[caption id="attachment_710" align="alignleft" ]Come hear the local music at the Song Writers Festival! Come hear the local music at the Song Writers Festival![/caption]

Gatlinburg will host its second annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival August 15 through 18. Come help us Celebrate Our Appalachian Musical Roots. The four day festival features ongoing performances of free live music in downtown Gatlinburg. The event features a songwriting contest, songwriting workshop and also a 5K run. This is a much loved event where people not only get to hear real Appalachian style music, they can also learn the history behind each song.

Songwriters performing at this year's event include Bobby Tomberlin, (writer of hit songs including BMI’s 4 million airplay award winner “One More Day,” Diamond Rio; and cast member of CMT’s The Singing Bee) Mark Nesler, (“Just To See You Smile,” Tim McGraw) Bill Labounty, (“Rock My World,” Brooks and Dunn) Kim Williams, (“Ain‘t Goin’ Down Till The Sun Comes Up,” Garth Brooks; “Three Wooden Crosses,” Randy Travis) and many more.

This year the festival adds hit Gospel and Bluegrass writers to its Sunday Stage, including Gospel Artist/Songwriter Karyn Williams, Jerry Salley, Brian White, Larry Cordle and  Cory Jackson.

A brand new attraction at the festival this year is the Band Playoff. The Band Playoff will be held at 3 Jimmy's and 20 bands will vie for supremacy. Each day the winning bands of the day will continue to advance to the next round of the playoff until the winner is crowned on Aug. 18. All music types are welcome as long as the entrants write and perform their own songs. By this writing the entries will have closed, but we include the link to the contest rules so music fans can check out the challenge that lies ahead for the bands.

The festival's songwriting competition offers entrants the opportunity to go up against songwriters from not only the Gatlinburg area and the southeast but around the country. The finalists were announced on July 15 and are listed here in categories, according to music style. Category winner placements and Grand Prize Winner to be determined at the 2013 Songwriters Competition Finale and Awards Performance, 5 – 7 PM Sat. Aug. 17, 2013, Edgewater Hotel – 402 River Rd. Gatlinburg, TN. The audience will vote on a Listener’s Choice Award.

Aspiring artists and anyone with an interest in music can sign up for the festival's seven session workshop series to be held at the Edgewater Hotel. A single session is $50.00 and you can register for multiple sessions with associated session pricing or the whole series for $249.00. The sessions offered include these topics:

  • “The Music Business” - 3 Day Luncheon Series - Keynote Speaker  Rick Barker
  • “Increasing Your Chances of Getting A Song Cut” Fri. 8/16/13, 3:30 – 5:30  PM   Things you can do that will increase the odds of you getting a song cut.  Marty Dodson
  • “Honing The Craft of Songwriting” –  2 Parts –  Sun. 8/18/13  9 am – Noon.

Check this guide to the festival's performers and get ready to enjoy several days of free live music: http://smswf.com/guide-to-all-festival-events/

Music lovers can learn more about the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival by visiting the organization's website at http://www.http://smswf.com/ or its Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/smswf.

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Will you be attending or appearing at the Songwriters Festival in Gatlinburg? Share your experiences with us in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter @travelgburg, or on Google +!