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A music festival by locals, for locals

03/21/2013

Have you ever wanted to go to a music festival, but the ticket cost and travel distance were just a little too much for you? JSU student and musician Matt Owen has the solution.

Owen decided that it’s time for this area to have its own music festival. He calls the project Camp Wigout, and it will be held in Hollis Crossroads, Ala. from August 9 through August 11. Tickets are a mere $80 for all three days, a steal if you’ve ever forked over $300 for a weekend festival.

Owen says that Camp Wigout is different from your typical festival experience.

“This will be a bit different from corporate-run fests in that the overall feel of the festival will be created by the artists and inventors attending,” Owen explained.

“Camp Wigout is focused on bringing the local musicians together to make something great for the music and art community that exists in the region.”

Owen is a strong supporter of local music, as he is a former Marching Southerner and has his own band, Matt Owen and the Eclectic Tuba. He has gained a large following and is using the connections he has made on the road to bring something special to the area.

Although Owen was not the first person to think that the area needed its own festival, he is certainly the first person to act on the idea.

“I’ve decided to take charge of this festival in hopes that it will motivate local musicians to tighten up their shows, add professionalism to their press packages, give them an annual event to prepare for, and create a small level of competition within this gold mine of a local scene.”

The festival features many local acts, many of whom are JSU students or alumni. A few bands featuring JSU-goers include Secondhand Jones, Ikaros Project, Beach Party(!), and Kill, Baby…Kill.

Jacob Smith, an electronic artist from Oxford who will be featured at the festival, said, “It’s really nice to see a family of musicians that used to just have to play the bar scene actually get a full stage in a festival environment.”

If you enjoy non-commercial tunes, Wigout is the place for you. Along with an impressive list of local bands and artists, Owen has locked down five-time Grammy nominee The Mad Violinist and Symphony Crack Orchestra, along with many other talented acts.

It’s not just locals who are excited about the festival either. Owen has received an outpouring of support from people all over the country and even outside the country who are willing to lend a hand in making Camp Wigout a spectacular event.

“We’ve had over 650 bands apply for the festival. It’s nice, because we’ve been given something we didn’t expect to have in our first year – options,” said Owen.

Only one-third of the artist lineup has been released so far, and there are many more surprises to come.

The festival will emit sort of an outer space vibe, with sculptures donated by local artists, giant robots walking around the grounds, and “space-esque forest walks.”

“You’ll have to be there to see what else we’ve got planned,” said Owen.

There will also be a crew on site who will aid in making sure festival-goers are having a fun, safe experience. Owen calls the crew “Care-Bears.”

Owen says, “It will be one of the most intimate music festivals ever. Most of the musicians will be camping in the campgrounds with the festival-goers, so it’s an experience that everyone will share together. This is our festival.”

Camp Wigout is taking applications for volunteers to work the festival, and information about the lineup and tickets can be found on their website, www.campwigout.com.

Part two of the lineup will be released on April 1.

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