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The Giant Secret Music Festival

Chari “Knowledge” Smith, recently voted the region’s best rapper by readers of the RN&R, organized the Giant Secret Music Festival.

Chari “Knowledge” Smith, recently voted the region’s best rapper by readers of the RN&R, organized the Giant Secret Music Festival.

Photo By Allison Young

The event runs from 10 a.m. To 10 p.m. downtown at Wingfield park. Tickets are $40 in advance or $45 that day and are available from the performing artists or from http://giantsecret.com.

The Giant Secret Music Festival will be a day-long celebration of Reno’s music art and culture at Wingfield Park on Sept. 14. The lineup features soul singing headliner Allen Stone and local bands like The Novelists, Mark Sexton Band and Whitney Myer. Proceeds from the festival will go to High Sierra Industries, a local non-profit that provides services for people with disabilities. The event will also feature art installations, local food trucks, brews and merchandise, as well as Reno’s a Silent Disco powered by Silent Storm.

Local musician and organizer of the event Chari “Knowledge” Smith says that Giant Secret will be a unique event. Giant Secret claims to be Reno’s first true indie music festival, and while this is a bold statement to make in a town with festivals like Outsleazed Fest, a punk event, or Speak Your Mind, a hip hop festival—not to mention Artown or half a dozen other events—Smith says that Reno hasn’t seen the likes of Giant Secret just yet.

“I know there have been other music festivals here, we are not claiming to be the first ever music festival, but there’s never been one like Giant Secret,” said Smith. “We’re working on creating an atmosphere and experience, something that you would encounter should you go to a city like San Francisco for a music festival. Along with the fantastic music lineup, we are incorporating large scale art installations, food and interactive activities to help people have a mind blowing experience.”

Smith began dreaming of bringing a music festival to Reno after attending major festivals across the west coast. She was inspired by the thousands of people who drive hundreds of miles to a music festival, and started wondering why these people would go so far out of their way to hear music.

“It’s the experience you can’t find anywhere else that pulls people to these festivals,” said Smith. She began putting the pieces together to build a festival. In her search for funding, she proposed the idea of the music festival to High Sierra Industries (HSI). HSI offers a wide range of support for people with disabilities in the Truckee Meadows to help them live as independently as possible within the community. At that time they were looking for fundraising options and approved the concept. This gave Smith the funding to go looking for a lineup and put the wheels in motion.

“This festival sprung from my love of music and my love of this town,” said Smith. “It’s functioning as a support of the musicians we love, the town we love and of this organization that is an incredible fixture in this community.”

So what’s the big secret? “The name Giant Secret is pointing towards the fact that Reno is full of talent and culture that people aren’t aware of,” said Smith. “Reno’s just not on the map yet. The secret is that the culture in Reno is changing. For example, we are creating an art piece that is a 10-foot-tall bird cage that says, ’The only walls that exist are the ones you create in your mind.’ I think that idea is at the heart of what this music festival is about. It sprung up out of nowhere and will hopefully be successful out of nowhere. The idea that you can take an idea and manifest it into being something awesome, is the secret.”