The SOLO Songwriting Festival & Workshop is Expanding the Community Impact for Lafayette in its Second Year May 21-26, 2019
Lafayette, LA - The South Louisiana Songwriters Festival and Workshop (SOLO) returns in May with the songwriting retreat that local songwriter Marc Broussard called “the most prolific week” of his professional career. In an effort to find new ways to support the Lafayette Parish music community, SOLO is adding a new industry conference this year in conjunction with the public festival featuring some of the most successful local, national and international songwriters of our time coming to Lafayette to hone their songwriting together. Lafayette provides the perfect songwriting retreat setting for songwriters of any genre and level, as described by participants and organizers during last year’s event. If you’re a songwriter, it’s the annual creative gathering for songwriting that you won’t want to miss. If you’re looking to experience the event as an audience member, you’ll want to claim your weekend pass to get access to the magical performances that only occur during SOLO.
Now entering into its second year, SOLO was new to the US last year through a partnership with the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation and Lafayette’s CREATE Initiative. In its first year, forty songwriters from all over the globe came together in Lafayette for SOLO. They gathered in a creative space where they could collaborate with local musicians and create songs that could have only been written in Acadiana. The stories of the songs were only outshined by the stories of the positive impacts SOLO had on local songwriters. “It was hard to imagine that a group of songwriters who didn’t know each other could gather daily to work together,” explains SOLO Fest Producer and Co-founder Mark Falgout. It was impressive to watch it progress from the nervous energy of the first morning, to the creative excitement of the second and to the moving final performance of the new songs on the last night. We knew the magic would happen but to be able to share it with our community was beyond what we expected.”
The second edition of SOLO Fest is May 21 to 26th, 2019 and will once again combine the daily songwriting retreats with teams writing all over creative venues in Lafayette followed by evening and weekend performances by workshop participants and invited guests.
“In Lafayette Parish and Acadiana, we are surrounded by great songwriters and songs that we all know and know how to dance to. But festivals and dance halls rarely give our musicians an opportunity to fully tell us the story behind the songs. We are so proud of our music community and often, it is our community itself and our culture that has lent itself to the creation of such great music through our talented musicians and songwriters. The workshop is a powerful week for local musicians and audiences to connect and show support for one another.,” said Kate Durio, Director of the CREATE Initiative, founding partner of SOLO.
The complete festival schedule will be released in April but organizers can confirm a rare solo performance by Nick Lowe, one of the most respected and prolific songwriters and artists of the rock’n’roll era as well as an All-Star Buddy Holly Jam presented by one of SOLO’s founding partners, The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation. A limited number of exclusive Rader “Key Player“ Passes for the entire festival are currently available for purchase and general festival tickets will go on sale on March 22nd.
SOLO is Committed to the Professional Growth of Songwriters
While the event’s inaugural year focused on a creative retreat followed by a public facing festival, this year organizers are expanding to bring in an industry conference and in-school education program.
“The goal of SOLO was always to drive financial stability for songwriters by giving them tools to allow them to monetize their creations. Our objective this year is to expand that knowledge base by offering panel discussions, workshops and Q&As with industry stakeholders focused on publishing, songcrafting, writing for TV, film and games, sound editing, recording, and more to grow our music industry and further sustain our music economy.” explains Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux.
Limited registration for SOLO’s music industry conference will be open soon and will target local and regional songwriters of any level to make professional connections in the music industry by bringing these opportunities to Lafayette. Panelists and speakers from Lafayette, across the US and representing various established music companies are already confirmed for the 2-day conference set for May 24 and 25th.
SOLO Supports the Next Generation of Songwriters
Fostering new talent is key to supporting a healthy industry. Therefore, SOLO is also partnering with CREATE, area schools and working professionals to offer in-school workshops to students. These workshops will guide students in the songwriting process as well as bring them to follow a typical real-life audition to perform their new creations at SOLO.
“Our students are extremely talented and being able to work with SOLO songwriters in their classroom will be an invaluable opportunity to see what is involved in a songwriting career as well as a creative push to tell their own story.” says Jane Vidrine, Guitar teacher at L.J. Alleman Fine Arts Magnet Academy.
SOLO 2018 alum, Emily Ortego, will be one of the in-school songwriters. “I’ve worked with kids in the past and it’s always an inspiring experience”. Ortego herself has had a momentus few months since she was a offered a scholarship to participate in the 2018 SOLO songwriting workshop and although she can’t divulge any details, she invites everyone to watch American Idol this season.
Thanks to many community partners workshop scholarships are available again in 2019. All genres and levels are invited to apply. Recipients will get to attend the songwriting workshop and perform at the festival. Participants leave the workshop with new songs and new connections in the music industry. Applications are open until the end of March at www.solosongwriters.com.
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.
CREATE is an initiative of Mayor-President Joel Robideaux to improve quality of life, drive our creative economy, and stimulate investment in Lafayette Parish. Representing Culture, Recreation, Entertainment, Arts, Tourism, Economy, CREATE is a parish-wide, multi-year effort that will provide high-quality cultural and recreational experiences for residents and visitors; develop creative infrastructure, educate and inspire the next generation of creative thinkers to build our workforce and retain talent; promote and strengthen Lafayette’s creative assets; and ensure robust support systems are in place to drive sector growth, capture return on investment and ensure sustainability. 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 www.createlafayette.la.
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: www.tbhef.org.
For more information:
SOLO Contact: Mark Falgout
CREATE Contact: Kate Durio
For more information, visit: www.createlafayette.la