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Rock-star Orion dad pays tribute to local musicians with festival

August 07, 2013 - By Meg Peters

Review Staff Writer

A local musician envisioned a local music festival, so he is paying for the entire event out of his pocket.

"Earlier in the summer the band I'm in wanted to play at some outdoor band concerts, and I just started to realize if we can't find one to play at, why don't we just create our own," Doug Gibson said.

Founder and director of the first ever Wildwood Music Festival, Gibson gathered Lake Orion bands and soloists, found local restaurants to vend, and set the date for August 10 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

"I discovered that we had this really incredible outdoor amphitheater in Orion Township that is really underused, it's such a great resource let's play, let's use it," he said, talking about the Wildwood Amphitheatre located at Civic Center Park across from Canterbury Village.

Gibson's mission is to provide an outdoor concert experience for the entire community, one that showcases up-and coming-talent while feeding the masses with some of Lake Orion's most delicious foods.

Local talent such as Brittany Adams with Highway 23 will be performing at noon, vocal and piano solos hit the stage at 1:30, Gibson's own California Road Trip is on at 3 p.m., the School of Rock Rochester House Band will be at 4:30, and We 3 and She plays at 6 p.m. Classic rock band Seize will close the festival down starting at 7:30 p.m.

Venders such as Jet's Pizza, Buffalo Wild Wings and the Great Harvest Bread Company, to name a few, will be up on the hill along with tons of other family activities including home-grilled burgers, a bounce-house, bubbles and ice cream.

The Orion Art Center will have a tent set up for arts and crafts, where kids can use recycled materials to make crazy-fun projects.

Budding musicians can also whet their whistles at the Musical Petting Zoo with the School of Rock, where kids can try out the electric guitar, drums and congas.

A large motivator for Gibson is giving the youth a chance to rock out.

"Think about how cool that is, a lot of these are going to be bands that have played professionally, but some of the bands are young teenagers," he said. "This is a chance to change this kids life, this is something they been looking forward to all summer."

And it gives California Road Trip a chance to get outdoors. The band started when George Johnson, one of Gibson's old guitar buddies, got back into town and said "let's put our band back together." Soon they added drummer Steve Govern and bassist Dave Clevenger to the mix.

"We're just a couple of dads with kids, we're not trying to make a record and we're not trying to make a living, we're just trying to play music that we love and make a great time of it," Gibson said.

That goes for the concert too. There won't be any big names and unlike some of the fads with bigger music festivals, the Wildwood Music Festival is alcohol free, drug free and completely family oriented.

"Mainly this is just a contribution to the community where people can come be a part of the WMF, it's a great thing to do in the summer and it's a really fun day," Gibson said.

For more information go to www.wildwoodfestival.com.

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