The Blooming Psychedelic Scene: A Conversation With @philadelphiapsychedelic

by Olivia Paranich | @lamechica

I had the wonderful opportunity to talk with Kyle Ciarrocchi, the mind behind the Philadelphia Psychedelic Instagram page, and a dedicated participant in the Philadelphia scene. Keep reading to learn more about the collective and what they’re up to.

Olivia: what inspired you to start psych philly?

Kyle: Philadelphia Psychedelic was started independently with the intention of giving the blooming psychedelic and experimental art and music scene in Philly a platform. There has been a shift in the local scene towards that style and it has been very exciting seeing the scene expand its horizons and seeing people connect and collaborate through art in beautiful ways. The local diy music scene used to be mostly two or three genres and similar types of bands for years, which has been great, but seeing all these bands with psychedelic influence on their music creating these awesome shows and adding elements like improvisation, far out sounding effects live experimentation, and mind-bending theatrics on stage. No one else had put a name to this movement, so me and few buddies decided to give it that push. It has been amazing seeing how many people are on this energy and how much people want to be involved and believe in it all.

O: what has been your favorite memory associated with the collective since you started it?

K: Best memory so far- our first official event, the psychedelic stoop crawl in North Philly. Our small independent team teamed up with another independent venue known as the “Philly Stoop” which throws outdoor block party shows to throw a festival-like event that included over 35 local art and craft and clothing vendors, 7 Philly psych bands, and tons of great fun like body and face painting, visual arts and live art, and tons of smiling and dancing. The experience was unbelievable and a huge success, everyone was so kind and friendly and not one person there left without a huge smile. There was so much love, tons of new friendships being made and so much connection. I have never thrown a show before and was amazed with how smooth it went. It’s just such a kind and loving scene, we owe it to the people, seriously.

O: where did the idea for a psychedelic renaissance fest come from? 

K: The Psychedelic Renaissance Fair idea bloomed from the realization that not everyone can get to the Pa Renn Faire, and we wanted to give people that experience locally, while running it completely independently and also simultaneously celebrating THE Psychedelic Renaissance in Philadelphia! The name works well for both. Plus, its so fun to dress up and live in that celestial fantasy land for a day anyway, anyone can get down with it! We have the biggest art mart that I’ve ever seen at a show in Philly, with over 45 confirmed vendors. Julia from the stoop creates the magic behind the mart. I’m beyond stoked to be working with her on these Psych Stoop creations, she’s amazing. She also creates such a vivid and immersive aesthetic with her graphics and social media and it’s just all so cool. We also are doing a clothing and food drive at this fest, we want to give back to our neighbors to prepare for a cold winter. Come out and donate!

O: what does the future of psychedelic philly look like?

K: The future is bright for Philadelphia Psychedelic, anywhere it goes will be fantastic, the fact that it exists and that people feel like they can identify with something and be a part of something really cool means the world. The first events have been nothing but amazing and I do believe they will grow as more people immerse themselves, it is just too much fun not to bring to more people. I think eventually we will be able to include larger bands and move to venues and larger outdoor spaces as more people come around. The boundaries simply don’t exist, Philly Psych is truly a community and movement that is run by the people who believe in it, not just any one or two people. It is truly happening, there is something amazing going on, a fresh and free mindset- a lot of tie dye, a lot of noise, and a lot of love for psychedelic art and community.

O: anything else you’d like to share?

K: Id like to thank everyone who has been supporting and getting behind everything going on with Philadelphia Psychedelic. It has not only helped create a solid community but also introduce people to the colorful world of psychedelic art, music, and general mindfulness as a whole. We can only achieve more by banding together and making it happen. It all starts with believing in what you do. Lets get together!

The next Psychedelic Stoop Fair is on November 19th from 1-8pm. Go check out the amazing bands and vendors! Head over to Instagram for more info, and follow Kyle & Philly Psych to keep up with future projects!

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