KEY WEST, Florida Keys — More than 30 shows featuring over 100 top performing songwriters — including 2021 Grammy Award winner Lori McKenna and seven-time chart topper Lee Brice — await music lovers during the 25th annual Key West Songwriters Festival. An annual tradition for many of America’s leading country and pop music hitmakers, the festival is scheduled Wednesday through Sunday, May 5-9.
Fans of live music can rock to performances at popular Key West bars and restaurants, waterfront resorts, a boutique theater, a tropically landscaped event lawn and the festival’s headquarters, the Smokin’ Tuna Saloon at 4 Charles St.
The five-day songfest is hosted by radio and television personality Storme Warren. Most shows — many of them free to attend — feature a rotating group of writer/artists who play their hits, introduce new melodies, share creative insights and relate the stories behind their songs.
To comply with coronavirus health protocols, festival organizers have streamlined the event schedule and taken steps to prioritize attendees’ protection. Audiences must abide by current COVID safety regulations including mandatory masking and social distancing.
“This year’s festival has been condensed with reduced capacities and transitioned to mostly outdoor performances,” said festival founder Charlie Bauer. “We’re focused on bringing back the music and putting the songwriters in intimate venues to create a special experience that’s unique to this year.”
As well as McKenna and Brice, the festival’s talent roster includes blues/gospel and “sacred steel” virtuoso Robert Randolph, six-time Grammy nominee Brandy Clark, legendary guitarist Steve Cropper of Booker T. & the M.G.’s and the Blues Brothers Band, and superstar songwriters and festival veterans Liz Rose, Scotty Emerick, Bob DiPiero, Dean Dillon, Chuck Cannon and Jeffrey Steele.
Anticipated festival highlights include ticketed group shows Wednesday through Saturday nights at the Sunset Green Event Lawn at 3820 N. Roosevelt Blvd. and the Key West Theater at 512 Eaton St.
The festival concludes Sunday with a 6 p.m. concert headlined by Steve Cropper on the Ocean Key Resort’s Sunset Pier at 0 Duval St.
Music lovers can purchase tickets to individual shows or VIP multishow passes through a link at keywestsongwritersfestival.com
Event information and schedule: kwswf.com
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY