Local Musicians: TN Songwriters Week sign ups are now open

Erin Pressley performing at The Bijou Theatre in Knoxville during Tennessee Songwriters Week. | Photo Courtesy of Hunter Berry

STATE TOURISM NEWS | Signups are officially open for songwriters to take part in the sixth annual statewide Tennessee Songwriters Week. Songwriters of all genres can sign up to perform in qualifying rounds all over Tennessee and compete for a chance to perform at iconic venues across the state, including the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. Helmed by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, Tennessee Songwriters Week supports music venues, provides songwriters with live performance opportunities, drives visitation and inspires travelers to experience the state’s music stories, history, attractions and venues. Since its inception, more than 3,500 songwriters have shared their original songs across Tennessee stages during the annual celebration in February. 

The celebration of the craft that helped put Tennessee on the map, Tennessee Songwriters Week, begins with qualifying rounds at nearly 50 participating music venues in late January. From there, select songwriters will move on to one of seven Tennessee Songwriters Week showcases:
o Sunday, February 18, 2024 – Lafayette’s Music Room in Memphis
o Monday, February 19, 2024 – The Bijou in Knoxville
o Tuesday, February 20, 2024 – Songbirds Foundation in Chattanooga
o Wednesday, February 21, 2024 – Ole Red in Gatlinburg
o Thursday, February 22, 2024 – The Down Home in Johnson City
o Friday, February 23, 2024 – The Temple Theatre in Portland
o Saturday, February 24, 2024 – Franklin Theatre in Franklin

The showcases around the state highlight cities and regions that played a major role in the musical development of Tennessee across a diverse range of genres like blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll. One songwriter from each showcase will be chosen to perform at Nashville’s iconic Bluebird Cafe during a private event in March. Each of the finalists will also receive additional prizes, including a one-year membership to Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and a commemorative Taylor guitar.

Songs will be judged by quality of the song (original lyrics/melody and clear narrative) and performance (ability to understand lyrics and connection with the audience). View the 2024 Tennessee Songwriters Week Sweepstakes Official Rules.
The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development partners with The Bluebird Cafe, NSAI, Taylor Guitars, music venues and local convention and visitors’ bureaus, chambers and partners across the state, all committed to ensuring songwriters can share their original work onstage with audiences and other writers.

Follow the journey of these songwriters and join the fun by following @tnvacation on social media and #tnsongwritersweek.•

{The Lynchburg Times is the only locally-owned and locally-operated community newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee and one of the few women-owned newspaper in the state. They cover local news and events as well as the tourism and whiskey industries in southern, middle Tennessee. Click here to subscribe.}