Organizer deems first Songwriter’s Festival a success

A little rain didn’t dampen the spirits of an outdoor audience or performers from east Mississippi and west Alabama at Saturday’s Hwy 80 Songwriter’s Festival in Demopolis.

Scott McQuaig performs during The Hwy 80 Songwriter's festival at Confederate Park in downtown Demopolis, Alabama.

Scott McQuaig performs during The Hwy 80 Songwriter’s festival at Confederate Park in downtown Demopolis, Alabama.

“Because we got to meet and witness the fellowship between friends and strangers alike, I would say the festival was a success despite the weather,” said Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce Director Jenn Tate. “Those who came out loved the stories behind the music as well as the singing.”

Spectators in lawn chairs, on blankets and underneath tents covered the south half of Confederate Park, while food vendors set up nearby, all braving showers that fell as the event began at 6 p.m. The vast majority of the crowd stayed through the early drizzle and enjoyed an evening of music once the rain went away.

“We were blessed to meet the artists and hear their stories,” said Tate. “People came from as far as California, Nashville and Orange Beach that all had ties to Highway 80. The mayor, the Chamber, all the volunteers and city personnel that helped organize the event will reciprocate and go to Meridian (Miss.) in September, and we hope there is enough interest to do this again next year.”

The event, which featured more than 20 singer/songwriters including several with local ties, was a joint effort between the Chamber, the City of Demopolis, the Two Rivers Arts Council, the Meridian Mainstreet Program and the Montgomery Institute of Meridian.