Review: Worst Kept Secret Fest II
Last Saturday, musicians from all around Columbus scrambled as they poured their gear into the Dude Locker in preparation for one of Columbus’ greatest DIY (and free) shows, The Worst Kept Secret Festival. A beautiful mash up of Columbus’ local artists and underground rock scene, WKSF held its sophomore event with 16 bands and a handful of artists running from 4:20 pm to 1 am. They proudly and promptly delivered the music exactly at 4:20pm, just as they had promised. The show started off with a bang and never lost it’s momentum as punks and hipsters alike took their places in front of the stage with two-dollar beers in hand.
We sat down with the Coordinators of the event, Tim Sistrunk and Geoff Spall (with special appearance by Mike Folker, Owner of Secret Song records) to discuss the story behind Worst Kept Secret Fest.
Logan Miller: So to get things started, can you tell me a little about yourselves?
Tim Sistrunk: I’m Tim Sistrunk, and I co-founded the event with Geoff Spall. Around August last year we started organizing for Worst Kept Secret Fest and things fell into place by October 5th. I work for a small company in Columbus, and I don’t play any music or make any art, but I am a music enthusiast. I love this scene and the community, so everything we’ve been doing is in the name of the music and art community.
Geoff Spall: I’m Geoff Spall and I’m a college grad that plays in several bands. I co-founded WKSF with Tim last August so we could start a festival that illuminates the underground scene. We wanted to throw a free show, so this was our idea.
LM: For the people who have no idea, what is Worst Kept Secret Fest all about?
GS: For me, Worst Kept Secret Fest is about uniting bands and artists to share an audience. It’s an easier audience with free admission, and it’s mainly about being a DIY collaboration with integrity. We just want to be able to share music with as many people as possible, so we want this to be the biggest show that these bands have played. The bands we usually book are the ones who are up and coming in the underground scene. This is all about promoting a new generation of bands and artists.
TS: Crowd-sourcing and share-sourcing are things we’re very into. We’ve pulled together resources from about 60 individual artists, band members and public community enthusiasts. We’re trying to promote a “use it, share it” type of environment with integrity and a strong work ethic to help us maintain something different.
LM: Can you share a bit about your experience coordinating such an awesome event?
TS: For me it’s been a good way to get to a lot of new people to get to know the scene. Before Worst Kept Secret Fest I last October, felt like a bystander and now I feel like an intricate part of this machine. It’s thrilling! It’s also stressful and there’s a little anxiety riding sometimes, but it’s amazing to see people come together like this.
GS: To me the most important part about this is practicing my own skills and helping other people have a platform to practice their skills. We want people to have a place where other open-minded people accept their work and help them thrive. That’s the kind of environment we want here.
Mike Folker: I’m going to chime in on this too. One of the issues with the Columbus scene is that it’s a clique scene. People in those cliques get really excited, and they do really well inside their own clique, but they’re not really comfortable outside out it. The nice thing about a show like this is that we’re reaching out to different groups and saying ‘Hey! Do you wanna grow your fan base? Do you wanna get beyond the 60 people who are coming out to see you every week?’ We want to make the scene more like the way Columbus was in the 80’s and 90’s when people were going out and seeing bands all the time. It’s very cool for us to do this show, but we think more events like this are going to grow the sphere of the scene.
You can see sponsors and the set list for WKSF II at www.facebook.com/WKSFest and be sure to check out WKSF III on July 20th at the Dude Locker.
Photos by Logan Miller.