Folks in the Charleston music community are a charitable bunch. It doesn't matter whether they play the music, go out to listen to it or write about it.
Jaden Wylder may be a perfect example of someone within the music community who is looking to help someone less fortunate.
Wylder is a tireless supporter of local music, and has worked with several local media outlets, using her writing skills and natural gift of gab to promote Charleston's music scene.
Two years ago, Wylder held wyldFEST, a three-day benefit to raise money for two Lowcountry residents who needed help with medical bills. Talking by phone last week from her Charleston home, where she was recovering from back surgery and yet still planning this weekend's event, Wylder discussed how the event was born.
"wyldFEST was started because someone sent me an e-mail. They knew I had a lot of connections in the music scene, and they needed help setting up a fundraiser. I ended up taking over the event, but the situation for the person the benefit was originally built around improved. Well, I had 30 bands ready for three different venues, and so I decided I would find someone else that needed the help," she said.
Wylder found two potential candidates in Charleston, including Robin Lobosco, a woman in dire need of a kidney transplant. As a result, wyldFEST was born. Lobosco did receive a new kidney, but there are still challenges.
"Some of her medications are $1,200 a bottle," said Wylder. "A lot of times insurance will pay for the transplant, but not the maintenance medication. That really doesn't make sense to me."
This year, Wylder was sought out by the drummer for Control Freak, a local band. The musician had a friend, Dave Pugh, who had been diagnosed with cancer, and the band wanted to hold a benefit for him. Wylder had wanted to hold an event to help raise funds again for Lobosco.
When yet another friend told Wylder about the challenges being faced by Reece Bullock of Charleston, who was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, she began to plan for the current edition of wyldFest. This year's benefit is dedicated to Ramey Reeves, the second beneficiary of the first wyldFEST, who passed away just days after that 2008 event. This year's wyldFEST is a two-night event. Friday night things kick off at Jimbo's Rock Lounge in West Ashley.
Entertainment will be provided by Skye Paige and Control Freak, with a special performance by Bizarro Burlesque in between those music acts. In between acts there will be additional activities, including a bachelor auction, a presale event for the Ladies of wyldFEST Lingerie Calendar (which features members of Bizarro Burlesque and the Lowcountry High Roller Derby Girls), a raffle, and carnival games.
On Saturday, the event moves to Rendezvous in North Charleston. In addition to musical acts On the Hunt, Jamisun, Chris Sullivan, Neverthaless and Control Freak, events on the second evening of wyldFEST include a pig roast, poker run, bachelor auction, wyldFEST calendar presale, and plenty of surprises.
All proceeds from the event go toward helping out Lobosco, Pugh and Bullock, and Wylder is quick to praise the various people who have donated their time and venues to make the event possible. "I have been blessed with wonderful people in my life. In the six years I have lived here I have come to know so many giving people, and I figured it was time to give something back," she said.
This year's edition of wyldFest looks to be full of fun activities, and will hopefully raise some funds for three people in need.
if you go
day 1: 8 p.m. Friday at Jimbo's Rock Lounge, 1662 Savannah Highway
day 2: 8 p.m. Sunday at Rendezvous Bar & Grill, 7832 Rivers Ave.
cost: $5 each night. Local firefighters admitted free in honor of the Charleston 9.