Mississippi Songwriters Festival wraps up its busiest year yet

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - The 14th Mississippi Songwriters Festival touted its busiest year yet after its four day event wrapped on Sunday with final performances at Murky Waters in downtown Ocean Springs. A list of 130 songwriters filled 12 venues from Gautier to Ocean Springs.

“This was the biggest one yet. People were everywhere,” said Andy Dalgo, the board treasurer of the Mississippi Songwriters Alliance. “We had so many songwriters sign up that we had to turn some of them away.”

Dalgo told WLOX News that the festival has come a long way since its debut in 2010.

“Back then, it was slow at first, but we started picking up and getting momentum and now it is huge. It is one of the biggest events in Mississippi now.”

Through the years, hundreds of songwriters have participated in the festival and have since seen success in the industry.

“We have seen a lot of them that have played our shows go on to be number one hit songwriters,” said Dalgo. “Like Michael Hardy, he is a big name in Nashville. And Carly Pearce, she is a huge Nashville star and she played down on our stage.”

Beyond connecting songwriters with an audience, the festival also connects them with other songwriters.

“The songwriter festival circuit is a huge networking opportunity for up and coming songwriters,” said festival performer Sean Gasaway, a Moss Point native who also teaches music as a member of the Mississippi Songwriters Association.

“I meet them when they’re starting out in the fourth grade, and so to be able to say we have a songwriters festival and you can come to our youth showcase and you can sing your songs you’ve written and get the response from the people here. It’s a crucial networking tool for any song writer.”

Gasaway told WLOX News, the festival will expand next year with performances planned across the state.

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Noah Noble

Noah Noble

As a native of Ocean Springs, Noah Noble has spent most of his life on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.