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SoWal Insider's Guide to 30A Songwriters Festival 2020

January 17, 2020 by SoWal Staff

The 30A Songwriters Festival returns toSouth Walton January 17-20, 2020, with a stellar group of artists on the schedule.

Headliners represent a range of music genres, including John Prine, Brian Wilson, Indigo Girls, and Tanya Tucker. Wilson will bring his nine-piece band to perform some of his Beach Boys classics, and Prine will have his own band backing him on his much-loved catalog of songs. Meanwhile, Indigo Girls will give a preview of an upcoming studio album and Tucker will fearure the one she recently released, While I’m Livin’.

Click here for full 2020 Schedule for 30A Songwriters Festival >

The 30A Songwriters Festival has featured some of the world’s most beloved composers over the years, including Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, Patty Griffin, and Emmylou Harris. Weekend passes for the 2020 festival are currently on sale, with a range of VIP upgrades also available.

Buy Tickets Online >

SoWal Insider Tip: most festival tickets sell out early. If the tickets you want are not available at the link above, try the SoWal Forum >

Other artists confirmed to perform during the weekend include Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, Dan Wilson, Todd Snider, Elizabeth Cook, Nikki Lane, Matthew Sweet, Hayes Carll, Chely Wright, Robyn Hitchcock, Allison Moorer, Robert Ellis, Jonny Fritz, and the Secret Sisters.

The 11th annual 30A Songwriters Festival brings more great music for SoWal beach lovers from January 17-20, 2020 with more than 175 artists, 225 performances, and 25 venues. Check out the artist and venue lineups here >

$290 four-day pass; $660 VIP pass includes VIP seating, lounge, restrooms and complimentary food and drinks. www.30asongwritersfestival.com.

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 - see full list >
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 www.culturalartsalliance.com 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 Ocean Reef Vacation Rentals, Resortquest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals, WaterColor Inn, Rosemary Beach Inn, Alys Beach - for many more options check out SoWal.com 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. 

See 30A Songwriters Festival Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) >


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Offering news, features, insider tips & info, photos and video all across the South Walton area.

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