Songwriter festival set to start Sept. 20
It’s the sixth year for the Island Hopper Music Fest, a southwest Florida centric singer-songwriter extravaganza. Going from Sept. 20-29, from Sanibel-Captiva to Fort Myers to Fort Myers Beach, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about this annual concert series.
In collaboration with BMI, the organization behind music royalties, Cat Country 107.1, iHeart Media, and the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau, it’s been an amazing event every year so far.
With 80-plus musicians over the three communities and nine days of music, it will be very difficult to not find something you like.
The big headliners this year are huge, and as entertaining as they are talented.
Gone West is a band that Colbie Callait, of country music and Multiple Grammy winner fame, formed with her fiancee Justin Young, and two of their friends in songwriting, Jason Reeves and his wife Nelly Joy. With multiple accolades among all four members, including Country Music Awards and nominations, Grammys, and songwriting credits a mile long, it’s an exciting welcome to Island Hopper.
Kristian Bush, one half of the incredibly famous Sugarland, has left his mark on country music and songwriting for the better part of two decades. He is a Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter, producer, playwright, podcaster, and instrumentalist who started his career with folk rock duo Billy Pilgrim.
Jerrod Niemann, a frequent USO performer, a prolific major label artist and songwriter, and winner of Academy of Country Music, Country Music Association and CMT Award nominations, his eclectic and heartfelt songwriting is sure to bring a tear to your eye as quick as he is to make you move your feet.
The easiest way to keep track of the shows and events will be the Island Hopper phone app, which is available for iOS and Android phones. This allows early purchase of tickets, information about the artists, times and locations for each of the artists, as well as travel and hotel accommodations and information for visitors not familiar with the region.
“It’s always such a huge turnout and we love that it brings people out to the island to enjoy not only great music, but some amazing restaurant venues,” said Regina Burnette, general manager for The Mucky Duck on Captiva, one of the venues.
The Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce and Beach businesses also welcomes the event.
“It’s such a massive undertaking each year, and we’re truly lucky to be a part of something so big. Even beyond the people that it brings in, we’ve found a lot of artists that have been showing up throughout the years have become friends and family,” said Jackie Liszak, chamber president.
“We’re looking forward to it, a great deal for the island, the acts look amazing. It’ll be a great experience for the family,” Tyler Lemmer, manager for Nervous Nellie’s said.