Ready to get your music on? Lovers of music, locals and out-of-towners and anyone wanting to be immersed in the Reno scene can take part in the upcoming Offbeat Arts and Music Festival, planned to celebrate local music, art and eventually, the culinary, too.
The first of its kind in Reno, this four-day festival runs Nov. 5-8 and is modeled in some fashion after the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, according to organizers. It gives attendees the chance to listen to more than 80 bands over four days in Reno as they stop in at as many as 13 venues, located in the arch district, brewery district or midtown. These venues range from the 3rd Street Bar and Shea's Tavern to the Studio on Fourth, The Loving Cup and Cargo – a full list can be found on the festival website. Of course, it may be next to impossible to take in all the bands, but there will still be plenty of good music to go around.
"The idea of this festival, in particular, is to showcase how much good music and art there is in Reno," said Baldo Bobadilla, a co-organizer of the event and executive director at Future Kind, an organization empowering people to live creative and healthy lifestyles. "We are supporting them and paying all of the artists and putting cash into the music scene."
Other co-organizers include Flip Wright of the Glenn Group and Remi Jourdan of Entertainment Management Group. There are a variety of sponsors, including Plumas Bank, the Silver Legacy Resort Casino and 100.1 FM The X.
Bobadilla himself performs as a guitarist and singer with Drinking with Clowns, a band that features funky rhythms and Latin sounds, which plays at 7 p.m. Nov. 8 at Cargo.
"We also tried to gather some old-school Reno bands," Bobadilla said. "This whole thing is about the Reno music scene and the talent we have here."
The times for music performances vary each day, but Saturday, the longest day of the event, features a full day of events scheduled to start at 1 p.m. with the Whiskey Heroes playing at Future Kind Village. Music continues well into Sunday with deejay Chango scheduled to start at 2:30 a.m. at 1-Up followed by FM Marc around 3 a.m. A map also can be found on the festival website.
Two different ticketing options for the event are available, including the $49 general admission, which gives attendees the chance to see bands at all of the venues – except Cargo – via wristband during the four days. The $81-$106 all-access ticket (pricing is expected to increase as the festival approaches) provides access to all venues, including Cargo, where bands like Mojo Green and Con Brio are scheduled to play.
"Think about how much music there is and how much music you can have for that price," Wright said. "It's unheard of."
Individuals who don't purchase wristbands may be able to pay a cover charge of $10 at specific venues, given space is available. Wristband holders will be given priority, according to the festival website. Cover charges may cost more for some of the performances at Cargo.
About 80 percent of the performing bands are from the area while about 20 percent are from out-of-town, Bobadilla said. One of these out-of-towners is Con Brio, which is slated to play at 9:30 p.m. Nov. 8 at Cargo. Con Brio, with traditions coming from soul, funk and R&B, is from the Bay Area and received incredible press coming out of the Austin City Limits festival, Wright said. Others bands, such as The Atomiks, SubDocta and Weapons of Mass Creation have more local roots.
"We feel like this is an idea and a model that has worked in other places and that it could work really well here," Wright said.
Additional performances featuring groups such as Delta Nove, Whatitdo, The Liver Scars, Robot Barbie, Postwar and many, many more are scheduled. A full list of bands can be found listed under here.
"We have some very very good touring acts that are coming that I think will blow people's minds," Wright said. "We also feel pretty strongly that there are a lot of people who live here who don't even know how much of a thriving music scene we have in the area."
A Circus Circus shuttle will be available to help festival attendees move between different areas, like from the brewery district to midtown. Performances will occur as far north as the Studio on Fourth on Fourth Street and as far south as the Holland Project on Vesta.
"Nothing like this has really happened before in Reno where we have so many bands at so many venues performing simultaneously," Wright said. "You can literally walk from bar to bar and every single one of our venues is going to have four or five bands playing."
Early planning for the event started in June 2014. Initially, organizers had the idea of having a summer festival, but realized how much competition they would have with other established events. However, once a late fall date was selected, finding the venues to participate easily fell into place, Bobadilla said.
"It made sense for them," he said. "We did all of the booking for them, and all of the marketing and promotion was on us. This has been going on nonstop for the last six to eight months. Everyone's involvement kind of benefits everyone else."
The festival also encompasses artists who work in different mediums, and for which a list of locations is provided here. These artist venues are free, according to organizers, but festival-goers are encouraged to visit and purchase art. Finally, the culinary aspect of the festival is expected to be built out more in upcoming years, although there should be a few booths selling food during the festival.
"This year, we are a little short-handed on the culinary things, but that's something that we want to work on in the future," Bobadilla said.
The plan for the Offbeat Arts and Music Festival is to become an annual event that will expand to include more venues, but also to feature more bands, including those that are national, as well as artists and culinary venues.
"We really see this becoming a new legacy event for Reno," Wright said.