30A Songwriters Festival, January 15 -17, 2010

Discussion in 'Music and Nightlife' started by Jennifer Steele, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    Yeah - we did the same, skipping the opening party at Bud's to make sure we got a seat at Fish.

    But I don't feel like I missed anything because I then saw Hoff/Sweet at Caliza the next night.

    And it was cold at Alys, but my thinking was "I have been a lot colder for a lot less." Well worth it IMO!
     
  2. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    Sounds like a great event. Are there dates for next year's songwriter festival yet?
     
  3. beachFool

    beachFool Beach Fanatic

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    Shortys

    Sat afternoon was great, but Sunday PM being able to listen to Shawn Mullins/Reed Waddle AND being able to watch the 2nd half of the Jets/Chargers game....pricelsss.

    Standing room only by the door was not a bad at all.
     
  4. Bluz

    Bluz Beach Lover

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    Thank you Jennifer and the CAA for inviting us to be a part of this event. Our shows were ROCKIN! We couldn't have asked for a better line up or a better group of volunteers.
     
  5. John R

    John R needs to get out more

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    A group if us went up there to see Ballhog! and were quite disappointed when they were not permitted to play. What happened?
     
  6. Bluz

    Bluz Beach Lover

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    The shows were running late all night. The time it would take to break down a 4 piece band and set up an 8 piece band would have taken a while. They wouldn't have had time to play as we have to close at 2am. Ballhog was awesome on Friday night and super nice guys. We are going to book them to play at BLUZ soon.
     
  7. butterbean

    butterbean Beach Fanatic

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    Geat job Jennifer and all the behind the scenes folks for a LARGE weekend.
     
  8. bamabeachbum

    bamabeachbum Beach Fanatic

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    Anyone see John Oates? I am going to put this down for a MUST DO next year.
     
  9. Grayton Girl

    Grayton Girl Beach Fanatic

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    Wow! What a fabulous event! I have to say that the 30A Songwriters Festival is now our most favorite event in sowal! We are still recovering from all the fun we had this weekend!

    It was truly amazing! Mr. Grayton Girl and I became Music Warriors. We arrived early at the venue that we selected for the evening and got front-row seats. We did not drive or walk from venue to venue and it worked out really well for us.

    Although we may have selected the venue based upon the last acts (which were usually the more well-known folks), we got to see some wonderful lesser-known (to us) singer songwriters, and that was a real treat, too. It was the best $40 I have ever spent for a weekend's worth of top notch entertainment.

    We saw the lineup at the Fish Out of Water on Friday night, and LOVED it when our own Jennifer Steele Saunders was chosen from the audience to join Emily Saliers (Indigo Girls) up on the stage to sing the 2nd verse of Closer to Fine. She brought down the house! We also loved Chuck Cannon that night and Mr. Grayton Girl fell hard for his wife, Lari White, who was incredible when she joined him in a song.

    On Saturday, we chose Rosemary Beach Town Hall so that I could get my Jeffrey Steele fix (LOVE THAT MAN!) and he put on one of the best shows I have ever seen.... ever! The talented Pearl Heart (3 sisters) and LoCash Cowboys (2 brothers) were the icing on that cake and were such wonderful discoveries. We stopped by Hibiscus House for Cheri's brunch on Sunday and heard Greg Barnhill, Chas Sandford, Donnie Sundal and Eric Lindell. Then Sunday night it was back to the Fish because we had yet to see Susanna Hoffs and wanted to catch Gary Louris again.

    Just a fabulous, top notch event!! And what is so neat is that everyone we have spoken to, regardless of the acts that they saw, thought that they had seen "the best acts of the night" at the place they had chosen. Good Job, CAA! We can't wait until next year!
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  10. SouthernMan

    SouthernMan Beach Crab

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    30-A Songwriters Festival - Reflections

    Let me begin by saying that this is my first post, and that I have attended and enjoyed a number of amazing music festivals... including Telluride Bluegrass, Bonnaroo, Merlefest, and many other smaller venues.... AND that overall I enjoyed the performers at this first 30-A Songwriter's Festival.... and that as much as I enjoy the Alys Beach, Rosemary Beach scene... I prefer the funky side of Grayton Beach to all the others...

    However, a few observations that the organizers might want to consider...

    First, the venues themselves ... being ongoing commercial establishments whose goal was to sell food and drink and which in many cases had extremely limited space/seating/facilities might not have been the best choice... granted, to make this one work, it might have been the ONLY choice.... but still, it left much to be desired.... Many , Many people stood in line outside venues waiting to be admitted and never were.... I myself wandered into Stinky's Fish Camp to see a particular performer and was confronted with a LOUD full restaurant, big screen televisions blaring football games and 75% of the patrons seemingly conversing as if the Music happened to intrude upon their evening.... Valet parking at a joint like Stinky's ? at a music festival ?? where the audience was so loud and rude that you could barely hear the performers with football games on in the background ?? At Bud & Alleys during the day I spent a fair amount of time fending off waiters trying to hawk $10 glasses of wine and drowning out the roar of the table full of 50 something women behind me carrying on as if they were at a sorority party, drunk and generally acting like ill behaved drunks... or standing outside the SeaSide REP waiting for say an hour and half while various VIP's were secretly walked in the door right in front of me and the 100 or so others waiting in the cold.. and where I counted no fewer than 20 volunteers coming in and out of the venue....

    Second.... due to the distance between many venues, if you decided to pick one spot and didnt like the music.... you were pretty much stuck for the night... you really have to ask yourself Do I want to drive 15 miles to a place I know nothing about , and wait in line for an hour and possibly never get in ?

    Third, the Indigo Girls show at Alys Beach was a mess... I realize weather introduced unforseeable circumstances , BUT.... waiting in line for an hour and a half in that weather was unbearable.... and then to have all the drunk 50 somethings jabbing me with their monstrous reclining bag chairs that they insisted on jamming into a 2 foot square was equally unbearable.... TALKING TALKING non stop TALKING... It was as if these people... mostly locals from what I could tell... either had never been to a music festival, had no idea who the performers were or at the best no interest in the performers OR they were so drunk as to be unaware that some people actually came to hear music / see performers ... I can tell you the crowds at Bonnaroo are better behaved than most of the 50 somethings I saw and observed....

    Fourth, the weather just flat out sucked.... That is no one's fault... it just happens but it was nearly unbearable and the focus on outside performance areas at many venues made it downright miserable....30-A festival organizers might have done a better job anticipating the weather issues , but I honestly dont know if this past weekend's weather was typical for that time of year.... If it is that unpredictable, then it might not be a good time for a music festival with many outdoor venues ?

    Overall I give an A+ for the concept and idea.... and to the performers... I give a low C- to execution.... and unless I had reason to believe that next year's event planning changed dramatically, I will not return....

    I give a D to the locals of 30-A that I encountered for not understanding that music is meant to be seen and heard and enjoyed...and is not another excuse for a cocktail party / loud annoying conversation..... Most of the time I felt like I had stumbled onto the set of an L.A.Housewives episode.... and in case I am not clear enough... that is NOT a compliment.

    Great idea... poor execution..... and someone take a few minutes to clue in the affluent Housewives of 30-A that a "music festival" is a place to enjoy music... not get sloppy drunk or catch up on gossip..... No matter who you are or how much money you might have... It is RUDE to both the performers and the other festival attendees to talk during live music performances !
     
  11. SouthernMan

    SouthernMan Beach Crab

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    I should follow up and say I have seen Sam Bush and Dread Clampitt many times and both the SeaSide REP show and the Bluz performance with Dread and Sam were amazing.... those two shows alone were worth the trip.... Just so you know Im not the type to poormouth and complain about everything ....
     
  12. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    I don't think you and I attended the same festival! :blink:

    Yes, I had issues with people being VERY rude friday night, but by saturday and sunday they seemed to have figured out to be quiet during performances and not stand in front of others - and the volunteers were enforcing it.

    I got to the venues early (if I can do it, anyone can) and had great seats for performances I loved........and didn't even have long waits for the women's bathroom.

    And the weather wasn't a big issue - yes, saturday was rainy and chilly, but I just put on my big girl panties, a coat, and enjoyed a hot chocolate during the show.

    Sunday was definitely cold, but so what. I had funn waiting in line and meeting new people, and despite the cold & wind saw an amazing show and had a great time.

    I absolutely loved the venues and think a little tweaking to increase seating/capacity is all that is needed.

    Sorry you had such a bad time!
     
  13. Desso

    Desso Beach Lover

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    Rude, obnoxious, self-absorbed drunks on 30A, you are kidding right? You are going to catch some real heat for your honest, succinct observations, SouthernMan. This crowd really isn't up for criticism. Loved the music, liked the venues, but the crowd did leave a lot to be desired. Sorry, but some of the people there really should not be drinking.
     
  14. SouthernMan

    SouthernMan Beach Crab

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    I had a good time...It was a great experience overall.. BUT, it could have been MUCH MUCH better.... and I suspected I will draw some heat for my remarks... but as they say we all have opinions... Mine is just one of many, and is just as worthy as any other ....
     
  15. bchtravlr

    bchtravlr Beach Comber

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    Venue ideas

    I didn't mention this in my post yesterday, as I am not aware of the logistics planning and the entire revenue/expense stream for festival.

    But I believe with our limited venue options, and the community desire to make this work in the future, it could be possible to include some of the local church / chapel halls into venues. They typically will manage the larger capacities, are better designed for a "concert" venue, and could resovle what I anticipate as next years "Volume" problem. They won't be in a position to belly up $1800 for the weekend, nor will they likely sell food or alcohol to consume during the performances. I
    Many of the observations from Southernboy were observed and some at a lesser degree. A mix of large and small "coffee house" venues could meet multiple needs if it could be pulled off!

    My two cents!
     
  16. Eileen West

    Eileen West Beach Lover

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    Best thing since the Gulf of Mexico

    "The best thing to happen to 30A since the Gulf of Mexico", says Franko "Washboard" Jackson. And I agree! Thanks to Jennifer Saunders, the rainmaker behind this whole thing, The CAA for having the guts to back this completely new event in the middle of the winter, thanks to Paige and mark, and Antia for all the hard hard work. Thanks to the volunteers without whom the whole thing would have collapsed, the artists, the venues. EVERYONE had a rip roaring blast! see you all next year!
     
  17. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    :welcome: Mr. SM.

    what an intro. maybe you can start by telling us a bit about yourself in the intro forum? also, maybe next year you can find the venues that suit you better. no doubt the festival will improve on logistics each year - its a HUGE undertaking. and such a gift to all of us - especially those who live here and enjoy getting out with friends to hear music and enjoy a festival that is NOT in July. The entire concept of this community-based music festival is brilliant. and I'm proud of everyone involved in all the planning and work to make it happen.

    I was out of town and missed out on the events but I've heard nothing but the best about performances and how excited locals are about such an event going on in January - and all the possibilities for the future! It is a wonderful thing for our community. Locals are going to own this festival - and its about time! Way to go CAA!
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010
  18. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    I thought the artists and organizers and venues were great - it was the appallingly rude/drunk behavior on Friday (that was given the severe smackdown at my locations on Sat & Sun and so was a non-issue there at least) that was the only real negative of the event IMO.

    Can't wait for next year! Have been listening to my new favorite artists' CDs for days! :D
     
  19. Zebraspots

    Zebraspots Beach Fanatic

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    Many attendees needed to shut up and have some manners. We had guests from out of town with us and they were amazed at the way people were acting.
     
  20. Em

    Em Beach Fanatic

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    Glad I missed the chattering venues. Every venue I attended, had a great audience of listeners. My greatest disappointment during the event was not being able to listen to each artist. Everyone I heard was incredibly talented, and I don't know how I had not heard about them before. It was interesting that while I didn't recognize the artists by name, I had heard other celebrities singing their songs. I love that this event gets to the roots and soul of the overly-polished songs we hear on the radio.

    I will also note that I heard several of the artists say how surprised they were with this inaugural event because they had been to many songwriters festivals and this was by far, the best, and most organized that they have ever been to. That says quite a bit about all of the planning which was done behind the scenes by the hard-working organizers and many volunteers who made this special event happen.

    For several years, I have been saying that MountainFilm on tour (WaterColor) is by far my favorite event in South Walton. I still love MountainFilm greatly and look forward to many more years of that excellent program, but I may have a new favorite, as long as it doesn't get too popular and turn into a Bonnaroo with 125,000 people attending.
     

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