Inaugural Downtown St. Petersburg Songwriters Festival Attracts Thousands

(L-R): Cox Media Group-Tampa VP/Market Manager Keith Lawless, BMI songwriter and Collective Soul lead singer Ed Roland, Jo Van Niekerk, BMI songwriter Sonia Leigh, Collective Soul’s Jesse Triplett, BMI songwriter Parker Welling, BMI’s Spencer Nohe and Dan Spears

The 1st annual Downtown St. Petersburg Songwriters Festival presented by BMI and Cox Media Group was a huge success, featuring 35 BMI songwriters performing in over 100 shows in a variety of venues throughout downtown.

The festival took place Nov. 1-3 and a highlight featured a special acoustic performance by Ed Roland and Jesse Triplett of Collective Soul. One of the major goals of the event is to drive traffic to downtown St. Petersburg during a traditionally slow time of year to help give back to the BMI-licensed music venues in the area that support BMI songwriters through their paid licensing fees.

A portion of the festival proceeds went to benefit the music therapy department at Johns Hopkins Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg.

(L-R): Parker Welling and Aaron Barker share the stage at the Downtown St. Petersburg Songwriters Festival

Jesse Triplett and Ed Roland of Collective Soul perform together onstage. Photo by Rusch Young

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Hollabaugh, a staff writer at MusicRow magazine, has over 20 years of music business experience and has written for publications including American Profile, CMA Close Up, Nashville Arts And Entertainment, The Boot and Country Weekly. She has a Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication degree from Texas Christian University, (go Horned Frogs), and welcomes your feedback or story ideas at [email protected]

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