The sounds of some of the biggest hits in country, gospel and bluegrass music will resonate through the streets of Gatlinburg when Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival comes to town Aug. 24–28, 2016. The festival, now in its fifth season, will feature over 130 acts of songwriters and musicians who have shaped the top Billboard charts for generations as well as those just getting started in the music industry.
New to the festival this year is a special concert tribute entitled “Garth Brooks’ Hit Writers Concert,” happening Saturday, Aug. 27 at Glenstone Lodge. The late Kim Williams, renowned songwriter for Garth Brooks who wrote hits like “Papa Loves Mama” and “Ain’t Going Down Til The Sun Comes Up,” invited fellow Garth hits writers to join him on stage at the Glenstone this year. In remembrance of Kim Williams, fellow writers Pat Alger, Tony Arata, Kent Blazy and Sylvia will perform their Garth hits on the stage of Glenstone in loving memory of him. Tickets are $20 if purchased online or if any remain, for $25 at the door.
Also a new addition this year, Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival is partnering with Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort to host a variety of concerts throughout the day from Friday, Aug. 26 to Sunday, Aug. 28. The resort will feature two ticketed concerts happening Friday and Saturday night with respective acts, Emi Sunshine and the Farm Hands Quartet.
The festival not only offers free concerts to music lovers wanting to come and hear their favorite songs performed by the musicians who originally wrote them, but also provides aspiring artists and songwriters the chance to participate in co-writing events, songwriting workshops and critiquing sessions with hall of fame songwriters taking place throughout the weekend.
“This really is a music festival unlike any other in the Southeast,” said festival director and founder, Cyndy Montgomery Reeves. “We’ve taken the past four years and expanded upon them in a way that makes this year’s event something people will be extremely glad they came to and have them marking their calendars for years to come.”
Visit the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival for the complete schedule of live performances and workshops, or to purchase tickets.
The lineup includes hit songwriters: Bobby Tomberlin–writer of “One More Day” by Diamond Rio, Chris Wallin–writer of “Don’t Blink” by Kenny Chesney, Mark Narmore–writer of “That’s What I Love About Sunday” by Craig Morgan, Will Nance–writer of “She’s Everything” by Brad Paisley, Doug Johnson–writer of “Three Wooden Crosses” by Randy Travis. Those are just a few of the many songwriters performing at this year’s festival.
Songwriters will also compete for money and prizes in the 2016 Song Competition Finale and Awards Show, which is free and open to the public.
Photo: Kat Speer/Gatlinburg Convention & Visitors Bureau