have made a strong impact, drawing similar numbers to much more established scenes while keeping their events accessible to newcomers. Comic e.g.g. does family style events with a focus on the more psychedelic side of trance with high bpm peak time music. 1Stomp! is a Texan portal where you can find info on the psy events in the area and connect with local Texan trancers. Plush Industries does indoor campouts with themed activities with focus on irreverent fun and variety of psychedelic music, prominently in the psy realm.
In Colorado, be on the lookout for Rhythm Spell, 11:11 productions, & Native Circuit. Native Circuit focuses more on the healing and transformative side of Psychedelic music and art and is based out of Crestone, Colorado. Rhythm Spell is a new Colorado crew focusing on high bpm, full power night. 11:11 productions focuses on Full On events with both a reoccurring monthly (Ion), and other underground events.
The west coast is an innovative center of psytrance in the US, from which there are many tenured organizations. In SoCal, Psytribe is the longest continuously active psy crew in the country with 17 years experience and are known for their annual campout events Spring Freakuency & Halloween’s Psychedelic Freak Show featuring international headliners & Funktion1 sound systems. Moontribe Collective has been putting together top quality events for over two decades and are famous for their parties in the Mojave Desert; they feature a variety of top quality electronic music and have close ties to the psy community. Pulsar is a crew formed in 2010 and puts on regular events in the SoCal area and has teamed up with Motive who brings over large progressive acts, making an accessible outlet for newcomers.
In NorCal, Pulse SF is very active; organizing high quality events featuring multiple international headliners. Pulse is known for it’s popular stages at How Weird Street Faire in San Francisco and has just launched Pulse LA for SoCal productions. Red Marines is a Russian crew that highlights night acts, they celebrated their 10th year anniversary in 2014. Parvati Mandala hosts outdoor events with focus on Parvati style psy. Symbiosis produces a large festival with multiple music genres across many stages with massive deco installations featuring many international psytrance headliners. You can also catch Goa Gil play 24 hour sets at Party Baba’s events.
Deco & psychedelic art are prominent and many Americans are inspired to create. Tapestries and stretch fabric are popular and a few homegrown deco artists are brought around the country such as Nephilnine Deco (NY) for her UV lycra installations and Wizart Visions (NY) for her extrasensory tapestries. Global Village Productions have relocated to California and now bring their well-known airbrush lycra installations all over the US and continue to innovate. Symbiotic Creations is a large scale stage and deco installation crew for the west coast. Neural Patterns (Texas) creates impressive geometrical UV string art installations and stages. The emerging deco concept that is picking up popularity is projection mapping and digital art. Digital artists Android Jones & Sam Farrand (NH) are two to keep an eye on who produce astonishing visual images. Inert Geometry (Kinematic Records, TX) produces large portal vortex paintings with digital variations. Zebbler (MA) is the video mapping mind behind all visual stage setups “Shpongletron” and has gone on multiple tours with Shpongle.