The first South Louisiana Songwriters Festival and Workshop (SOLO) will be happening May 22 to 27 in Lafayette.
The new event combines a workshop portion that will bring together established and aspiring songwriters in a retreat-style atmosphere for four days of mentoring, creating and collaborating as well as a performance portion in the form of a weekend festival.
The gathering is a collaboration between Lafayette’s CREATE initiative and the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation. Lafayette was chosen for its rich culture, relaxed nature and abundance of musical talent. This combination produces an atmosphere that inspires creativity.
Acclaimed songwriter Mary Gauthier will co-curate the workshop. Her tenth, and most recent, album is entitled ‘Rifles & Rosary Beads.’ It features 11 songs co-written with and for wounded veterans, of the nearly four hundred songs that highly accomplished songwriters have co-written as part of the five-year-old SongwritingWith:Soldiers program. A project that has proven to be a calling.
“My job as a songwriter is to find that thing a soul needs to say,” Gauthier says.
Aspiring local writers will soon be asked to submit applications for one of two scholarships to the workshop.
“We’re thrilled that some of our local young talent will benefit from the wealth of knowledge this collaborative workshop offers.” says Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux.
A call for applications from aspiring Lafayette songwriters will be announced soon through the festival’s website, solosongwriters.com, and Facebook page.
The educational workshop component will be followed by a two-day, 6-stage festival focused on great music and featuring workshop attendees such as honorary ambassador for The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation Kimmie Rhodes, local and visiting songwriters including Jim Lauderdale, Mark Broussard, Dylan LeBlanc, Zachary Richard, Mark Meaux and many more.
Interested songwriters and song-lovers are encouraged to check the website often to get the latest information on SOLO performers, ticketing information for exclusive workshop shows and the two-day SOLO Festival hosted by the Blue Moon Saloon and Warehouse 535 on May 26 and 27.
The event is presented in part by the generous support of the CREATE initiative, the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation, Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission, BMG and many public and private sponsors.