Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.
There’s a lot of good arts coverage in this week’s edition. First and foremost, there’s the cover story, about local Native American artists, a segment of the local arts scene—and the culture overall—that doesn’t always get the recognition they deserve. Arts writer Kris Vagner did her usual stellar job with the piece.
But I want to take a few moments to discuss this week’s Arts & Culture feature about the Off Beat Music Festival. It’s a great little fest, with an eclectic mix of bands, drawing on local and up-and-coming touring acts.
This is the fifth year of the festival, and I really admire the perseverance that organizer Flip Wright and his team have brought to it, trying to build something special away from the casinos, something that feels geared to musically adventurous locals and open-minded tourists alike.
And I’m excited that this year they’ve pared the event down a bit. For something like this to work, it only makes sense for all the venues to be within walking distance of one another.
In past years, we at the RN&R, Reno’s bastion of adventure and open-mindedness, probably haven’t given the fest the coverage it deserves—and there’s a simple reason for that. Full disclosure: this year, as in every other year of the festival so far, my silly little singing group is one of the dozens of bands playing. I won’t say too much more than that, but we’re in the mix.
When we journalists encounter a personal conflict-of-interest like this, we’ve got two solutions: 1. We can avoid covering the event, beyond a bare mention in the calender section. Or, 2. We disclose the conflict.
In the past, we’ve opted to avoid covering the fest. But this year, I’m disclosing. Why? Because the event is well worth your attention.
Of course, I’m in a not-going-out-as-much-as-I-used-to phase of my life, so I’ve been looking forward to this festival for months. It’s marked on my calender, surrounded by hearts and stars.