Aficionados can choose from more than 50 shows at venues including favorite Key West bars and restaurants, waterfront resorts, boutique inns and intimate theaters. More than 30 performances are free including multiple offerings at the festival’s headquarters, the Smokin’ Tuna Saloon at 4 Charles St.
Most shows feature a rotating group of writer/performers who play their hits, introduce new melodies, discuss their inspirations and share the stories behind their songs. Audience members have the rare opportunity to hear music performed with the passion that only creators can convey.
Scheduled highlights include a free main-stage concert on Key West’s Duval Street featuring Arista recording artist Brad Paisley, who has racked up more than 30 Top 10 singles during his career, and RCA recording artist Ryan Hurd. The open-air showcase is to take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 11.
The festival’s unparalleled talent roster also features songwriting superstars Dean Dillon, Chuck Cannon, Jeffrey Steele, Scotty Emerick and Al Anderson among others, as well as Texas singer/songwriter Robert Earl Keen.
In addition, Big Loud Records’ HARDY, a rising artist known for his rock-tinged country sound, is to kick off the festivities Wednesday, May 8, with a waterfront welcome concert at the Ocean Key Resort’s Sunset Pier at 0 Duval St.
To complement the lineup of free-admission performances, ticketed theater shows are scheduled at the majestic San Carlos Institute at 516 Duval St., Tropic Cinema at 416 Eaton St., Key West Theater at 512 Eaton St. and The Studios of Key West at 533 Eaton St.
Presented by international performing rights organization BMI, the Key West Songwriters Festival benefits the BMI Foundation. The nonprofit foundation supports the creation, performance and study of music through awards, scholarships, grants and commissions.
Event information, schedule and ticketing: keywestsongwritersfestival.com
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
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