August for Gospel and Bluegrass

Festival goers under a string of lights on a lawn

A summertime tradition rolls again into the beautiful mountain town of Gatlinburg in Tennessee. In late August, the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival invites the public to get up close with some of their favorite musicians. Across multiple genres, including country, gospel, and bluegrass, visitors staying at Zoder’s Inn will be in close quarters with celebrity singers and local favorites when they raise the purple curtain on August 24th. Organizers promoting the festival on social media suggest there will be over 130 performers in attendance, many of whose names are no stranger to the Billboard charts.

One of three ticketed concerts at the festival is The Garth Brooks’ Hit Writers In Concert, a showcase featuring the men that together and created the legendary singer’s most enduring hits, Hall of Famers Pat Alger, Tony Arata, and Kent Blazy. The trio will also hold a conference as part of a popular creative workshop for songwriters. On August 26th, Emi Sunshine and The Rain return for an evening performance at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort. This ticketed show begins at 8 o’clock. Ms. Sunshine, in conjunction with her mother Alisha Hamilton, will host a workshop of their own titled, "Inspiring Beginnings in Songwriting."

A third ticketed performance on the event of Saturday, August 27th is the Farm Hands Quartet, who for the second year in a row were named both Gospel Band of the Year and Vocal Group of the Year during the 2016 Bluegrass Music Awards. This is another 8 o’clock show. For this 5th annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival, the opening ceremony, located on the lawn of the Historic Gatlinburg Inn, will start things off on August 24th (pre-show at 7:15 PM) with a performance by Keith Anderson. Best of all, the majority of these concerts are free to the public and can be found throughout town.

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