Every January we pack up the kids and dog and head to the beach, 30A to be exact, in January. Why? Well because it is my birthday month, and I crave some warmth! It always seems to coincide with the Songwriters festival as well. The entire town turns into one big venue. There are venues in restaurants, bars, book stores and outside. Plus there are so many pretty people here, if you like to people watch, then this is the place. Plus, you get to here some awesome music.
The 7th annual 30A SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL- set for January 15, 16 and 17, 2016 - has announced the initial line-up for the 2016 celebration of singers and songs. The festival, held in venues along scenic Highway 30A in Florida's South Walton County, will feature headline performances from esteemed artists Jackson Browne, Grace Potter, Shovels & Rope and Wine, Women & Song featuring Matraca Berg, Suzy Bogguss & Gretchen Peters.
Also confirmed are Ani DiFranco, Emerson Hart (Tonic), Kristian Bush (Sugarland), Shawn Mullins, Jay Farrar (from Son Volt), Peter Holsapple (the dB's), Drew Holcomb, Cracker (unplugged), Jeffrey Steele, Parker Millsap, Dan Bern, Steve Poltz, Hayes Carll, Charlie Mars, Grant-Lee Phillips, Bob Schneider, David Ryan Harris (John Mayer band), David Hodges (Evanescence), Bobby Bare, Jr., Chris Stills, Jim Lauderdale, Callaghan, Kris Delmhorst, Kristy Lee, BettySoo, Randall Bramblett, Griffin House, Jennifer Knapp, Toby Lightman, Liz Longley and Heather Maloney.
Headliner Jackson Browne has written and performed some of the most literate and moving songs in popular music and has defined a genre of songwriting charged with honesty, emotion and personal politics. He was honored with induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, and the Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 2007. He will perform Saturday afternoon, January 16. "Hopes and dreams become reality at the 30A Songwriters Festival," says Russell Carter, co-producer/Festival Chair. "We are thrilled to present Jackson Browne as the 2016 headline act. Jackson will perform solo on guitar and piano. It is a singer songwriter performance in its most basic form and it is quite simply profound."
Grace Potter, who Time Magazine says "can belt heartily and coo seductively while displaying swagger," comes to 30A for a Sunday afternoon headlining performance (January 17) in support of her new solo album, "Midnight".
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 400 indoors and 4,000 outdoors. Festival weekend passes are now available for $250 and can be purchased at www.30asongwritersfestival.com, and locally in South Walton at the Cultural Arts Alliance office and at Central Square Records in Seaside.
This year, the 30A Songwriters Festival is teaming up with NPR's Folk Alley, a multi-media music service produced by WKSU. Folk Alley will be on site throughout the weekend interviewing artists and filming and recording performances in a home studio on 30A. Edited 30A Songwriters Festival segments will be aired on Live From Folk Alley's syndicated radio show and on their website and mobile app throughout the year. As part of Southern Living's 50th Anniversary Celebration partnership, the magazine is sending a production team to the 30A Songwriters Festival to film interviews with musicians, which will be featured in their 50 Favorite Things About South Walton and Biscuits and Jam Series.
Additional artists confirmed for 2016 include Joe Crookston, Guthrie Brown, Peter Karp, Bonnie Bishop, Caroline Aiken, Jeff Black, Brigitte DeMeyer, Will Kimbrough, Willis Alan Ramsey, Deana Carter, Tommy Talton, Hailey Whitters, Webb Wilder, Brett Young, Hayley Reardon, Jessi Alexander, Corey Crowder, Jamie Lin Wilson, Elise Davis, Alan Rhody, Joel Rafael, Kelsey Waldon, Farewell Angelina, Kyle Jacobs, Sonya Kitchell, Jeff Cohen, Austin Plaine, Jeffrey Foucault, Dylan Pratt, The Cactus Blossoms, Ken Johnson, Jonathan Tyler, Andrew Combs, Count This Penny, Davin McCoy, Carson McHone, Leah Edwards, Annalise Emerick, Liz Vice, Ashleigh Flynn, Friends of Lola, Dean Johanesen, Grayson Capps & Corky Hughes, Kevin Gordon, Hannah Thomas, Old Salt Union, Blue Mother Tupelo, Chris DeStefano, Chuck Wicks, Caroline Spence, Kyshona Armstrong, Donnie Sundal, Boukou Groove, Brian White, Karyn Williams, Jonathan Mitchell, Jerry Salley, Pete Sallis, Eric Erdman, JT Harding, Brett James, Matt Jenkins, Rick Brantley, Crys Matthews, Geoff McBride, The Mulligan Brothers, Jon Nite, David Olney, Josh Osborne, CJ Solar, The Owsley Brothers, Wildlife Specials and more.
The 30A SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL is known throughout the music community as a destination where writers who perform their own music, and performers who write their own songs, come together for an extended weekend to perform varied genres of music ranging from country, blues, folk, soul and Americana. For audiences, it's a rare chance to connect with their favorite artists in a more intimate, informal setting. "I think we will all look back on 2016 as the year that the 30A Songwriters Festival fully comes of age," says Jennifer Steele, co-producer/ Executive Director of the CAA. "All of the South Walton community embraces and supports the event financially, as volunteers, as participating musicians, or as attendees. And as the thousands of fans who travel here in January attest, music lovers across the country are fully on board."
The 30A Songwriters Festival confirmed venue partners include Vue on 30A, Grand Boulevard at Sandestin (sponsored by Silver Sands Premium Outlets and Centennial Bank, Inc.), Pandora's, Hibiscus Coffee & Guesthouse, Fish Out of Water, 30Avenue, The Gathering Spot, The Boat House, The Lake House, Pizza Bar, Bud & Alley's, Seaside Meeting Hall, Central Square Records, 723 Whiskey Bravo, Old Florida Fish House, The Pearl, WaterSound Beach Club, Caliza (sponsored by NW Florida Beaches Int'l Airport), Amavida and Rosemary Beach Town Hall (sponsored by Royce Smith and Rosemary Beach Cottage Rentals).
Four course VIP dinners are being offered on Saturday and on Sunday created by award-winning chefs from the Southeast. Both dinners will include wine pairings as well as special musical guests to be announced at a later date. VIP tickets offering premium seating on the lawn and access to the VIP tent serving complementary lunch, beer, wine and cocktails at Grand Boulevard are available online at
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