Opelika Songwriters Festival Returns Oct. 14-16

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BY KENDYL HOLLINGSWORTH

KENDYLH@OPELIKAOBSERVER.COM

OPELIKA —

The sound of music will fill the air in downtown Opelika this October for the third Opelika Songwriters Festival.

The festival will kick off Thursday, Oct. 13, with a cocktail dinner at 7 p.m. The music will take place over three days — Oct. 14 through 17 — at various venues downtown, giving attendees a chance to explore what the area has to offer.

Weekend and single-day passes are on sale now through freshtix.com. Prices range from $55 to $275 per ticket, depending on the day and experience.

“We are happy to join together with venue partners throughout downtown Opelika in 2022, including John Emerald Distillery, the Heritage House, the Irish Bred Pub, Jailhouse at Rock ‘N Roll Pinball and our studio, the Sound Wall,” said The Sound Wall Owner and festival Co-producer Rob Slocumb on the festival website.

The venues will be “listening rooms,” meaning guests are urged to keep conversation and other distracting sounds to a minimum.

This year’s headliners include Rickie Lee Jones and Indigo Girls.

“Amy and I look forward to getting back to the Opelika-Auburn area, where we have played many fun shows through the years,” said Emily Saliers of Indigo Girls. “We are especially excited to share the stage with Rickie Lee Jones, whom we admire so much as a singer and songwriter.”

John Paul White, formerly of The Civil Wars, and Shawn Mullins will perform two evening shows. Nearly 30 other songwriters are also set to perform over the weekend.

Songwriters under 18 may also enter the Student Songwriting Competition by Sept. 15 for a chance to perform in the festival.

In addition to live music performances, there will be a Songwriters Workshop, Modern Tone (FRACTAL) Workshop with Larry Mitchell and Cooper Carter and a How To Live Stream Workshop. Tickets are $25 for each workshop.

The festival began in 2019 to showcase the musical talent of songwriters near and far in a charming, small-town setting. The second festival, scheduled for 2020, was postponed to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Music fans are very eager now to enjoy public music performances up close and personal,” said Jen Slocumb, festival co-producer and co-owner of The Sound Wall in Opelika.

Co-Producer Russell Carter said he was first attracted to the Slocumbs’ idea of a local festival because his grandfather had roots in Opelika.

“I was thrilled to meet in downtown Opelika and experience firsthand the preservation, renewal and innovations that had taken place in recent years,” he said. “The restaurants, bars, distillery, pubs, galleries, boutiques, inn and record shop create a custom-made setting for a unique small town multi-day music festival.”

For those coming from out of town, the festival lists the Auburn Marriott Opelika Resort Hotel and Spa at Grand National as this year’s official hotel. Special room rates are available there and at the Hilton Garden Inn Auburn/Opelika.

To view the full artist lineup, enter the student competition or purchase tickets, visit www.opelikasongwritersfestival.com/.

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