Another round of Nashville’s finest songwriters invaded Florida for the 12th annual Key West Songwriters’ Festival May 2-6. A founding sponsor, BMI took over 100 performers south and hosted numerous shows and mixers designed to both show the songwriters off and encourage them to wind down.
“This was the biggest group of songwriters we’ve ever taken down there,” says BMI’s Mark Mason. “A few years ago, it was just us and the songwriters, hanging out while they’d play shows and relax. This year, literally thousands of fans flew to Key West specifically for the festival. Songwriters were taking pictures and being stopped for autographs. I couldn’t get in to the first show I went to-the venue was packed. It was awesome.”
Spread out over favorite venues and based at the world famous Hog’s Breath Saloon, the festival treated Key West to a barrage of stories behind the songs, live and loud, told and performed by the songwriters themselves. Each year, more hit makers attend, making the Key West Songwriters’ Festival a vital destination for not only songwriters, but the entire industry.
“When folks get down to Key West, they let their guard down-something special happens,” explains Mason. “Friendships grow faster down there. It’s a great bonding experience, networking tool and co-writing springboard. There’s nothing else out there like it.”