L-R: Larry Gatlin performs at Ober Gatlinburg, Danny Wells & Doug Johnson present Phyllis Williams, wife of the late Kim Williams with a plaque during his induction into the Gatlinburg Songwriters Hall of Fame (Photos: Rick Diamond), & Brady Seals (right) shares the stage with guitarist, Andrew “Ziggy” Zendejas during his release party at Ober Gatlinburg (Photo: Jack Boucher) – 

The second annual Gatlinburg Songwriters Festival 2022 was a tremendous success doubling attendance, adding stages, and providing new and exciting panels and professional writing sessions. The festival takes place each year during the 3rd weekend of August. This year, the event was held August 18th-21st. Events were hosted throughout the area by some of the most prominent venues including Gatlinburg SkyLift Park, Ober Gatlinburg, Ole Smoky Distillery, Ole Red, Gatlinburg Brewing Company, Shine Shack, The Historic Gatlinburg Inn, The Listening Room Cafe, and The Park Vista Hotel. Nestled in the heart of The Great Smoky Mountains, the illustrious three-day conference and live music event featured a variety of musical talent spanning multiple genres and included more than 25 #1 hit songwriters and 60 selected songwriters.

“This year far exceeded our expectations,” commented Cara Hogan, Executive Director of The Gatlinburg Songwriters Festival. “We’ve already received a tremendous amount of positive feedback including repeated compliments from attendees about how much fun they had, that the connections they made were invaluable, how unique the event is, and that they are already looking forward to next year. We expect 2023 to be even bigger and better!”

Highlights from this year’s festival included the highly-anticipated opening night celebration at Ober Gatlinburg with the induction of multi-award-winning hit songwriter, the late Kim Williams, into the Gatlinburg Songwriters Hall of Fame. Williams’ wife Phyllis was presented with a plaque by hit songwriters and personal friends, Danny Wells and Doug Johnson who co-wrote hit songs with Williams. On Friday night Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, Brady Seals (Little Texas) wowed concert-goers as he performed an electrifying full-band show and release party and featured his current single, “Farm Boy,” as well as his recent remake of the 70s smash hit “I’d Really Love To See You Tonight,” (England Dan & John Ford Coley) and another iconic 70s song “Summer Breeze” (Seals & Crofts). Seals has sold over 11 million albums during his distinguished career. There was also the special Legends of Bluegrass show at Ole Smoky featuring Jerry Salley, Irene Kelley, Carl Jackson, and Thom Jutz, the reigning IBMA winner. On Saturday night, attendees were treated to An Intimate Evening with Larry Gatlin at Ober Gatlinburg. Gatlin took his audience on an unforgettable musical journey as a Grammy award-winning songwriter and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member,
and performed a string of hit songs he has written during his prestigious career spanning over four decades. Also on the show were Tommy “C. Thomas” Howell (ET, Outsiders, Walking Dead), and Onoleigh.

In addition to these events, the indelible weekend was filled with outstanding performances from #1 songwriters, including; Shane Stevens (“Fancy Like”- Walker Hayes), Tony Arata (“The Dance”- Garth Brooks), Danny Wells (“Check Yes Or No”- George Strait), Steve Dean (“Watching You”- Rodney Atkins), Will Nance (“She’s Everything”- Brad Paisley), and magical music-filled nights on the front porch of the Gatlinburg Inn with lots of pickin’ and grinnin.’

The Gatlinburg Songwriters Festival also offered participants the opportunity to write a song with #1 hit songwriters, book a master songwriting lecture by legendary superstar and wordsmith, Larry Gatlin, acquire valuable “how to” information regarding TV & movie licensing as well as wealth management help. Songwriters were mentored by industry professionals including, Eddie Gore and Justyna Kelley, who specialize in artist production, songwriting, and development for rising talent at Music Row’s RCA Studio C.

Dates for the 2023 Gatlinburg Songwriters Festival are set for August 17th-20th so mark your calendars now. Visit Gatlinburg Songwriters Festival.com.

L to R: Row 1 – Victoria Venier, President & Cara Hogan, Executive Director GSF at opening festivities, Larry Gatlin addresses attendees during master songwriting lecture, “Open Rounds” at Gatlinburg Inn (Photos: Rick Diamond), Row 2 – Jerry Salley & Carl Jackson perform at Ole Smoky (Photo: Rick Diamond), Steve Dean visits with Knoxville Songwriters Assoc. members. Participants enjoy a late night jam session on the front porch of The Historic Gatlinburg Inn lead by Wil Nance (Photos: Jack Boucher), Row 3 – Troy Castellano, Sean “Turk” McNamara, Brady Seals, & Robin Ruddy at The Park Vista (Photo: Cheri Cranford), Judy Paster performs at The Park Vista (Photo: Rick Diamond), and Addison Levy, Winston Wallin, Dave Lenahan, Danny Wells, and Jim Bowman perform at Gatlinburg SkyLift Park (Photo: Cheri Cranford)

The Gatlinburg Songwriters Festival would like to thank the following festival partners: The Historic Gatlinburg Inn, Hospitality Solutions,  Larry Gatlin, Ober Gatlinburg, Ole Smoky Distillery, SkyLift Park, Steve Wright, Betsy Cate, CNB, The Country Cobler, Bose, Live on Stage, TN State Bank, Truist, and people like you who support the art of music!


countryFestivalsNewsPress ReleaseAndrew "Ziggy" Zendejas,Brady Seals,Cara Hogan,Danny Wells,Doug Johnson,Gatlinburg Songwriters Festival,Jerry Salley,Kim Williams,Larry Gatlin,Phyllis Williams,Winston Wallin
L-R: Larry Gatlin performs at Ober Gatlinburg, Danny Wells & Doug Johnson present Phyllis Williams, wife of the late Kim Williams with a plaque during his induction into the Gatlinburg Songwriters Hall of Fame (Photos: Rick Diamond), & Brady Seals (right) shares the stage with guitarist, Andrew...