BY KENDYL HOLLINGSWORTH
The sound of music will fill the air in downtown Opelika in October for the third Opelika Songwriters Festival.
The festival will begin on Thursday, October 13 with a cocktail reception at 7 p.m. The music will take place over three days – October 14-17 – at various downtown venues, giving attendees a chance to explore what the area has to offer. .
Weekend and day passes are on sale now at freshtix.com. Prices range from $55 to $275 per ticket, depending on day and experience.
“We are pleased to partner with venue partners throughout Opelika City Center in 2022, including John Emerald Distillery, Heritage House, Irish Bred Pub, Jailhouse at Rock ‘N Roll Pinball and our Studio , the wall of sound,” said the wall of sound. Festival owner and co-producer Rob Slocumb at the festival site.
Venues will be ‘listening rooms’, meaning guests are asked to keep conversations and other distracting sounds to a minimum.
This year’s headliners include Rickie Lee Jones and Indigo Girls.
“Amy and I can’t wait to get back to the Opelika-Auburn area, where we’ve played many fun shows over the years,” said Emily Saliers of Indigo Girls. “We are especially thrilled to share the stage with Rickie Lee Jones, whom we admire so much as a singer and songwriter.”
John Paul White, formerly of The Civil Wars, and Shawn Mullins will perform two evening shows. Nearly 30 other songwriters are also expected to perform over the weekend.
Songwriters under the age of 18 can also enter the Student Songwriting Contest by September 15 for a chance to perform at the festival.
In addition to live musical performances, there will be a songwriter workshop, a Modern Tone (FRACTAL) workshop with Larry Mitchell and Cooper Carter, and a How To Live Stream workshop. Tickets are $25 for each workshop.
The festival began in 2019 to showcase the musical talent of songwriters from here and abroad in a charming small-town setting. The second festival, scheduled for 2020, was postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Music fans are now very eager to enjoy public musical performances up close and personal,” said Jen Slocumb, festival co-producer and co-owner of The Sound Wall at Opelika.
Co-producer Russell Carter said he was first drawn to the Slocumbs’ idea of a local festival because his grandfather had roots in Opelika.
“I was thrilled to meet in downtown Opelika and experience first-hand the preservation, renewal and innovations that have taken place in recent years,” he said. “The restaurants, bars, distillery, pubs, galleries, shops, hostel and record store create a bespoke setting for a unique multi-day small town music festival.”
For those traveling from out of town, the festival lists the Auburn Marriott Opelika Resort Hotel and Spa at Grand National as this year’s official hotel. Special rates are available there and at the Hilton Garden Inn Auburn/Opelika.
To see the full list of artists, enter the student competition, or purchase tickets, visit www.opelikasongwritersfestival.com/.