Key West Songwriters Festival Kicks Off

BMI kicked off the 18th Annual Key West Songwriters Festival in sunny Florida on Wednesday, May 1 with a concert featuring Gary Clark, Jr. at the Ocean Key Resort’s Sunset Pier. Pictured are (l-r): BMI’s Mark Mason; manager Blayne Tucker; Gary Clark, Jr.; Key West Mayor Craig Cates; and Key West Songwriters Festival founder Charlie Bauer. Photo by Nick Doll

BMI kicked off the 18th Annual Key West Songwriters Festival in sunny Florida on Wednesday, May 1 with a concert featuring Gary Clark, Jr. at the Ocean Key Resort’s Sunset Pier. Pictured (l-r): BMI’s Mark Mason; manager Blayne Tucker; Gary Clark, Jr.; Key West Mayor Craig Cates; and Key West Songwriters Festival founder Charlie Bauer. Photo by Nick Doll

The Key West Songwriters Festival opened yesterday (May 1) and will run through May 5. BMI and the Smokin’ Tuna Saloon are presenting the 18th annual event. Set to perform at the 50-odd shows are hitmakers Jeffrey Steele, Paul Overstreet, Bob DiPiero, Lori McKenna, Bobby Pinson, Chuck Cannon, Keith Stegall, Liz Rose, Paul Jenkins, James Slater, Doug Johnson, Even Stevens, Steve Cropper, World Famous Headliners (Pat McLaughlin, Shawn Camp and Al Anderson), Robert Earl Keen, Guthrie Trapp, and many more.

A free street concert on Saturday, May 4, will be a highlight of the festival with a full-band and a Key West-style party featuring Sony artists Bush Hawg, Joanna Smith and Tate Stevens.

Proceeds benefit SHARE Military Initiative at Shepherd Center, a comprehensive rehabilitation program for service members with traumatic brain injury and PTSD.

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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