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Third annual Island Hopper Fest to feature 70+ national acts

September 1, 2016
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

The third annual Island Hopper Songwriter Fest along The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel recently announced its line-up of talent. Performers include breakout Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) artists, Nashville star Maren Morris, and country/rock group Parmalee, made famous by its No.1 smash, "Carolina."

The festival features more than 140 free performances and six special ticketed events. Island Hopper kicks off on Captiva Island, Sept. 23 to 25 and wraps up Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 on Fort Myers Beach. Downtown Fort Myers will once again feature mid-week performances.

"This unique event allows fans to meet award-winning songwriters and hear the stories behind their favorite songs," said Tamara Pigott, executive director of the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau (VCB). "We are lucky to have such a talented group of artists play in our piece of paradise."

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Presented by BMI, the largest music rights organization in the U.S., along with partners iHeartMedia, and Cat Country 107.1, performances will take place at popular and intimate island venues.

Headliner Maren Morris will perform poolside Oct. 2, 5 to 7 p.m., at Pink Shell Beach Resort. Morris has soared to the top of the Billboard Country Albums chart with her debut album, HERO. Her fans will hear her smash hit "My Church," as well as her newly released single, "80s Mercedes."

For the first time, Parmalee will perform at the Florida Repertory Theatre downtown Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 8:30 p.m. The group recently made history when its multi-week No.1 smash hit "Carolina" became the longest climbing single by a duo or group in the 24-year history of the Billboard Country Airplay chart.

"BMI is honored to be a part of what is becoming an annual tradition in Southwest Florida," said Dan Spears, vice-president industry relations, BMI. "Supporting our BMI-licensed restaurants, bars, and hotels by bringing talented BMI songwriters in to perform helps increase food and beverage revenue while putting 'heads in beds.' This is just one of the ways BMI continues to work with our valued licensees while shining a spotlight on our award-winning songwriters."

Many of the more than 70 songwriters have written hits, such as chart-topping BMI songwriter Even Stevens, who wrote several No. 1 hits, including Eddie Rabbitt's "Suspicions" and "I Love a Rainy Night." Frank Myers wrote "I Swear" performed by John Michael Montgomery. Phillip White wrote the hit "I'm Movin' On" performed by Rascal Flats. A new country duo that includes Presley Tucker, the daughter of legendary country singer, Tanya Tucker, will also perform.

Visit for more information, to book special performance tickets and view the list of artists, schedules and venues. Most shows are free of charge. Special Island Hopper lodging packages are also available. Follow the festival hashtag #islandhopperfest on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.



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