Island Hopper Songwriters Fest Brings Magic to the Islands Through Song

Nestled in the southwest corner of Florida boasts a land almost untouched. The beautiful coastal towns are 70% nature preserve and the very start of the subtropics. To quote Laura Chmielewski, Director of Marketing & Communications for The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, “there is no building taller than a palm tree”. Its magical, and has been a source of inspiration for writers, artists and musicians for generations.

This fall music lovers are invited to experience the first ever songwriters festival held in this area. The festival will take place over two weekends, Sept 26-28 on Captiva Island and October 3-5 on Fort Myers Beach. The festival will be multi venue, clustered and walkable. Additionally there will be a complimentary trolley available to and from venues. Both Captiva Island and Fort Myers Beach have their own colorful flavor and feel. Captiva is uber laid back with local charm infused throughout every corner. Fort Myers Beach has a bit more of a funky fun vibe. The songwriters were carefully chosen to compliment the locations and bring a unique experience for festival goers.

Island Hopper Songwriters Fest partnered with Royal Shell Vacations as one of the lodging partners. They offer condos and houses that sleep up to 20 people. Unique to this festival will be a special performance at one of the Royal Shell Properties. They will host a backyard house party around the pool. Another special performance will be at the home of renowned painter, Robert Rauschenberg. His home will be opened for the first time to the public free of charge but ticketed for crowd control. Robert Rauschenberg was originally from Texas and held a special love for Texas music.

When Dean Dillon received his first royalty check the first thing he did was hop a plane to Fort Myers. It holds special meaning to him and the icon was an obvious choice when selecting the songwriters to be showcased at the festival. Songwriters are still being added but currently joining Dillon will be; Billy Montana, Danny Myrick, Dylan Altman, Even Stevens, Frank Myers, George Ducas, Jeff Cohen, Kevn Kinney, Kristen Kelly, Loving Mary, Marshall Altman, Megan Linville, Niko Moon, Paul McDonald, Ruth Collins, Tim James, Wynn Varble and Phil O’Donnell who will be returning “home” to perform for fans.

All the venues serve delicious local fare. Key lime pie from the Key Lime Bistro must not be missed. If you like seafood head over to Doc Fords Sanibel Rum Bar and Grill and try their famous Yucatan Shrimp. Nervous Nellies is a casual waterfront restaurant that quite possibly has the largest menu anywhere.  Whatever kind of food and drinks you enjoy, you will find it along the island.

BMI, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment and iHeartRadio are working in tandem with The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel to bring fans closer to the music through stories and song against a intimate island backdrop. They want festival attendees to experience the beauty of the island. Laura Chmielewski, Director of Marketing & Communications for The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel,

“The island becomes more magical with music. Its good for the soul. We want everyone to experience this”.

For more details on lodging, venues and general information go to




Kim Hooker

Country music has played a role in every chapter of my life. I find myself loving traditional sound but connecting to the lyrics and music of today. I have a deep appreciation for the songwriting community and am passionate about making sure their story gets told as well. Florida based but travel often, mostly to cover music events. Social Media Correspondent/addict, coffee lover and wino. Looking forward to taking this journey with you….

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