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OMG Music Festival to hit Grand Rapids

Nationwide tour highlights young up-and-coming musicians


Since the creation of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, more and more musicians have sparked their own big breaks by uploading videos and recordings of themselves.

The OMG Music Festival is a festival that highlights some musicians that began their career through these means. Kicking off on July 31, the tour will hit Texas, Ohio and New York before making a stop at The Intersection in downtown Grand Rapids on Aug. 8 at 7 p.m.

“Social media gives anyone the opportunity to get out there and get exposure,” said Tyler Matl, an OMG Music Festival musician. “Before (social media), all you had was the radio or you had to sign with a record label or you had to play on a major tour hoping to become famous. Now you can get the same amount of exposure with social media…and now you can do it for free.”

At the age of five, Tyler Matl began singing at his church in Nashville, Tenn. Today, Matl is 19 years old and has 295,000 cumulative views on YouTube. He has won the International Music and Entertainment Association Award for Pop Entertainer of the Year, his single “All I Have Ever Wanted” received 8 million downloads on the website VideoStar and his songs have been on the top 10 charts for both country and pop for over 16 weeks.

Thanks to the extensive exposure that social media networks provide, Matl is also known internationally, and his songs have been on radio stations in the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. With such a stacked resume, it comes as no surprise that the budding Internet star is familiar with the tour.

“I have performed at all the OMG Festivals already,” he said. “And everyone is super talented and we're all…different genres and we are really diverse, so I think it keeps everyone really entertained.”

Matl was invited, as well as many of the other artists, to perform on this tour through Lisa McQueen.

The OMG Music Festival was created by McQueen, who is also the tour's host. McQueen is the aunt of newly-discovered pop star Austin Mahone.

McQueen's co-host is pop-recording artist Mac Demy. Demy is signed with TeamTunez Records.

Six solo musicians, including Matl, and one group will perform at the festival. The performers are X-Factor contestants Jacob Whitesides and Reed Deming, Justin Brown and Chase Martin in Round2Crew, Grant Land, Dylan Holland and Alyssa Shouse, who was discovered by Jason Derulo.

“I am really looking forward to seeing what I can learn from all these other artists,” Matl said. “Everyone is different. It's not like you have the same act going up after each other.”

All platinum tickets, valued at $100, are already sold out for the festival. The 50 people who purchased the tickets will attend the show an hour and half before it starts to have a pizza party with all the musicians. Silver tickets are still available for $95, which includes a meet and greet as well as an OMG gift bag. General admission for the festival is $45 per person. Tickets can be purchased at sectionlive.com or at omgmusicfest.com.

“I have performed with everyone on the tour,” Matl said. “It is going to be so much fun. It not only is an opportunity to see your favorite artists live, but it is like a one-on-one concert.” 

spendowski@lanthorn.com



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