30A Songwriter's Fest offers unique musical experience

30A Songwriter's Fest
Deborah Wheeler/The Sun
Published: Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 02:22 PM.

Since its inception five years ago, the 30A Songwriters Festival has grown by leaps and bounds. Festival chairman Russell Carter attributes the festival's popularity and success to several things.

One thing that differentiates the 30ASF from the many other music festivals across the country is that it is a unique musical experience in that everyone who is invited to play the festival is an original songwriter, said Carter.

"That is the tie that binds all the musicians together in a bond of musical respect and admiration, and what is evident to everyone in the audience up and down 30A is a consistent authenticity to the music and performances," he said. "This is not manufactured music, not singers covering songs others wrote, nothing is auto tuned, nothing is taped to backing tracks — these are soul bearing, heart wrenching, honest performances that will make you laugh, cry, and make you think about your life and others in ways you may not have imagined before.”

Of course, it doesn't hurt that the festival is held in a beautiful scenic area either, he admits.

"Bonnaroo is one of the most popular festivals in the country and one of my favorites musically. But camping out in the heat is the norm and a camper trailer is their luxury housing. We have the shades of  blue and green of the water and the white sands of the Gulf of Mexico that define our area and housing choices begin with  WaterColor, Alys, Rosemary, WaterSound, Grayton, Seagrove, Seaside and Dune Allen beaches. People who come to this festival love the resorts, the bars, the restaurants and the galleries," he said. 

Another thing that keeps people coming back to this festival is its scope and quality, said Carter.

"We try each year to expand the scope and quality of the event," he said. “These artists are storytellers, entertainers, liars, thieves, conjurers, saints and sinners, lovers and haters -- collectively they are the poets of our times. They chronicle their lives and yours and mine and in the process they will touch you and make this weekend one to remember for a long, long time." 

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