Songwriter Festival to debut in Whitefish next fall

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  • Nashville hit songwriters Will Robinson, Brett Jones, Karen Staley, Rob Crosby, James Dean Hicks and Kostas at the 2019 Red Lodge Songwriter Festival

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  • Nashville hit songwriters Will Robinson, Brett Jones, Karen Staley, Rob Crosby, James Dean Hicks and Kostas at the 2019 Red Lodge Songwriter Festival

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The Whitefish Songwriter Festival (WFSF) will debut in downtown Whitefish Sept. 17 to 19, 2020.

The Festival will feature hit songwriters from Nashville and rising stars from across North America, including Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Alberta and Nashville.

More than 20 songwriters will perform 30-plus shows, filling Whitefish theaters, restaurants, coffee shops and bars with some of the most talented artists in the music industry. Each show will feature two or three songwriters telling stories, trading songs and showcasing their creativity. The music begins in the morning with live songwriter interviews and ends in the late hours of the evening with songwriters and their bands at local clubs and pubs.

Local organizer and board member Cari Klepper will produce the festival for the Whitefish community and the Rocky Mountain Songwriter Festivals Inc.

“It will take a village effort to make this festival a reality in 2020,” Klepper said. “Whitefish is a musically savvy community and this festival will be the perfect complement to the abundance of talent and entertainment in the Flathead Valley.”

The festival has the support of the Whitefish Chamber of Commerce, the Whitefish Convention and Visitors Bureau and Glacier Country Tourism.

“This Whitefish Songwriter Festival has the potential to be a real asset to our community,” Chamber Executive Director Kevin Gartland said. “The unique, club-oriented format works perfectly with our existing businesses. It’ll be a nice boost to the local economy during the shoulder season and the proceeds will benefit our town’s music education programs.”

The WFSF is a product of the Rocky Mountain Songwriter Festivals Inc, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation dedicated to promoting music education in local communities and universities. The RMSF’s original festival is the Red Lodge Songwriter Festival now in its fifth year in Red Lodge. Over the past four years the Red Lodge Songwriter Festival has donated over $40,000 to the Red Lodge Public Schools Music Department, Operation Second Chance and Montana State University-Billings.

Held annually in June, the Red Lodge Songwriter Festival has hosted Hall of Fame songwriters Even Stevens, Hugh Prestwood, Kostas and other hit songwriters such as Tony Lane, Brett Jones, Rob Crosby, Helen Darling, Jon Pierce, Brice Long, Wynn Varble, Will Robinson, Anthony Smith, James Dean Hicks and Karen Staley. In addition to hit songwriters, dozens of rising stars from Montana to Tennessee have graced the stage with their creativity and talent.

Tickets will be available March 15. Prices will range from $105 for an all-access pass to $15 for a day to see the Rising Stars.

For more information, contact Klepper at 206-713-3000 or cari@chinookevents.com; or visit whitefishsongwriterfestival.org

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