SoWal Insider's Guide to 30A Songwriters Festival 2024
September 1, 2023 by SoWal Staff
The 30A Songwriters Festival returns to South Walton January 12-15, 2024, with a wide variety of talented artists on the schedule.
The 30A Songwriters Festival will celebrate its 15th year with performances on the main stage at presenting partner Grand Boulevard’s Town Center in Miramar Beach with headline performances by renowned artists JEFF TWEEDY, ELVIS COSTELLO & THE IMPOSTERS, ROSANNE CASH and KT TUNSTALL.
The festival will also be welcoming the following first-timers to 30A: KELLY WILLIS, SHANNON WHITWORTH AND WOODY PLATT, SUNNY WAR, CHAPEL HART, JOHN MUQ, JACK BARKSDALE, THE PINK STONES, DAVID CHILDERS, MEGAN BURTT, RACHAEL KILGOUR, PETE FRANCIS, DEREK and KATELYN DRYE, MATTHEW KILLOUGH, MIKE KINNEBREW, CAITLIN CANNON and BAYLEE LITTRELL.
Returning to perform two shows each throughout the weekend are songwriting legends RODNEY CROWELL, JOHN OATES, STEVE EARLE, MATTHEW SWEET, MINDY SMITH, DRIVIN N CRYIN, AARON LEE TASJAN (WITH BAND), PARKER MILLSAP, PETER YARROW, DAVID RYAN HARRIS, SHAWN MULLINS, ROBYN HITCHCOCK, JOHN FULLBRIGHT, BLACK OPRY REVUE, VICKI PETERSON AND JOHN COWSILL, JEFFREY STEELE, DAVID LOWERY (CRACKER), EMERSON HART, THE REV. SHAWN AMOS &THE BROTHERHOOD, MARY GUTHIER, BETH NIELSEN CHAPMAN, SARAH LEE GUTHRIE, WILL HOGE, CHUCK PROPHET, FLORENCE DORE, DAN BERN and ABE PARTRIDGE.
We are pleased to announce the following additional confirmed artists:
Jeff Black, Heather Maloney, Scott Miller, Grant-Lee Phillips, Garrison Starr, Gurufish, Will Kimbrough, Kim Richey, Paul McDonald, Brendan Abernathy, Charlie Mars, Dan Navarro, Mary Bragg, Eliot Bronson, Pat Byrne, Robby Hecht, The Kennedys, Joe Leathers, Michael Farren, Martha's Trouble, Darden Smith, Brian White, Karyn Williams, Diane Durrett, The Rough & Tumble, Becky Warren, The Tall Pines, Levi Lowrey, Bradley Cole Smith, Trisha Gene Brady, Meaghan Farrell, Jesse Lynn Madera, Alice Peacock, Jennifer Lynn Simpson, Sammi Accola, Chris Alvarado, Pete Francis, Kurtis John, Casey LeVasseur, and Cat Ridgeway.
SoWal Insider Tip: most festival tickets sell out early. If the tickets you want are not available at www.freshtix.com/events/2024-30asongwritersfestivall, try tickets for resale on the SoWal Forum >
30A Songwriters Festival features the VIP ticket packages: reserved parking, premium seating at the headline stage, complimentary food and drinks (Grayton Beer, wine, and craft cocktails), along with first-come, first-served seating at the other 29 venues.
The Venues - stellar stages and intimate rooms - a sample:
Caliza Restaurant, AJ's in Grayton Beach, Bud and Alley's Waterfront Restaurant, FOOW - Fish Out of Water, Red Fish Taco, The Bay, North Beach Social, Hibiscus Coffee & Guesthouse, LaCo, Old Florida Fish House, Hilton Sandestin, The Pearl Hotel, Grand Boulevard and more - see full list >
Download The 30A Songwriters Festival App
The official festival app can be downloaded for Android or for iPhone. The festival app has the schedule which will be updated with any changes as well as directions to venues, bios and photos of all performing artists, etc. A favorite function of the app is that you can pull up any hour of the day or evening, scroll through, and see who is performing at all of the venues in real-time.
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. Thank you all for your continued support!
Click here for 30A Songwriter's Festival Photos to share on your facebook, website, email, etc.
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, WaterColor Inn & Resort, The Pearl Hotel, Hyatt Place Sandestin at Grand Boulevard, Residence Inn at Grand Boulevard, Courtyard Sandestin at Grand Boulevard - 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 Links - The official 30A Songwriters Festival Website, The 30A Songwriters Festival on Facebook, The 30A Songwriters Festival on Instagram, The 30A Songwriters Festival on Spotify, The 30A Songwriters Festival on X/Twitter @30AFest, #30AFest
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.
Ten Unique Aspects of 30A Songwriters Festival:
Unique Aspect #1: All Festival artists write their own music AND perform it. They earn their double S title and status: Singer Songwriter.
Unique Aspect #2: You will miss more shows than you see at 30A SWF BUT you will see more performances over the four day holiday weekend than you have ever seen before in one weekend.
Unique Aspect #3 - 30A is 24 miles of two lane highway hugging the white dunes of the beach and in full view of the blue/green water of the Gulf of Mexico. There are 30 custom built music venues along this Emerald Coast paradise. Travel the world and you will find nothing like it.
Unique Aspect #4 - Many of your favorite artists perform each year at 30 SWF. However, many artists are booked that you have not had a chance to see. Make a point to catch performances by artists whose music you have never heard. You will walk away a new fan of many great musicians.
Unique Aspect #5 - We like and we book Americana, blues, country, rock, jazz, neo soul and folk. We are not genre specific like most festivals - we book the best singer songwriters.
Unique Aspect #6 - 30A Songwriters Festival is not a commercial venture - it is a fundraiser for the non profit Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County. 100% of net proceeds from the Festival go into the annual budget for the CAA to help fund their many civic art programs. Thank you for being not only a music fan but also an art patron!
Unique Aspect #7 - There are several great coffee cafes on 30A. Start your morning with a walk on the beach. There are even more bars on 30A. At least once grab a cocktail, stop what you are doing and watch the sun sets in the Gulf of Mexico.
Unique Aspect #8 - With over 200 musicians attending the Festival and nearly 300 performances scheduled including night time events , morning brunches, and afternoon headline shows, 30A Songwriters has the biggest musical offerings of any weekend songwriters festival in the country.
Unique Aspect #9 - 30A SWF is the only Festival that I know of that partners with resort communities with arguably the best vacation homes in the South.
Unique Aspect #10 - Tell us what you enjoy most about your past 30A Songwriters Festival experiences.