Key West Songwriters Festival to feature more than 200 performers

Key West Songwriters Festival
Snip/Key West Songwriters Festival

The Key West Songwriters Festival will feature more than 200 performers and untold numbers of music fans who will converge on the island May 9-13, 2018.

The performers are selected by organizations like BMI, so there’s a selection process that may take some time. 

The festival is remarkable in the number of acts it presents and the venues who host the performances. It’s not just about hearing music—it’s also about learning more about the musicians on the stages. Some events feature Q&A sessions.

BMI has been a sponsor of this event for 10 years.

If you attend, most of the events are free. Some do require tickets, and if so, that has, in the past, been noted on the performance page for each event.

Because it’s still so early, all the information hasn’t been posted on the website, but the 2017 schedule is still up and you could probably assume this year will be similar to last year.

KWSF says artists who are interested in performing should “contact their performing rights organizations” for what they describe as “the largest festival of its kind in the world.”

Besides BMI, sponsors include tourism-related businesses and organizations, Nashville’s iconic Bluebird Café, and the Nashville Songwriters Association.

The festival website will post updates as events are added, so keep an eye out. And if you’re interested in performing, contact your performing rights group asap. Larger festivals always book far in advance.

As an aside, BMI has been a significant resource for the Daysies. It’s well worth your time—if you’re a songwriter, you can join for free. One of the best benefits involves royalties—BMI keeps up with that so you don’t have to and the money goes directly into your bank account. If you join as a publisher, there is a fee.[No benefits derived from my mention of this organization.]

BMI also advocates for musicians. In 2016, just ahead of the presidential election, the organization was at odds with the US Dept. of Justice over a policy change that would have disadvantaged songwriters. A federal court upheld BMI’s position. BMI has free information for musicians on various pages at the organization’s website.

(Kay B. Day/Aug. 9, 2017)

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