This is the time of the year that some of the most famous hit songwriters in country music history come to Gatlinburg to perform. Many of them have written songs for legendary country artists including Garth Brooks and  Johnny Cash just to name a few. The now annual event is in its 6th year of entertaining tourists and locals with national and local songwriters. You will be hard-pressed to go anywhere from August 16-20 without hearing or being somewhere a songwriter is performing.

The Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival in Gatlinburg features 150 shows by over 100 different artists: some of which are local, and some will be coming from as far away as California. You can find these artists performing outdoors, in restaurants and hotels; most of which you can see without paying a ticket. There are three special events for the Songwriters Festival that you may not want to miss and are sure to be worth the price of admission.

Con Hunley will be singing some of his songs at the Glenstone Lodge on August 19 at 8 p.m. The East Tennessee native had a string of 20 songs that hit the charts in the 70’s and 80’s and continues to write songs today. You can still purchase tickets for his concert for $25 and doors will open at 6.

Sylvia is no stranger to the Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival, and she will be performing a matinee at the Glenstone Lodge at 4 p.m. prior to Con Hunley taking the stage. With her hit song, “Nobody”, she established herself as a major songwriter and musician in the 80’s. She also has a new album coming out, and joining her on stage will be her guitarist, John Mock.

The most famous songwriters coming to Gatlinburg for a ticketed event will be a songwriter for Johnny Cash, Jim Glaser; Bobby Tomberlin, Diamond Rio songwriter; Tony Arata, famous for “The Dance” by Garth Brooks; and Pat Alger, a multiple hit songwriter for Garth Brooks. This “Celebrity” round of songwriters will start performing at the Glenstone Lodge on August 18 at 8 p.m. This is sure to be a treat for anyone who has been a fan of country music or Garth Brooks through the years.

There are so many artists coming to Gatlinburg this weekend, it is staggering. I won’t list all the performers coming to town, but if you are one of the lucky ones who scheduled your vacation for this time, I recommend you check out the Songwriters Festival website at www.smswf.com to see the entire list of performers. Many of these performers are not household names in contrast to the ones I’ve mentioned, but they are looking for a little support and recognition by coming to this Festival, so take the time to listen to some great music; some will even enjoy having the pleasure to talk to someone who enjoyed their music. It’s a great gathering of artists you won’t want to miss.

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