PRESS RELEASE:  Lafayette to Host International Gathering of Songwriters for Week-long Creative Session Capped by Festival featuring Local, National and International Talent


Lafayette to Host International Gathering of Songwriters for Week-long Creative Session Capped by Festival featuring Local, National and International Talent

(LAFAYETTE, LA) Get ready to get the inside scoop on the stories behind the stories at the first annual South Louisiana Songwriters Festival and Workshop (SOLO) happening May 22nd to 27th, 2018 in Lafayette, LA. The new event combines a workshop portion that will bring together established and aspiring songwriters in a retreat-style atmosphere for four days of mentoring, creating and collaborating as well as a performance portion in the form of a weekend festival.

The new event stems from a collaboration between Lafayette’s CREATE initiative and the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation. The Foundation presents similar annual workshops in the UK but this is the first one to be held in the US. Lafayette was chosen for its rich culture, relaxed nature and abundance of musical talent. This combination produces an atmosphere that inspires creativity.

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Acclaimed songwriter Mary Gauthier (photo) will co-curate the workshop. Her most recent and tenth album entitled Rifles & Rosary Beads features eleven of the songs co-written with and for wounded veterans. Eleven of the nearly four hundred songs that highly accomplished songwriters have co-written as part of the five-year-old SongwritingWith:Soldiers program. A project that has proven to be a calling. “My job as a songwriter is to find that thing a soul needs to say,” Gauthier says. She along with Beth Nielsen Chapman, writer of seven #1 hits including Faith Hill’s mega-hit This Kiss, will guide a group of songwriters through four days of the intimate, intense and immersive creative process that is songwriting. The results of these collaborations will subsequently be presented for audiences during the week in unique shows that will blend interesting artists, new songs and the stories of how they came to be. Aspiring local writers will soon be asked to submit applications for one of two scholarships to the workshop. “We’re thrilled that some of our local young talent will benefit from the wealth of knowledge this collaborative workshop offers.” says Mayor-President Joel Robideaux. A call for applications from aspiring Lafayette songwriters will be announced soon through the festival’s website ( and Facebook page.


The educational workshop component will be followed by a two-day, 6 stage festival focused on great music and featuring workshop attendees such as honorary ambassador for The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation Kimmie Rhodes, local and visiting songwriters including Jim Lauderdale, Mark Broussard, Dylan LeBlanc, Zachary Richard, Mark Meaux and many more. SOLO will be an event unlike any other in Lafayette. Its Festival-goers will undoubtedly be the first to hear new and unedited material, to witness the dawn of transformative collaborations between creators, be the first audience in the world to give feedback on the songs born from this creative journey happening right here in South Louisiana. Interested songwriters and song-lovers are encouraged to check the website ( often to get the latest information on SOLO performers, ticketing information for exclusive workshop shows and the two-day SOLO Festival hosted by the Blue Moon Saloon and Warehouse 535 on Saturday, May 26th and Sunday, May 27th.

SOLO’s goal is to bring writers together to find inspiration not only from each other, but also from the rich, soulful, and authentic vibe that is South Louisiana. Its purpose is to bring artists, music lovers, and industry professionals together to ignite Lafayette’s creative scene – to make Lafayette known not only for its heritage, but also for its deep pool of musical talent, engineers and studios, all capable of inspiring and creating music that is relevant now and into the future. The event is presented in part by the generous support of the CREATE initiative, the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation, Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission, BMG and many public and private sponsors.

About The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation

The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation founded by Peter Bradley, Senior and Maria Elena Holly to honor the music, life, legacy and dreams of Maria Elena’s late husband Buddy Holly. The mission of the Foundation is to honor Buddy Holly’s tremendous legacy and to fulfill Buddy’s and Maria Elena’s dream of extending musical education, including songwriting, production, arranging, orchestration, and performance education to new generations regardless of creed, ethnicity or income level.  In this way, the Foundation wants to empower a new generation to follow in Buddy’s footsteps and remind them of his heritage.  For further detailed information on the Foundation please visit:


CREATE is an initiative of the Mayor-President’s office to build and support our local and authentic culture to further diversify and strengthen the economy in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. Representing Culture, Recreation, Entertainment, Arts, Tourism, Economy, CREATE is a parish-wide, multi-year effort that reinvests in the residents of Lafayette recognizing that a place that people love to live in, is a place tourists love to visit and businesses love to do business in. A partial rededication of the Public Health millage was passed by Lafayette Parish voters to provide $500,000 annually to support the cultural economy through the CREATE initiative. More information is available at


For more information:

SOLO Contact: Mark Falgout                                            


Phone: 337-344-4441   


TBHEF Contact: Stephen Easley


For more information, visit:


Madison Barras