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The Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival brings free live music to venues across Gatlinburg.
The Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival brings free live music to venues across Gatlinburg.

Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival Kicks Off Thursday in Gatlinburg

Music lovers are invited to “Celebrate Our Appalachian Musical Roots” at the 3rd Annual Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival in Gatlinburg, August 21-24.

For songwriters, the Festival includes a Song Competition, Band Playoff, Stage Spots and a Workshop Series.

But it is the public who are in for a real treat as songwriters take to stages around Gatlinburg, giving free live performances of their original songs and telling the stories behind some of the hit songs played on the radio. Venues include Sugarlands Shine Back Porch Stage, Crystelle Creek Restaurant & Grill, Loco Burros Restaurant, Ripley’s Aquarium, Dick’s Last Resort, Crawdaddy’s Restaurant, Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler, Park Vista Doubletree. Three Jimmy’s Eatery is hosting the 2014 Band Playoff.

The opening ceremony and kick-off show will be held at the Gatlinburg Inn, 6:30 p.m. on August 21, featuring country recording artist Mo Pitney and 9-year-old singing sensation EmiSunshine & The Rain.

Bill Anderson, member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, headlines the only ticketed show at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 23 at the Quality Inn Creekside Conference Center. He will perform along with Grammy and Emmy nominee Steve Dorff and Grammy, CMA and ACM nominee Bobby Tomberlin. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door if available.

“Wait till you hear Bill perform his original version of the songs he wrote for artists like Brad Paisley, Alison Krauss, Ray Price and George Strait to name a few,” said Cyndy Montgomery Reeves, Festival Director and Founder.

Nearly 300 songs were entered into the Song Competition this year. Finalists with perform their song live at the event’s Song Competition Finale and Awards Show, Noon – 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 23 at the Edgewater Hotel. Category Winners will be chosen along with a Grand Prize Winner.

“A lot of amazing songs were entered into the 2014 SMSWF Song Competition making for a lot of winners whether they receive an award or not” said Cyndy Montgomery Reeves Festival Director and Founder. “It will not surprise me to hear several of these on the radio, charts and hit lists,” Reeves proclaimed.

The mission of The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival is to promote songwriters and to help their songs be discovered not only by record label executives, publishers, and other music industry pros, but also by the public.

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About Candice Fitzgibbons

I am a Sevier County resident and active in my local community. I’ve spent more than 20 years as a graphic designer and copywriter, creating marketing materials to help small to medium sized businesses and non-profit organizations achieve their goals. I have a passion for equality, the environment and animal rights.