There’s lots of free live music happening in Gatlinburg as the 2015 Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival returns for its 4th year running Wed-Sun, August 19-23. This is a unique music event in the Southeast, lots of music as well as a chance to meet and learn from insiders in the music industry and experience a personal connection with hit songwriters.
The Songwriters Festival hosts brings the writers of some of the greatest hits up close and personal to perform their original renditions of the songs, and to tell the background story and meaning of the song, as well as the industry tales behind its success.
Around 100 free concerts will be staged at various venues throughout Gatlinburg during the 4-day festival, as more than 150 songwriters join a host of performers gathering for this event. Probably no other event brings so many hit songs together in one festival, not to mention the hit songwriters.
The kickoff show on Thursday, August 20 is headlined by Stella Parton, with young Molly Jeanne opening for her. Friday offers a special treat with youngster Emi Sunshine in a ticketed show, back again this year to wow the audiences, with a Grand Ole Opry debut under her belt, and a national tour in progress.
Multiple workshops, critiquing sessions, and casual talks mix with covering the many aspects of how to write a hit song and get it published – including getting royalties on the song. A popular feature of the festival is the song competition, this year drawing over 200 original songs.
The most attention-getting part of the festival last year was the band playoff over several evenings between about 20 bands. Tragically, this year the playoff had to be cancelled because of an unexpected death that left a large gap in the organizing strength at the last minute. It’ll be back next year.
Cabins of the Smoky Mountains once again this year is proud to be a sponsor of the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival. For more info on the event, visit the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival site.