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118: Chris Stewart took his knowledge of marketing & design and combined it with his love of music & racing to create the GridLife festivals

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Chris went to college at an art school in Michigan and focused on graphic design. After graduating, he worked at several design firms and worked his way up the corporate ladder. He was also running a forum called EFHonda to pursue his passion of the EF Honda chassis. He even started his own parking lot meet up called the EF Honda Meet to hang out with fellow enthusiasts. In 2004, they stepped it up and rented Gingerman Raceway on a Monday and took their cars out on to the track. They called it Westminster Honda Meet 4 (for 2004). As the years went by, the Honda Meet grew and turned into a tight-nit community where people would look forward to the meet every year. Chris focused on making it a very professional event and created new designs and marketing material for each event. But cars weren’t the only thing he was interested in. Chris had been attending a lot of music festivals and was meeting a lot of artists all over the country. So, he decided to blend the two hobbies and create GridLife. Taking what he learned from Honda Meet, he wanted to create an event that appealed to more than just the car culture. To do this, he devised an experience-oriented track weekend that also included live music. He encouraged people to camp at the event, grill out, and watch the racing. He also incorporated a car show segment and drifting to make it even more appealing to all the different car segments.