Worst Kept Secret Fest: 5 can't-miss acts at this weekend's festival

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Since launching in 2012, Worst Kept Secret Fest, a free music festival held twice yearly, has grown by leaps and bounds. Now in its seventh itineration, the event, which takes place Friday and Saturday, May 22 and 23, has finally outgrown its original home, shifting from the Dude Locker to the more spacious confines of Skate Naked — a change organizers anticipated last fall as crowds grew north of 1,000 revelers. “Outgrowing Dude Locker isn’t a huge problem to have,” said Arts Director Heather Shoemaker in an October 2014 interview. “But who knows, maybe the next one could be at Crew Stadium.” Here are five more acts on this weekend’s lineup we’re excited to see.

Pale Grey Lore (10:20 p.m. Friday)

The doomy trio drips menace on riff-driven monsters like “Life in the Hive.” “There’s simply no place to hide,” sings frontman Michael Miller as the music circles and snarls like a pack of wolves on the hunt.

Ponyshow (12:05 a.m. Friday)

Ponyshow was born from the ashes of Detroit garage-rock crew the Von Bondies (all three logged time in the now-defunct group, including frontman Jason Stollsteimer), though songs like “Yeah, My Ears” and the bounding “Folks” owe a heavier debt to ’90s alterna-rock.

Sleep Fleet (10:20 p.m. Saturday)

Don’t sleep on this local quartet (I’ll see myself out, thank you), which balances ferocity with a keen ear for melody on bound-along scrappers like “Leaky Head.”

Betsy Ross (10:55 p.m. Saturday)

The local rock trio came into its own on its self-titled January 2015 EP, stomping through jittery rock cuts built around singer/guitarist Charity Crowe’s big, bluesy voice.

Ladyblazer (1:15 a.m. Saturday)

The alternative hip-hop collective cites a wide assortment of influences on its Facebook site, including Modest Mouse, Sublime and Mos Def. The After All EP reflects this diversity, marrying light funk instrumentals with largely conversational verses.

Skate Naked

5:40 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, May 22 and 23

3790 E. Fifth Ave., North Side

worstkeptsecretfest.com