welcome to hwy 80 songwriters fest!!
The 2016 Hwy 80 Songwriters Fest will be held in July (working date around Tricia Walker’s summer schedule) in the same venues as 2015 (Squealer’s, News, Weidmann’s, The Brickhaus, Soule Steamworks, Newton Farmers Market and Hal & Mal’s, Jackson. Also, Demopolis, Alabama will hold its round on the City Hall grounds. Meridian rounds include Scott Albert Johnson, Chalmers Davis, Debbie Bond, blues activist and founder of the Alabama Blues Project with Rick Asherson, Sydney Beaumont, Michael Hughes, Ron Etheridge, a favorite at the 2015 fest; Stephen Lee Veal; Robert Daniels; Steve Deaton; Bob Ray; Bryan Hayes. More high-caliber songwriters will be added to Meridian’s rounds. To promote and insure tourism at local venues, restaurants and hotels, songwriters participating in Meridian’s rounds, except for the locals’ rounds in North Meridian, are from outside of Lauderdale County. Through the Hwy 80 Songwriters initiative, friends, family and fans of visiting songwriters bring business to local venues and songwriters expand their performance territory. The 2016 year also includes the same educational components as 2015, with the addition of Northeast Middle School. K. D. Brosia will facilitate youth songwriting workshops. Marty Gamblin will again oversee the professional songwriting workshop and is working out details with Tricia Walker, Grammy Award winning songwriter, Director of Delta Music Institute to help facilitate the pro songwriting workshop and participate in the Grand Finale. Extensive advertising through Mississippi and Alabama are accomplished through radio and television. Flyers and posters are also distributed in East Mississippi, West Alabama. Participating songwriters advertise the Fest through their websites, Facebook and EPK sites and participating venues do likewise. Workshop (professional and school) Evaluations are provided to workshop attendees, teachers and students and feedback from attendees, volunteers and committee members will help to determine the success of the event.