Secretly Y’all, an organization committed to storytelling, hosted Bi
Secretly Y’all, an organization committed to storytelling, hosted Bicycle Y’all their first festival event last Saturday at the fromer GRTC bus depot on South Davis Avenue. The festival celebrated “storytelling, bikes, beer and a new road-sharing campaign called “Respect Our Roads.”
The GRTC is selling the site where Secretly Y’all held their festival, and sent out a request for proposals for future buyers last month.
The depot is currently determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and hosted the RVA Street Art Festival in 2013 and the murals along the Cary Street wall continue to get updated by the University of Richmond.
The festival had a stage for musical acts and speakers, food trucks, and tents with local artists and business people selling their work.
New Normal Apparel,a company that sells clothing and accessories that are made from locally sourced and produced sustainable materials was among the vendors.
New Normal also collaborates with local artists and makers by selling some of their wares. The company also features a different artist every month on their clothing.
“We want to be a little platform for a lot of new artists that are emerging and need a place to sell their stuff,” said Walker Wood, co-owner of New Normal. “We really want to make their stuff accessible to other people, so we go to a ton of events like this.”
Wood says Bicycle Y’all was attractive to her because she’s a biker and New Normal uses bike-related graphics and loves to support that part of the Richmond community. When the bus depot is sold, she hopes it becomes a Saturday morning farmer’s market .
“It could not only be produce, it could be really an artists’ market,” she said.
Wood added that Richmond could pull inspiration from our neighbors to the west.
“Charlottesville did this recent thing called fleaVILLE, where they took this old abandoned lot like this and made it a flea market of local artists, and that happens once a month.”
The festival’s official craft brew partner was the New Belgium Brewing Company out of Fort Collins, Co. The company had a booth selling beer tokens to festival goers. Locals Daniel and Trevor manned the station and they both appreciate the lot’s artistic value.
“I’ve walked by a thousand times because I live really close by and it’s really beautiful,” said local Daniel who moved to Richmond about a year and a half ago. “I’d love to see it continue to be artistic in nature, but at the same time, it’s inaccessible currently. There’s iconography here that I’d like to retain.”
Daniel said he hopes a corporate entity will not be allowed to take over the space.
“If the man gets control, that would be frustrating,” he said. “I’d be very disappointed and hurt personally in the part of my heart that belongs to Richmond.”
Trevor hopes to see public involvement during the transition of the space.
“It would be nice if whoever pursues really tries to take into account the needs and vision of the surrounding community,” he said.
He, like many others, expressed distaste for the space becoming something that resembles the suburbs. He hopes the city will not allow the bus depot to be turned into a large parking lot with a big box store.