A set from Worst Kept Secret Fest V. Credit: Courtesy of Worst Kept Secret Fest.

A set from Worst Kept Secret Fest V.
Credit: Courtesy of Worst Kept Secret Fest.

Our very own city might be on the forefront of obliterating the secret tricks, exclusive cliques and f—— d—s within our music scene.

In this modern age where cities are occupied by strictly-business-minded promoters shooting mass emails to naïve musicians, soulless venue owners strangle money out of young bands, and snotty brats blow smoke to exclude “outsiders,” Worst Kept Secret Fest returns for the 6th time to continue its quest for an oasis where any Columbus artist can evade the exploitation of the scene and come together as one community.

From Friday at 6 p.m. until early Sunday morning, a warehouse known as Dude Locker (527 E. Hudson St.) is set to once again provide the space for the constantly growing festival. The two-day party is free, though donations are accepted.

I finally got the scoop on the “secret” project last year, when co-founder Geoff Spall of the band Friendly Faux invited my band to play on day two of WKSF 5, April 19, 2014.

Having seen the wide-open Dude Locker warehouse nearly empty a number of times, it was surreal to walk into the loud carnival atmosphere that took shape upon this word-of-mouth combine.

Food trucks lined the parking lot, which is normally sprinkled with beat-up tour vans and old skate ramps. Instead of niche groups of people, a diverse collection of people loitered about the event with drinks and greasy (read: delicious) grub, waiting for another band to show up.

Inside the warehouse, two habitually-bare stages were now set and decorated with projectors, monitors, and — in a few performances ­— f—— lasers. A space to the side was re-established as a gallery, lit with Christmas lights for a select group of local artists to showcase artwork. It was rather surprising to see a DIY project so professionally complete.

Show organizers were scattered throughout the area, helping out bands, chatting with people and overall joining in on the party while the musicians and artists comfortably went about over-indulging in food and booze (and whatever else) until it was their turn to perform.

Be it that WKSF is designed to crush the idea of the scene, the in-crowd, the profitability in local music, this giant gathering could not seem to bring a population together any better. Everyone was so damn excited to be alive, so happy to meet you and more than willing to “check your s— out.”

I highly advise literally everyone to be a part of this one, and those WKSFs to come. There is no target audience. Besides being an environment to meet new people with fresh perspectives and proceed to enjoy the hell out of yourself, WKSF also works to help the community beyond those who love art and music.

Sporting a wild, green-eyed cat as the mascot/logo of the festival’s 6th inception, WKSF will take any donations they receive and flip the entire sum over to the Capital Area Humane Society.

According to a press release from Pat Chase, WKSF media contact, the fest will include two stages and 28 of Columbus’ local bands, an art gallery with 10 different artists and food provided by Paddy Wagon and The Burrito Bus.

The secret’s more out than ever, so what else have you got planned this weekend?