Freakout Festival 2024

Psychedelic and fun 🎸

📸: Freakout

📆 Thursday, November 7th — Sunday, November 10th
🎟 Ticket
info coming later this year
📍 Venues info coming later this year

Every November, a suspicious amount of people with cool wolf haircuts and fat silver rings congregate in dark bars around Ballard to listen to acts from around the world as they shred guitars and scream into mics while gloopy blobs of color project onto them. It’s psychedelic. It’s fun. It’s so Seattle.

I’m talking about Freakout Festival, an annual music fest that celebrates all things punk, rock, and psychedelia. Started in 2013 by musician Guy Keltner, Freakout has nurtured a community of freaks who like to get down to all manners of music while Mad Alchemy Liquid Light Show projects sick visuals onstage. There’s always local talent on display, with bands like Monsterwatch and Biblioteka regularly playing, but the festival also brings in national and international acts like No AgeAllah-Las, and Os Mutantes. There’s a strong connection with the Latin American punk underground, with bands like Margaritas PodridasCarrion Kids, and Sgt. Papers gracing Freakout stages. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of many bands on the lineup—half the fun is discovering groups you might not have gotten the chance to see otherwise. 

At every festival, dozens of bands usually spread across venues like Sunset TavernTractor TavernThe Salmon Bay Eagles, and Caffe Umbria in Ballard over three days. This year, Freakout Fest runs from November 7th to 10th, and while it will still focus on Ballard, they have plans to expand the debauchery into Fremont at Nectar Lounge and High Dive. The official lineup is still on the way, but expect their specific brand of local, Latin American, European, and national acts to play the fest. 


🧪 Mad Alchemy from the Mad Alchemist 💧 If you were at Freakout Festival over the past weekend you couldn’t have missed the liquid light show at the Salmon Bay Hi stage. The guy behind it is Lance Gordon, who started mixing glass plates, ink, oil dye, and light when he was 17. We asked the Mad Alchemist about his techniques and how his analog show has evolved over the years.  Having worked with many of Freakout’s bands before, Lance said Friday night’s show was something of a “new-psych reunion” and “a great rock and roll night” as he lit up the Allah-Las, Death Valley Girls, The Shivas, and Night Beats, among others. He’s worked with Freakout for around eight years and done both Ballard’s Freakout Festival and Freakout Weekender at the Crocodile. “Seattle’s very lucky to have them,” he said of Freakout’s organizers, giving a special shout-out to Acid Tongue frontman Guy Keltner for his role in curating the festival’s lineup, saying, “He did a great job.” Then adding: “His band sounded great too.” 🎶: Allah-Las and @Acid Tongue #madalchemyliquidlightshow #freakoutfestival #seattlemusic

♬ original sound – TheTicketSeattle

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An author pic of Jas Keimig. They have blue braids.

Jas Keimig

Jas Keimig is an arts and culture writer in Seattle. Their work has previously appeared in The Stranger, i-D, Netflix, and Feast Portland. They won a game show once and have a thing for stickers.