It’s no secret that Reno is in the midst of an artistic revival that began a couple of years ago. For some that attended the Off Beat Music Festival from Thursday, Nov. 5 to Sunday, Nov. 8, it was apparent that this movement is continually growing. Local and regional bands and artists gathered at venues across the city to share their talents, but also to celebrate what it means to be from Reno.
The Off Beat Music Festival was the first of its kind in the city, allowing audience members to tour the town from venue to venue instead of crowding their way into one amphitheater or stadium. The Holland Project offered a family-friendly place for parents to take their kids, while places like Chapel Tavern catered to the 21-years-and-older audiences. Regardless, this was the perfect opportunity for bands to gain exposure and fans to enjoy four days of local talent.
Alex Ybarra, the senior account executive for Wolf Pack Relations and an advertising student at the University of Nevada, Reno, started doing promotional work about three months ago with the Glenn Group and helped circulate news about the Off Beat Music Festival.
“Reno in general is going big places,” Ybarra said. “It is developing and becoming a hip, trendy town.”
The event raises money for Future Kind, a charity that educates people about career opportunities no matter their background or situation. The Off Beat Music Festival also helps local and regional bands gain exposure they otherwise wouldn’t have and helps them get placed in venues that reflect their styles.
“I think initially it is a big opportunity for them,” Ybarra said. “The Off Beat Festival within the next few years has a lot of potential to develop and be huge.”
Venues like Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor and 1Up hosted artists that showed a funky, groovy style like Heidilicious and Phat Couch, while places that donned a more casual, rustic style like Chapel Tavern hosted folk artists like Spike McGuire and Actors Killed Lincoln.
One of the highlights of the Off Beat Music Festival, was the affordability. Wristbands were $39 and were valid for the full length of the festival. Unlike events like Coachella that gather thousands of people each year, the Off Beat Music Festival drew a more close-knit community together and encouraged local pride.
Moving into the future, Ybarra said it would be a great opportunity for the City of Reno to partner with UNR for next year’s event. He said that students could benefit from the support of local artists.
“My dream job is to do advertising for a music festival or a specific artist,” Ybarra said. “It was fun actually having the opportunity to work with real professionals.”
Ybarra didn’t have any clues as to which artists would be appearing in next year’s Off Beat Music Festival, but he did say it was going to be an event that continues to grow just like the city of Reno itself.
For more information about the Off Beat Music Festival or to stay updated on next year’s lineup, visit www.offbeatfest.com.
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