5th Annual Opelika Songwriters Festival Announces Full Lineup

Article Contributed by Emi Peters | Published on Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Heading into its 5th year, the Opelika Songwriters Festival has attracted die-hard music fans from around the country to hear world-class singer-songwriters spanning many genres. The historic downtown district of Opelika, AL is transformed into a music lover’s oasis for three nights and three days of top-tier performances throughout the weekend of May 16-19, 2024. Tickets are on sale HERE.

Headlining the festival are Shawn Colvin, KT Tunstall, and Sister Hazel. They will grace the main stage located at the corner of 8th St & N Railroad Avenue. Livingston Taylor will lead the Songwriters Workshop and perform solo sets on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Other performers include OSF veterans Shawn Mullins, Dan Navarro, Abe Partridge, Peter Bradley Adams, Cousin Curtiss, Grayson Capps, Eliot Bronson, Robby Hecht, Larry Mitchell, Noah Zacharin, Martha’s Trouble, Katie Martin, and more.

New to the festival lineup this year are Vicki Peterson (of the Bangles) and John Cowsill (Beach Boys touring member), Jon Muq, Joy Clark, Kristy Lee, Becky Warren, Lilly Winwood, Noel McKay, Jack Barksdale, and more.

View the full lineup HERE.

Founded in 2019 by musicians and husband-wife duo Rob & Jen Slocumb, aka Martha’s Trouble, and co-produced by Russell Carter Artist Management, OSF brings world-class entertainment to Opelika, further contributing to the charming railroad town’s vibrant resurgence and local economy. "We’re thrilled to bring back this amazing festival for our 5th year,” said Rob. “Normally you would have to travel to big cities like Atlanta or Nashville to access live music of this caliber, so we’re excited to be able to host something like this in our own backyard, and have folks travel to our neck of the woods.”

“Downtown Opelika is transformed into a live music utopia during this event,” said Jen. “Intimate listening rooms are created in restaurants, coffee shops, a distillery, a bed & breakfast, and pubs, creating a custom-made setting for a very unique festival experience.”

"Opelika is a southern town whose heritage has been respected and preserved throughout its history," explains co-producer Carter. "In the days leading up to the festival, the streets and venues are lit up, decked out with fully-equipped stages and excellent sound systems, soon to come alive for three days of extraordinary music, specialty beers and cocktails, and culinary delights. Opelika is the place to enjoy the best contemporary music in a restored southern community."

General admission weekend passes are $155, Friday single-day passes are $65, Saturday passes are $125, and Sunday passes are $30. VIP Weekend Passes are available at $210 and include access to a VIP seating area at the main stage, VIP bar and bathroom access, and an OSF commemorative gift. VIP Weekend Plus Passes are $310 and include everything at the VIP level, plus entry into the Sunday Brunch & Songs event.

Partial proceeds from the festival benefit The Sound Wall Music Initiative, a 501c3 nonprofit organization founded by the Slocumbs that’s dedicated to promoting and celebrating the power of music in the Auburn-Opelika community.

The festivities begin on Thursday night at 7 PM with a kick-off dinner and performance by Cousin Curtiss at John Emerald Distilling Company, 706 N Railroad Ave. Chef Chris Wilton will serve a four-course gourmet dinner paired with cocktail selections by the distillery. The dinner is one of the many add-on experiences that patrons can enjoy and costs $150 plus fees.

Livingston Taylor will lead the aforementioned Songwriters Workshop at 10 AM on Saturday at Heritage House, 714 2nd Avenue. Taylor is the younger brother of six-time Grammy Award winner James Taylor, and has had a successful 50-year career in his own right encompassing performance, songwriting, and teaching. Tickets for this add-on event are $25 for adults and $15 for students, plus fees. Tickets for the workshop can be purchased HERE.

Tickets for the Thursday night Kickoff Dinner, Saturday Breakfast at Botanic, Songwriters Workshop with Livingston Taylor, and Guitar Tone Workshop with Larry Mitchell are add-on experiences that require a separate ticket purchase for all patrons.

A schedule snapshot is below. The weekend’s full schedule can be viewed HERE:

    Friday, May 17

        Music begins in all venues at 5:30 PM

        Student Songwriter Showcase - 5:30 PM

        Where: Community Stage—9th St & S Railroad Ave

        Sister Hazel rocks out on the main stage at 9:45 PM

        Where: Main Stage—8th St & N Railroad Ave

    Saturday, May 18

        Breakfast at Botanic— Buffet breakfast in the beer garden featuring a set by Eliot Bronson at 9 AM. Limited seating available.

        Where: Botanic—1702 Frederick Road

        Cost: $35

        Music begins in downtown venues at 10 AM.

        Songwriters Workshop led by Livingston Taylor at 10 AM. Limited seating available.

        Where: Heritage House—714 2nd Avenue

        Cost: $25 for adults, $15 for students

        Guitar Tone Workshop with Larry Mitchell at 10 AM. Limited Seating available.

        Where: The Sound Wall—605 Ave B

        Cost: $25 for adults, $15 for students

        KT Tunstall performs at 1:45 PM and Shawn Colvin takes over at 3:30 PM.

        Where: Main Stage—8th St & N Railroad Ave

        Late Night Jam at 11 PM featuring Larry Mitchell and other festival artists.

        Where: John Emerald Distilling Company—706 N Railroad Ave

    Sunday, May 19

        Sunday Morning Gospel Hour at 10 AM

        Where: Market Street Paint Shop—116 S 8th St Suite 102

        VIP Weekend Pass+ ticket holders can experience Sunday Brunch & Songs Sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka at 10:30 AM, catered by the renowned Chef Chris Wilton. Performers include Shawn Colvin, Shawn Mullins, and Jon Muq

        Where: Heritage House Lawn—714 2nd Ave

        The Final Round starts at 1:45 PM

        Where: Resting Pulse Brewery—714 1st Ave

The Opelika Songwriters Festival is co-produced by The Sound Wall and Russell Carter Artist Management (RCAM). RCAM has booked and co-produced the prestigious 30A Songwriters Festival for the past 15 years on the northwest Florida coast.