5th Annual Songwriters Festival in Gatlinburg
Music is always in the air around Gatlinburg, but never as much as during the Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival. The 5th Annual festival will take place from August 24 through 28 at locations throughout the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area. With four days of free music concerts offering over 120 shows plus the special ticketed events, any lover of carefully crafted tunes will want to be in Gatlinburg for this event.
On Saturday night, August 27, a concert by three Hall of Fame Hit Songwriters will bring together the folks who wrote the songs that made Garth Brooks a music legend. At “The Garth Brooks Hit Writers in Concert” the audience can hear songs performed by Pat Alger, Tony Arata, and Kent Blazy. If you love Garth, you’ll love this show. Doors open at 6 p.m. for the 7 p.m. show at Glenstone Lodge in Gatlinburg. This event is sure to be a popular one, so you’ll want to get your tickets before they’re gone. Order them online! Prices range from $20 for adults to $10 for kids age 6-12, plus tax.
These same three songwriters will sit on a panel in the Workshop Series: “Songwriter Advice from Hall of Famers.” Aspiring song-smiths will no doubt benefit from the expertise of these writers as they share their experiences and guidance.
Another ticketed performance from Emi Sunshine and The Rain is sure to be another crowd pleaser. On Friday, August 26 at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort, doors will open at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. show. Like the Hall of Famers, Emi Sunshine and her mother will also lead a workshop, this one focusing more on the family performance aspect of the songwriting business.
One highlight of the Festival will be the Song Competition Finale and Awards Show, held on Saturday the 27 at the Edgewater Hotel. All the hard work of the Festival attendees will be on display, especially for the panel of industry-professional judges. A whole gang of Nashville pros will be evaluating the song-writing chops of the hopefuls. The panel will include: Larry Beaird of Beaird Music Group; Aaron Bowlin of Curb Records; Frank Green of Skytone Entertainment; Lisa Johnson with Sweet Renegade Music; Jeffery Nelson with Blue Canoe Music Group; Sandy Ramos with The Songtuner; and Larry Shell with Not Her Money Music.
Category winners will receive cash prizes; handmade leather guitar straps or leather sheet music cases crafted by Doug McCrossin of the Country Cobbler in the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community; and studio time at Steel Strings Productions Studio.
Whether it’s a ticketed concert or one of the many free shows throughout Gatlinburg, take the time to stop for a listen. Then you can appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes into the writing of your favorite songs.