28 Jun Songwriting Festivals You Don’t Want to Miss
All About Songwriting Festivals
Most of us have probably heard of Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Stagecoach music festivals, but songwriting festivals are a thing too. Especially for …songwriters. Festival stages are filled with songwriters, playing and performing their original songs. These festivals are a great way to connect with singer-songwriters you already love and also with new friends and potential co-writers. Depending on your personal tastes, there are all kinds of songwriter festivals, from smaller, more intimate ones or party venues with big crowds at one of the largest tourist destinations in the world. Songwriter festivals are a great way to recharge when you are feeling less than inspired or looking for new ideas to energize your writing. There is something really cool and powerful when you get with like-minded creatives. Whether you are looking for new material or preparing for a songwriting competition, a songwriter’s festival can be a fun way to help you achieve your goals.
Key West Songwriters Festival, 2019
The best thing about the Key West Songwriters Festival is that it is the biggest songwriter’s festival in the world and, hello, it’s in Key West! The next festival in May 2020, will be the 25th anniversary. Because it takes place in Key West, Florida, you have access to bars, beaches, boats, and theaters during the five days of the festival. After 24 years, the festival has become a tourist destination, attracting big names like Brad Paisley, Trent Tomlinson, and Jack Ingram for the artist line-up. Over 200 songwriters perform at the festival, and most of the shows are free. If you enjoy crowds and a large venue set in a beautiful beach town, then this might be the songwriter festival for you. Make sure to make your reservations far in advance so you have a place to stay! Proceeds support the BMI Foundation, which encourages future artists and administers competitions for future songwriters to win internships, awards, and scholarships. Book your reservations now and plan to have a great time!
Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival, 2018
The 5th Annual Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival takes place from October 18 through 20, 2019, in Dripping Springs, Texas. Even the city name sounds like it should be in a country song! Just west of Austin, this festival has five stages, all within walking distance of each other, so you can roam from stage to stage. With over 60 showcases, the festival can keep even the most avid music fan busy. Unlike the festival in Key West, Dripping Springs has a smaller, more intimate feel even with the many visitors and artists representing every kind of musical genre. Check out their website for more information on how to submit yourself as a solo songwriter for next year’s festival. Past headliners include Lori McKenna, Rodney Crowell, and JD Souther. Not only is the festival worthwhile, but part of the proceeds every year go to New Groove, a nonprofit which helps kids get the instruments, lessons, and mentorship they need.
Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival, 2018
Set against the backdrop of the Smoky Mountains, you won’t have to look any further for inspiration. The Smoky Mountain Songwriter Festival takes place August 11-18 for the 2019 season. There are tons of cool opportunities for songwriters at this festival including a songwriting competition and a chance to have your own songwriter showcase. The SMSWF is also hosting a Bluegrass Camp which coincides with the start of the 8th Annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival. There are many opportunities for songwriters to play their music throughout the festival that is free to the public, so you won’t play to an empty room. All genres of music are represented, including gospel, country, and bluegrass. Make your reservations early, as Professional musicians, new songwriters, and music lovers converge on the area for the 10 days of the festival every year. The festival enthusiastically welcomes volunteers, which can be a great way to meet the people involved.
As a singer-songwriter, you want to grow as a person and as an artist. Sometimes the best way to achieve your goals is to connect with others and see how far they have gone. New songwriters are welcomed at all the music festivals, even if you have never been to a festival or songwriting contest before. When you go, bring some money for souvenirs, like venue tee shirts, but leave your expectations at home.
Going to a songwriter festival can be a fun way to get yourself out of your old routine, meet new people and create new music and new opportunities. If you have other good festival suggestions, let us know on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Check out our website for songwriter interviews and song contest information.
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About us: Foxhedge Music is a management company and recording studio located in historic Leiper’s Fork. Our mission is to support and encourage songwriters. We believe they are the backbeat of Music City, while we continue to invest our time and resources in the Music City community. Through the Music City SongStar Songwriting Contest, we want to give songwriters a chance to have their music heard. We’re believers in creativity, chasing dreams and getting the chance to pursue your passion