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Ormond Beach Observer Friday, Oct. 5, 2018 1 week ago

Voice for autism: songwriter's work to be showcased at upcoming Ormond music festival

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Palm Beach resident Merrick Egber is just one of over 100 music acts to perform at the first Ormond Beach Live Original Music and Art Festival.
by: Jarleene Almenas News Editor

The Ormond Beach Live Original Music and Art Festival is coming to The Casements and Rockefeller Gardens on Saturday, Oct. 13, and the inaugural event will feature 12 stages and more than 100 music acts.

The festival is presented by the Songwriters Showcases of America, which was started in Ormond Beach in 2000 by president and founder Phil Weidner, a city native. In a press release, Weidner expressed excitement to bring the festival back to where it all started. Aside from music from both local and visiting musicians, the festival will also have over 40 display booths by artists and businesses, as well as a beer garden and a kids zone. 

This will be the largest music festival ever held in Ormond, according to the press release. 

One of the artist groups planning to show off their craft is Palm Beach father-son duo Mitch and Merrick Egber. Though Merrick Egber has been songwriting since he was 15 years old, this will be his very first time participating in a live festival. His father will be performing his songs.

Merrick Egber draws his inspiration from artists like Bob Dylan and John Lennon, and he said it means a lot to him to have the opportunity to showcase his talent live. He has Asperger's syndrome and has been an active voice in the autism community. 

He recently wrote the song "Like a Butterfly" for the Els for Autism Foundation's grand finale in Las Vegas. The song will be part of the repertoire at the festival, as it holds a lot of meaning for him.

“I wanted [the song] to be inspirational and to sort of serve as a beacon for anyone else who has autism that just having a condition does not change who you can be, what you can achieve," Merrick Egber said.

His father, Mitch, was the one who advised him to join the festival.

“I think it will be a really cool and insightful experience," Mitch Egber said. "As Merrick said, he wants people to hear his material, and there’s no better place than with the Songwriters Asssociation in Ormond Beach live to do that.”

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