SoWal Insider's Guide to 30A Songwriters Festival 2016

January 14, 2016 by SoWal Staff

Songwriters and music lovers from across the globe are focused on South Walton every January. The 7th edition of the 30A Songwriters Festival will be bigger and better, with more great music for SoWal beach lovers from January 15-17, 2016.

2016 30A Songwriters Festival SCHEDULE
Schedule by Venue
Schedule by Day
Schedule by Artist

Jackson Browne, Grace Potter, and Shovels & Rope headline 200 performances by 150 artists on 25 stages! We'll post the official schedule here when released. Meanwhile, Click here to see the lineup with artist info.

We'll add updates to this post as we receive them - so check back often.


Most tickets are sold out! There might be a few add ons or special packages - Click here to buy tickets!

- Click here for 30A Songwriter's Festival Photos to share on your facebook, website, email, etc.

- Get your official 30A Songwriters Festival gear at the WaterColor Box Office at Fish Out of Water ground floor and at Gulf Place during the outdoor shows there. There's no better way to show off back home than a 30A Songwriters T-shirt or cap. Besides if it's chilly you'll need to add layers. Or bypass the lines and buy gear online.

- Grayton Beer Company is the official festival beer. You can find Grayton Beer at every festival venue. Tip - buy Grayton Beer gear online at

- The 30A Songwriters Festival has partnered with to create an exclusive online radio station featuring the upcoming 2016 artists. Hear them online before you hear them live at !

The Setting - Florida's amazing Scenic Highway 30A with our string of postcard-perfect towns & communities.



The Venues - Stellar stages and intimate rooms
Caliza Restaurant in Alys Beach, Pandora's Steakhouse in Grayton Beach, Fish Out of Water in WaterColor, Bud and Alley's and Pizza Bar in SeasideHibiscus Coffee & Guesthouse, Rosemary Beach Town Hall, 723 Whiskey Bravo, 30Avenue in Inlet Beach, Grand Boulevard in Sandestin and many more.

Some venues are intimate and quiet and you should keep talking to a minimum. Some venues get pretty loud - especially late night.


The Producers

Russell Carter, co-producer/Festival Chair, Russell Carter Artist Management Jennifer Steele, co-producer/Executive Director of the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA)

Jennifer and Russell form a dynamic duo from two organizations that bring together talent on the stage and behind the scenes. Russell's contacts and wealth of talent on hand fill the stages and venues, bringing together every year a surge of great music hitting our beaches. Jennifer is a mainstay on the South Walton art scene (a formidable acting and singing talent herself), who marshals the forces of sponsors and volunteers to handle the thousands of details to make the magic happen. 100% of the net proceeds from the 30A Songwriters Festival benefit the CAA and help it to fulfill its mission to support the arts throughout Walton County.


The Artists

We have amazing stages, but what makes the 30A Songwriters Festival so special is the depth and diversity of writers who perform their own music, and performers who write their own songs. Surprises happen during the festival and create the sweetest moments and fondest memories. It's the thrill of an unexpected artist who catches your ear as you walk between venues. The unknown songbird that grabs your heart as you arrive early for the "bigger name" show.

The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) - CAA is the officially designated local arts agency that serves as an umbrella organization and supports the arts through leadership, advocacy, funding, programs and education. The vision of the CAA is to be the catalyst for Walton County's growth as a center for artistic and cultural excellence through which lives are enriched, economy is stimulated and community is strengthened. Visit to learn more and become a member!

The CAA is always looking for volunteers to help out with the 30A Songwriters Festival - you'll get insider access, see some great music, and help support the arts in Walton County.

Lodging - Be sure to check the lodging section on the 30A Songwriters Festival website for information on specials from festival lodging partners, including Sunburst Beach Vacations, St. Joe Club & Resorts, Ocean Reef Vacation Rentals, Homeowner's Collection, Beach Rentals of South Walton,  The Pearl Hotel, and ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals - all are also Rental Partners.



The Inside Scoop - The 30A Songwriters Festival has gotten bigger and better every year. And more popular with more locals and visitors who snap up tickets - they sell out so don't wait, get yours now! Take a look at the lineup and take advantage of all the shows you can in a fun-filled weekend at the world's most beautiful beaches.

Yes, there are plenty of great shows - but try to slow down. As the excitement of the 30A Songwriters Festival builds, you might find yourself rushing to get to the next venue. Stop yourself and slow down! The best moments are often the unexpected ones between the jams - meeting new friends or talking to an "unknown" performer who you won't be able to get near - later on when they hit it big.

The LinksThe official 30A Songwriters Festival Website, The 30A Songwriters Festival on Facebook, The 30A Songwriters Festival on Twitter @30AFest, #30AFest

Take a look at some individual performances and compilations from past 30A Songwriters Festivals on the SoWal Youtube Channel.
~~~~ UPDATES ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The VIP dinner on Saturday will feature owner/food and drink entrepreneur Brooks Reitz and Chef Ben McLean of Leon's Fine Poultry and Oysters in Charleston, S.C. Wine pairings will be created by Adam Caperton, and I suspect a cocktail created by Brooks who also owns Jack Rudy Cocktail Company and is the former manager of Fig and the Ordinary in Charleston.
Tommy Womack will perform a set toward the end of the coursed meal especially for the VIP audience. The Sunday night VIP dinner will feature two-time James Beard Award nominee and renown Richmond, VA chef Lee Gregory. In 2011, Gregory opened The Roosevelt in Richmond's historic Church Hill.
The Roosevelt was named "Restaurant of the Year" by Style Weekly, "2012 Best New Restaurant" by Richmond Magazine, and "2014 Restaurant of the Year" from Richmond Magazine's Elby Awards. For his latest project, Gregory is teaming up with local Richmond farmer Matt Gottwald to open the seasonally driven, upscale casual eatery, Southbound. Musical guess Deana Carter will perform for the VIP crowd on Sunday night.


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