BMI’s 10 Things to Know About Key West Songwriters Festival!

The Key West Songwriters Festival will be here before you know it, less than a month to be exact! If you are a lover of all things music and this premier event is something you have not experienced before – what are you waiting for?

Celebrating its 17th year, the Key West Songwriters Festival (KWSWF)  is the largest festival of its kind. Its charter sponsor, BMI has helped it grow into the tourist attraction and locals’ favorite it is today.

KWSWF is five days and nights of over 20 free shows, staged at an array of favorite local spots in Key West, where live music enjoyment is introduces crowds and fans to the faces, voices and stories behind the music.

See BMI’s ‘10 Things You Need to Know About KWSF’:

1. The Key West Songwriters Festival is May 2-6, 2012. This year marks the beloved fest’s 17th anniversary.

2. Loved by the greatest songwriters in the world, the festival allows attendees to experience amazing songs in their purest original form in fun-loving Key West, where the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic meet at the continental U.S.’s southernmost point.

3. Shows are held at venues throughout the island. A foodie’s delight, Key West offers international fare and local delicacies at hotspots all a short walk, bicycle or scooter ride away from one another.

4. Most of the stacked schedule is free, including more than 30 in-the-round sets from top performing songwriters. Tickets for a handful of intimate theatre shows are on sale at

5. Proceeds will benefit Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of our service members and wounded veterans.

6. The festival’s warm, inviting atmosphere creates unique opportunities to mingle with current chart-topping songwriters and living legends.

7. The 2012 lineup is bigger than ever, from Robert Earl Keen,Patrice Pike, Billy Burnette and Matraca Berg, to 2012 ACM Songwriter of the Year nominee Dallas Davidson and Luke Laird, the World Famous Headliners – Al Anderson, Pat McLaughlin and Shawn Camp – and the Jeffrey Steele Band.

8. Jeffrey Steele – a charismatic live performer and the award-winning writer behind smashes including Rascal Flatts’ “What Hurts the Most,” Montgomery Gentry’s “Hell Yeah,” Tim McGraw’s “The Cowboy in Me” – will perform with his ace band on Duval Street. The show is free and open to the public.

9. Songwriter Drew Reid first suggested a songwriter festival in Key West, and then Charlie Baur – who had moved to the island in 1988 to open the Hog’s Breath Saloon – jumped at the idea. The event’s1995 debut was small but memorable, featuring Mickey Newbury and Shel Silverstein. BMI first stepped in as a partner and sponsor the following year.

10. Make your reservations now – hotels and bed and breakfasts on the island are filling up fast. For a list of sponsoring hotels and suggestions of where to stay, visit

So, what show/performer are you most looking forward to seeing this KWSWF?  Click here for the schedule!

Tell us your favorite memory of past festivals!


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