SoWal Insider's Guide to 30A Songwriters Festival 2019

January 18, 2019 by SoWal Staff

Beach breezes blend with tunes every January in SoWal during the annual 30A Songwriters Festival.

The 10th annual 30A Songwriters Festival brings more great music for SoWal beach lovers from January 18-21, 2019 with more than 175 artists, 225 performances, and 25 venues. The 2019 Ten-Year Anniversary festival is quickly shaping up to become the best festival yet. Check out the artist and venue lineups here >

2019 30A Songwriters Festival SCHEDULE
As soon as the official schedule is finalized we'll post the link here.

The 2019 30A Songwriters Festival features headline performances by Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, and Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals with his Full Band and Horn Section. Evening performers throughout the weekend include Patty Griffin, Steve Earle, Gregory Alan Isakov, Suzy Bogguss, Amanda Shires, Shawn Mullins, Livingston Taylor, John Fullbright, The Secret Sisters, Robyn Hitchcock, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Chely Wright, The War And Treaty, Radney Foster and many more!


Festival weekend passes are currently available for $280. VIP weekend passes are $685 and VIP Premier weekend passes are $810. For a full description of each ticket package as well as all transportation VIP packages, visit our tickets page. Please note weekend and VIP weekend passes can be purchased locally at the office of the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County at 105 Hogtown Bayou Lane, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459, (850) 622-5970 as well as Central Square Records at 89 Central Square 2nd Floor, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The 30A Songwriters Festival production team transforms amphitheaters, town halls, restaurants, theaters, bars and covered patios into unique music venues ranging in capacity from 75 to 500 seats indoors and 5,000 outdoors. Additional confirmed performers include: STEVE POLTZ, BOB SCHNEIDER, DAVID RYAN HARRIS, KIM RICHEY, HAYES CARLL, LIZ LONGLEY, DRIVIN N CRYIN, EMERSON HART (TONIC), CHRIS STAMEY AND PETER HOLSAPPLE (THE DB’s), JOHN DRISKELL HOPKINS (ZAC BROWN BAND), GRIFFIN HOUSE, CHARLIE MARS, WILLIE SUGARCAPPS, THE WHISKEY GENTRY, THE MULLIGAN BROTHERS, AMY LAVERE AND WILL SEXTON, ROBBY HECHT, TOMMY WOMACK, FAREWELL ANGELINA and many more to be announced.

The 30A Songwriters Festival has once again teamed up with NPR’s Folk Alley on the syndicated Folk Alley Radio Show. The Sessions from the 30A Songwriters Festival are archived as well at ASCAP returns as a sponsor with its popular showcase series at the Lake House in WaterColor. Featured ASCAP songwriters are Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Members CRAIG WISEMAN and ALLEN SHAMBLIN together with JAREN JOHNSON, JEREMY STOVER, RYAN GRIFFIN, SARAH ALLISON TURNER, CLARE DUNN, THE SISTERHOOD (ALYSSA BONAGURA and RUBY STEWART), DAVE BERG, TONY LANE, COREY CROWDER, and JORDAN SCHMIDT.

The Festival is, as always, a benefit for the non profit Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County, which supports artists and non profit cultural events and businesses throughout the county. 100% of the net proceeds from the event are paid to the CAA to help fund its annual budget. For the 10th annual event, a portion of these net proceeds will be donated to the Hurricane Michael relief efforts organized on behalf of the many who have suffered devastating losses along the Florida panhandle to the east of 30A. Our hearts go out to those who have lost so much and we ask all to join us in helping them out. Thank you all for your continued support!

"The 30A Songwriters Festival is a unique cultural event like no other in this area. The Festival brings together nearly every South Walton community and many businesses to showcase our home as a destination not only for its beautiful beaches but also for its musical and creative excellence, which is the purpose of the Cultural Arts Alliance," says Jennifer Steele, the Executive Director and Festival Co-Producer. "The Festival is critical to the mission of the Cultural Arts Alliance and by far our biggest fundraiser. 100% of the Festival's net proceeds go back into our non-profit and enable the CAA to continue to be a champion for the arts in Walton County."

Click here to see the lineup with artist info.

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

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, AJ's in Grayton Beach, Bud and Alley's and Pizza Bar in Seaside, Hibiscus Coffee & Guesthouse, Rosemary Beach Town Hall, 723 Whiskey Bravo, The Pointe 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, Ocean Reef Vacation Rentals, Resortquest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals, WaterColor Inn, The Pearl, Alys Beach - for many more options check out 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.

TIP: do not wait in ANY long lines unless house managers assure you that you will get inside in a reasonable amount of time. Inevitably a few venues become very popular and, given the first-come, first-served rule, they fill up for the night. However at any given hour of the night, most of the venues have room for more customers. Take the advice of house managers and pivot to nearby venues that are not crowded. There are so many artists and so many shows and you can't  walk into a venue and see anything other than amazing music. Become a new fan of artists that you were unfamiliar with. The weekend is a great opportunity to discover new music! Many people have learned to find a cool venue and settle in for a night of discovery and new music. 

Updated 1/2/19 :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Complete Venue List for 30A Songwriters Festival 2019

With live performances happening in over 25 venues, ranging from intimate settings to large amphitheaters, the 30A Songwriters Festival offers something for everyone.

723 WHISKEY BRAVO 723 Whiskey Bravo features casual, coastal cuisine, creative cocktails, and amazing open-air rooftop seating. Community: Seagrove

AJ'S GRAYTON BEACH AJ's Grayton Beach serves lunch and dinner seven days a week, featuring local seafood, fresh sushi and oak-fire-grilled steaks. Saturday and Sunday brunch includes a build-your-own Bloody Mary Bar. Community: Grayton Beach

AMAVIDA COFFEE ROSEMARY BEACH "Amavida" joins the Spanish words "amar" (love) and "vida" (life).

BUD & ALLEY'S PIZZA BAR A seasonal Gulf-side pizzeria located in the iconic town of Seaside, FL. Community: Seaside

BUD & ALLEY'S PIZZA BAR Waterfront Restaurant and Rooftop Bar in Seaside, FL. Community: Seaside

CALIZA Serving contemporary American cuisine in a relaxed, al fresco setting overlooking Caliza’s stunning pool at Alys Beach. Community: Alys Beach

CENTRAL SQUARE RECORDS 30-A's Independent Record Store. Overlooking downtown Seaside, Florida. Community: Seaside

FOOW - Fish Out of Water Open for lunch, happy hour and dinner! FOOW is the acronym for a new iteration of the restaurant formerly known as Fish Out of Water.

GRAND BOULEVARD Nestled amid Florida’s renowned stretch of pristine sugar-white beaches and gulf coast communities where the affluent both vacation and reside, Grand Boulevard is the premiere destination where people of discerning tastes shop.

GRAYTON BEER BREWPUB Grayton Beer Brewpub is a fully operational brewery, restaurant and bar open seven days a week for lunch and dinner beginning at 11:00AM daily. Conveniently located in the heart of Grayton.

Grayton Beer Taproom Grayton Beer Company is a family owned and operated brewery on the Northwest Florida Coastline brewing classic, contemporary beers. Community: Santa Rosa Beach

HIBISCUS BACKYARD OF LOVE Hibiscus Coffee & Guest House is a fabulous breakfast cafe serving breakfast and brunch in Grayton Beach. The Backyard of Love is adjacent to the cafe. Community: Grayton Beach

OLD FLORIDA FISH HOUSE Old Florida Fish House is a casual dining restaurant serving seafood, sushi & steaks located in the heart of Seagrove Beach along scenic highway 30A. This venue houses two stages.

Pescado Pescado offers a dining room, inside bar, and outside rooftop bar overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Expect extraordinary service and cuisine by Chef Ken Duenas.

ROSEMARY BEACH TOWN HALL This beautiful indoor venue is located in the heart of Rosemary Beach along scenic highway 30A. Community: Rosemary Beach

THE REP The REP is Northwest Florida’s premier professional theatre company along the Emerald Coast. Located on Scenic 30A in beautiful Seaside, Florida. Community: Seaside

SHUNK GULLEY Shunk Gully is a Gulf view restaurant featuring classic coastal cuisine, stunning views and authentic southern hospitality. Community: Gulf Place

THE BAY The Bay is a family-friendly restaurant with mouth-watering Southern gulf coast cuisine, sushi, a 12-draft beer system, great wine selection and inventive cocktails. Community: Santa Rosa Beach

THE BOATHOUSE AT WATERCOLOR The BoatHouse is situated alongside Western Lake, just north of WaterColor‘s gorgeous Cerulean Park. Community: WaterColor

THE GATHERING SPOT AT WATERCOLOR INN The Gathering Spot and Sushi Bar at the WaterColor Inn is a great option for a casual lunch or dinner for the single traveler, the romantic escape.

GULLEY AMPHITHEATER AT GULF PLACE Live music venue within Gulf Place Town Center. The Gulf Place Town Center brings an eclectic collection of neighborhood shops and services to our growing community.

THE HUB The Hub is a gathering place for family and friends on beautiful Highway 30A on the Florida panhandle, with great restaurants, entertainment, and shopping. Community: Watersound

THE LAKEHOUSE AT WATERCOLOR At WaterColor LakeHouse, the sky’s the limit in this breathtaking 3700 square foot lakeside venue with cedar-lined walls located in WaterColor Resort. Community: WaterColor

THE PEARL HOTEL The Pearl Hotel is an intimate, 55-room boutique hotel that opened in August 2013. Featuring elegant furnishings, guest services-integrated iPads, a poolside Spa Pearl, and an onsite destination restaurant with rooftop bar.

THE POINTE ON 30A The Pointe is the hottest new resort in Inlet Beach, offering luxury accommodations and amenities for those who enjoy the finer things in life. Community: Inlet Beach

TREBEACHÉ BALLROOM From the creative team that brought you Stinky's Fish Camp, we proudly present Trebeaché - 30A's most exceptional restaurant and special events venue. The Ballroom venue is located upstairs, above the restaurant.

VUE ON 30A Vue on 30a showcases one of the best views for dining in all of South Walton. The restaurant is open to the public and serves lunch, dinner and happy hour.

WATERSOUND ORIGINS Touching the banks of Lake Powell, one of Florida's largest coastal dune lakes, rests Watersound Origins, a 1,400-acre community nestled amongst nature yet within 3 miles of the pristine South Walton beaches.

Update 1/5/19 :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

In addition to the artists listed above, performing multiple sets throughout the weekend are: Stephen Kellogg, John Driskell Hopkins (Zac Brown Band), Griffin House, Callaghan, Birds of Chicago, Gretchen Peters, Kim Richey, Ronny Cox, Michael Tolcher, Billy Montana, Kyle Jacobs, Joe Leathers, Ben Glover, Dan Bern, Old Salt Union, Amythyst Kiah, Liz Longley, The Swimming Pool Q's, Cory Chisel & Adriel Denae, Charlie Mars, Lauren Morrow of The Whiskey Gentry, Tom Gray, Amy LaVere & Will Sexton, Robby Hecht, Wyatt Durrette, Tommy Womack, Farewell Angelina, Peter Karp, Sadler Vaden, Seth Walker, Becky Warren, Dan Navarro, Courtney Marie Andrews, Crystal Bowersox, Daphne Willis, Michelle Malone, AJ Ghent [ j-ent ], Grayson Capps & Corky Hughes, Ross Newell, Korby Lenker, Jeremy Lister, Granville Automatic, Boukou Groove, Sugarcane Jane, Will Kimbrough, Lucy Dacus, Ryan Culwell, Goodnight, Texas, Webb Wilder, Parker & Parker, Brian White, Karyn Williams, Sarah Peacock, Levi Lowrey, Phil Madeira, Caroline Spence, Mary Bragg, Eliot Bronson, Paul Burch, Cooper Carter and the Royal Senders, Matinee Idols, Carly Burruss, Carsie Blanton, Cartoon Jazz Band, The Bittersweets, Pat Byrne, Chas Sandford, Jennifer Lynn Simpson, Jerry Joseph, Cody Belew, Michael McDermott, Kristy Lee, Alex Guthrie, Reed Waddle, Heather Maloney, Ken Johnson, Andi Zack-Johnson, Bruce Sudano and many more.

The 30A Songwriters Festival production team transforms amphitheaters, town halls, restaurants, theaters, bars and covered patios into unique music venues ranging in capacity from 75 to 500 seats indoors and 5,000 outdoors. Venue partners include 723 Whiskey Bravo, AJ's, Bud & Alley's, Caliza, Central Square Records, Fish Out of Water, Grand Boulevard at Sandestin, Grayton Beer Brewpub, Grayton Beer Company Taproom, The Gully Amphitheater at Gulf Place, Hibiscus Coffee & Guesthouse, Old Florida Fish House, Pescado, Pizza Bar, Rosemary Beach Town Hall, Seaside Repertory Theatre, Shunk Gulley, The Bay, The Boat House, The Gathering Spot, The Hub 30A, The Lake House, The Pearl Hotel, The Pointe on 30A, Trebeaché Ballroom, VUE on 30A, and Watersound Origins.

Rounding out the lineup are Gretchen Pleuss, Molly Stevens, Shannon LaBrie, Kyshona Armstrong, Raelyn Nelson Band, Lily Winwood, The Sundogs / Haraway Brothers, Peter Bradley Adams, Adron, Chris Alvarado, Season Ammons, Chasing Lovely, Nicole Chillemi, Anne Cline, Brian Collins, Wyatt Edmondson, ESOEBO, Dave Franklin, Kevin Gordon, Jesse Terry, Gurufish, Emily Hackett, Eddie Heinzelman, Zoe Sky Jordan, Liam Russell, Trisha Ivy, Glenn Jones, Casey Kearney, Kyle LaMonica, Vanessa Peters, Amilia K Spicer, Davin McCoy, Bradley Cole Smith, Jonathan Mitchell, The Ormewoods, The Mosleys, The Owsley Brothers, Abe Partridge, Jessie Ritter, Cat Carter, Wesley Cook, Will Stewart, The Tall Pines, Amy McCarley, Max McCann, Wildlife Specials, Cat Ridgeway, Trisha Gene Brady, Mike Whitty, Marc Harris & Jab Wilson, Dan Rodriguez, Heather Lynn Horton, Mike Rizzi, Erin Enderlin, Sterling Fletcher, Bobby Houck (of the Blue Dogs), Ray Scott, Crawford & Power, TOWNE, Lindsey Lomis, Ashlei Brianne, and Wyatt Espalin.

The 30A Songwriters Festival is a benefit for the non profit Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (the CAA), which supports artists and non profit cultural events and businesses throughout the county. 100% of the net proceeds from the event are paid to the CAA to help fund its annual budget.
The 30A Songwriters Festival has once again teamed up with NPR's Folk Alley on the syndicated Folk Alley Radio Show. The Sessions from the 30A Songwriters Festival are archived as well at ASCAP returns as a sponsor with its popular showcase series at the Lake House in WaterColor. Featured ASCAP songwriters are Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Members Craig Wiseman and Allen Shamblin together with Jaren Johnston, Corey Crowder, Matt Dragstrem, Clare Dunn, Tony Lane, The Sisterhood (Alyssa Bonagura and Ruby Stewart), Jeremy Stover, Sarah Allison Turner, Dave Berg, Ryan Griffin, and Jameson Rodgers.

"This will be our tenth annual 30A Songwriters Festival and we are delighted to welcome back some of our favorite performers from past years, including Jason Isbell, and introduce our audience for the first time to Grammy and Americana award nominee Brandi Carlile," state Festival producers Russell Carter and Jennifer Steele.

For more information on the 2019 30A Songwriters Festival, including live updates, biographies of confirmed artists, and locations of venues, visit

Update 1/18/19 :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


(all ticket holders must pick up their wristband at the box office)

34 Goldenrod Circle, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 

Wednesday, January 16 --- 3pm - 7pm

Thursday, January 17 --- 10am - 10pm

Friday, January 18 --- 10am - 10pm

Saturday, January 19 --- 12pm - 4pm

Sunday, January 20 --- 12pm - 4pm



(all ticket holders must pick up their wristband at the box office)


585 Grand Boulevard, Miramar Beach, FL 32550

(Box office kiosk is located between Tommy Bahama and Cantina Laredo - across from Williams Sonoma)

Saturday, January 19 --- 9am - 4pm

Sunday, January 20 ---- 9am - 4pm


Be sure to check out the 30A Songwriters Festival online auction HERE. There are so many items up for auction now including artwork, resort vacation packages, autographed guitars and many other great items! With the new APP, you can track what music is scheduled at any given hour up and down 30A. For example, if a venue is crowded on Friday at 8:00, simply check your app and you will see who is playing  at 8:00 at every other venue. (During the Festival simply go to SCHEDULE and then WHEN and you are in real time and can scroll forward to what is next). So let's see how things kick into gear at 4:00 on Friday when we ring bells for the start of our 10th Festival year:

- The official Festival kick-off party at AJ's (4:00 PM to 6:00 PM) features iconic Atlanta band The Swimming Pool Q's and Willie's granddaughter, Raelyn Nelson Band. The Sundogs will close out night one at AJ's with their famous Tom Petty tribute set beginning at 11pm. Expect to hear all of the hits and count on some special guest appearances. It is going to be a great night at AJ's.

- Over at Central Square Records complementary beer is served and 30A favorite Chris Stills plugs in to play at 4:00 PM followed by Bob Schneider at 5:00 and David Ryan Harris at 600.

- 4:00 is a great time to find a seat with a sunset vue at the Vue featuring Steve Poltz and Ryan Culwell - this is the art of solo acoustic songwriting and singing in its highest form - it will be repeated over and over in venues all weekend long!  Newcomer Lindsey Lomis opens the weekend at the new Pescado on the top floor overlooking Rosemary Beach. She is 15 years old with a vocal  prowess of someone twice her age. When she blows up, you can say you saw her when.....Hailing from NYC but always home in Grayton Beach when on 30A, the Tall Pines open the stage at Old Florida Fish House. Its a great destination to eat and drink and alternate within the sprawling restaurant from acoustic to band stages. Ross Newell - better know as the Mulligan Brothers, opens at the Bay as the sun sets and the lights flicker on the water. Towne, back by fan requests, kicks off the REP programming.

- A few VIP tickets are available HERE to the Grayton Beer Company Taproom performances featuring Jason Isbell's guitarist Sadler Vaden and Jason's wife, violinist, and heralded writer and performer Amanda Shires  ( and Jason of course accompanying) (Saturday doors 5:00pm, show begins at 7:00pm, $40, free craft beer). 

- Watersound Origins is a favorite coastal village hometown, an extraordinary lifestyle

 community nestled in a wooded natural setting yet only 3 miles from the pristine  30-A corridor. We are excited to announce that Chuck Cannon and Elizabeth Cook are performing at the Saturday Champagne morning show this year beginning at 10:30 AM.Free Champagne is served to the first 100 guests.  


Be advised, you must pick up wristbands at the box office for each ticket purchased  - a wristband securely on your hand is required for admission to all Festival venues. Learn how to use the app, pick up your program, grab a printed schedule and check out our merch table!


There are so many highlights throughout the evening on Friday.  Patty Griffin closes out Trebeche Ballroom ( over the newly opened Red Fish Taco, also a venue). Aaron Lee Tasjan will be ferocious as always plugged in at AJ's. Will Kmbrough, Chuck Cannon and David Ryan Harris comprise an elite line up at Whiskey Bravo. Gregory Allen Isakov, in the midst of a sold out east coast tour stops in on Friday to headline the big stage at the Hub. This is as up close and personal as it gets for GAI! Welcome back Callaghan at Pescado and come see Justin Townes Earle's 30ASF debut at Caliza. 


Steve Earle headlines at the newly renovated Fish Out of Water, sponsored Friday night by the American Music Association, At Bud & Alley's we are presenting Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey from the monumentally influential band the dB's - back to back followed by Livingston Taylor  (yes he is James Taylor's brother) It the Oxford American stage and they are all from North Carolina - in honor of their annual music issue. Back by very popular demand after creating a major buzz all over 30A last year, Robyn Hitchcock headlines the Boathouse. Matthew Sweet returns to the REP, this time in an electric duo configuration.

Last year we staged a wine tasting at the Pointe on the eastern end of 30A This year the Pointe is an official festival Venue Partner with music all weekend. Its a beautiful condominium complex with a gorgeous view and a roof top top bar! Among the many great artists booked there are Griffin House, Friday, Robby Hecht and Caroline Spence on Saturday and Radney Foster on Sunday.


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