The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, known for its stunning natural beauty and southwest Florida charm, invites music lovers to the Island Hopper Songwriter Fest, which will take place over two consecutive weekends, on Sept. 26-28 on Captiva Island, and Oct. 3-5 on Fort Myers Beach. Presented by Broadcast Music, Inc. ® (BMI ®), the largest music rights organization in the U.S., along with partners Clear Channel Media & Entertainment and iHeartRadio, the destination’s first-ever songwriter festival features free performances by nationally acclaimed singer-songwriters at popular island venues. The performers will sing in intimate venues against a backdrop of palm trees and pristine beaches that make the destination a top choice for travelers who want to relax and reconnect with nature.
“Our natural beauty has inspired artists for generations,” said Tamara Pigott, executive director of the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB). “This exciting event celebrates that legacy and hopes to inspire more.”
Festival-goers will be able to celebrate American roots music while getting a taste of the destination with easy access to performances through complimentary trolley transportation to and from venues, including local favorites ‘Tween Water’s Crow’s Nest, Key Lime Bistro and Mucky Duck on Captiva; as well as Nervous Nellie’s, Smokin’ Oyster Brewery and The Beached Whale on Fort Myers Beach. One of the most special performance venues will be the private home of renowned American painter and graphic artist Robert Rauschenberg on Captiva Island, which will open its doors to the public for the first time exclusively for the festival.
An all-star line-up of talent will perform during the festival including Dean Dillon, whose notable career boasts 26 songs that exceed one million performances and a combined total of 31 BMI Country and Pop awards. In 2013, BMI celebrated Dean Dillon with its Icon Award at the Company’s 61st Country Music Awards. In 2002, Dillon was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and in 2011 was nominated for a GRAMMY® Award for Country Song of the Year for George Strait‘s “Breath You Take.” Additional performers include: GRAMMY®-nominated songwriter Tim James, who penned the number one single “My List” by Toby Keith; Wynn Varble, whose lyrics have been nominated for Song of the Year by the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music; as well as renowned singer-songwriters Phil O’Donnell, Kevin Kinney, Dylan Altman, Marshall Altman, Jeff Cohen, Kristen Kelly, Ruth Collins, Danny Myrick with Megan Linville, George Ducas, Billy Montana, Frank Myers and Loving Mary.
“We are so pleased to welcome so much talent to the Island Hopper Songwriter Fest and offer up close access to these storytellers,” said Dan Spears, vice president, industry relations at BMI. “We are delighted to partner with such a beautiful destination to celebrate American music.”
Guests interested in attending the festival can find more information and purchase tickets at www.islandhopperfest.com. Visitors can also follow the festival hashtag #islandhopper on Twitter and other social channels.