The making of the Muscle Shoals Songwriters Festival

2019 has been nothing short of a whirlwind of amazing twists and turns. From putting together a music festival, to getting ready to open a new business, as well as focusing on my songwriting career and full-time college career, I am so grateful to have these incredible experiences that will continue to shape who I am as a person and as an entrepreneur. 

Muscle Shoals Songwriters Festival- the highlights. 

     I have had the idea for the Muscle Shoals Songwriters Festival for about 3 years but it wasn't until about a year ago I decided that I wanted to turn the festival into reality. What sparked this interest was my eagerness to bring songwriters together in the Hit Recording Capital of the World, Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Muscle Shoals is "peaceful but energizing at the same time" (quoted by my dear friend, Heather May) and I couldn't agree more- there is something in the water here in Muscle Shoals. I decided to take the first step into the festival waters by creating the festival website- which really made it real. I then approached some music associations in Muscle Shoals to see if they wanted to run with me on the idea but I wasn't getting the response I was looking for. I felt pretty unsure of the entire situation because no one seemed to be as passionate about the idea as I was. It seemed I kept hitting brick walls and after two months of trying to get folks interested... crickets. One night, I literally typed into Google "How to create your own music association" and it, of course, pulled up tons of info like lawyers, contracts and steps to how to create your own- and thus the Muscle Shoals Songwriters Association was born.

     After I created the Association, I then had to go out and find some financial help because festival's aren't cheap to put on and I literally had $300 to my name. I knew I had to get sponsorships for the festival to help fund the entire event. And oh man- I got so many no's from corporate sponsors. Probably well over 100 no's, if that. I landed one sponsorship meeting with the CEO of a huge company and he literally made my cry. He said my event needed tons of work and it probably wouldn't happen. I sat in my car for 2 hours after the meeting saying to myself "What the hell am I doing?" "Who am I to think I could put on an entire music festival?" All I had for the event was a small sponsorship deck that I had created with my logo on the front page, and a website that I created myself (which ya’ll- it wasn’t pretty, LOL). I had no marketing plan, budget plan, no attendance record, no photos, nothing. I was clueless. After a week of re-creating everything from scratch- logo and all, I finally received an e-mail from Listerhill Credit Union saying that they would like to meet with me. I jumped out of the chair in my parent's living room because I was so happy that I was even worth their time for a meeting. I knew it could be a huge opportunity- and it was. Listerhill was my first sponsor of the festival. I then went to work by e-mailing Hit Songwriters that have written songs for the biggest stars in country music and prayed to God that they would come and perform and make this festival worthwhile. I had many speed bumps along the way but at the end of it all, I was able to bring some incredible songwriters to perform. 

    The festival wound up having over 100 songwriters from all over the world to perform and I was able to bring 14 of the biggest hit songwriters to perform. On the night of the festival, as I was looking out in the audience and seeing all of their smiling faces, I thought to myself, "I think God put me on earth to do exactly this." What is "this" you ask? To bring people together in Muscle Shoals and make it about 2 things- the songs and the people who write them. I have so many people to thank including the sponsors, sound techs, venues, songwriters and all of the volunteers who worked tirelessly to make the Muscle Shoals Songwriters Festival possible. I can't wait to see what 2020 brings. Mark your calendar for for November 5th-7th, 2020! 

   In all of this to say, I want you to know to never let anyone tell you that you aren't capable of doing something. If you put your head down and get to work, everything else will fall into place. You don't need to know the next step- clarity follows action. Just keep going and see what happens. If your goals don't make you want to shake in fear, you're not thinking big enough. Get comfortable being out of your comfort zone. As Eleanor Roosevelt says "Do one thing everyday that scares you."





Darioanync November 27, 2019 @07:41 am
День добрый! На данную модель примирим UKP-66

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