A music festival can't survive without good branding--no matter what crowd you're trying to attract. For his second annual Psycho De Mayo festival this Sunday, promoter Evan Hagen made sure everything--from the band lineup to the acid trip posters--create a vibe that's eccentric, inclusive, and rowdy as fuck. Though most consider Psycho De Mayo to be geared to psych-rock scenesters, presenting a wide range of acts like the doom metal pioneers of Pentagram, Stoner Metal thrashers The Shrine and hypnotic art rockers Suuns mirrors Hagen's own connoisseur tastes.
Mary Bell Psycho De Mayo last year at the Yost
"I want to cater to the people of course but I wouldn't want to put a band on stage that I couldn't stand behind, just because I thought they could sell tickets," Hagen says. "There's no point to doing that. I wanna go to a show that I would wanna go to."
After holding the first year of the the fest at the Yost, Hagen moved it across town to the Observatory this year to continue building his brand. But he was surprised last month when he found out the Yost was still hosting Psycho De Mayo--a very different Psycho De Mayo, presented by LA hip hop legends Psycho Realm slated for May 4. It turns out the group, led by emcee Sick Jacken, had started their idea for an event with the same name the same year as Evan. Two shows with two very different brands with the same name, in the same city? Whether it was calculated or just some bumbling coincidence, the brand confusion caused a momentary stir over which fest was legitimately more psycho.