Tennessee Tourism expands second annual competition
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development is set to expand its second annual Tennessee Songwriters Week in 2020 with the addition of qualifying rounds across the state. Starting Dec. 9, songwriters can sign up to perform at qualifying rounds at venues across Tennessee the first two weeks of February.
The full confirmed list of official qualifying round venues can be found at tennesseesongwritersweek.com. Sign-ups will be handled directly by each individual venue. Songwriters should contact venues directly for specific information regarding sign-ups. Qualifying rounds are scheduled to take place between Feb. 1-15. Top songwriters from the official qualifying rounds will perform during one of the six “Tennessee Songwriters Week” showcases in the following cities:
- Sunday, Feb. 23 – Puckett’s in Franklin
- Tuesday, Feb. 25 – Lafayette’s Music Room in Memphis
- Wednesday, Feb. 26 – The Bijou in Knoxville
- Thursday, Feb. 27 – Songbirds Guitar Museum in Chattanooga
- Friday, Feb. 28 – Ole Red in Gatlinburg
- Saturday, Feb. 29 – The Down Home in Johnson City
Finalists from the showcases get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share their original songs on the historic stage at The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. The Bluebird Cafe’s long-time open mic night host and songwriter Barbara Cloyd will serve as emcee at the showcases, and a panel of local judges will select the top songwriter from each event. Six total finalists (1 from each showcase event) will receive a prize pack and perform their original material during the finale event at The Bluebird Cafe on Sunday, March 29.
Songs will be evaluated and scored on a numerical scale considering both the song and the performance. Judges look at originality, vocal and/or instrumental talent and the ability to create an emotional connection to the audience.
The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development partnered with the Bluebird for the showcase events, which emphasize a state statute honoring songwriters passed in 2018. It annually designates the last full week of February as “Tennessee Songwriters Week.” The week is designed to celebrate the foundation of the craft, recognize past and present songwriters and pave the way for future artists.
Separate from the qualifying rounds, venues and businesses are encouraged to participate in the second annual Tennessee Songwriters Week (Feb. 23-29, 2020) by programming special events such songwriter showcases, in-the-rounds and educational opportunities to celebrate songwriters and drive visitation.
For more information and ongoing updates, visit tennesseesongwritersweek.com. Join the conversation on social using #TNsongwritersweek.