Everything You Need to Know About Attending the 2023 30A Songwriter Festival

With more than 250 artists performing, the 30A Songwriter Festival concentrates a massive amount of musical talent into a four-day weekend that you’ll never forget. Enjoy your favorite performers or discover a new up-and-coming artist among the hundreds at this event. Every music-lover should plan to visit this event at least once in their life.

Past 30A Songwriter Festivals

The 30A Songwriter Festival attracts talent from all over the country. Since its start in 2010, this festival has hosted hundreds of musicians in more than 30 venues. Artists include well-known touring musicians and the latest performers.

Previous 30A Songwriter Festival performers have included:

  • The Zombies
  • Dr. John
  • Patty Griffin
  • Indigo Girls
  • Adia Victoria
  • Herman’s Hermits
  • Kristian Bush of Sugarland
  • Emmylou Harris
  • The Bangles
  • Brian Wilson
  • Jackson Browne

For the 2023 performer lineup and schedule, check the event’s website. The headliners for the event will perform at the outdoor amphitheater on Saturday and Sunday of the four-day weekend. Don’t forget to attend the other performances at the indoor venues, where you’ll find numerous other artists.

Where to Go for the 30A Songwriter Festival

To attend the 30A Songwriter Festival, visit Walton County’s 30A resort corridor in northwest Florida between Destin and Panama City Beach. The venues of the festival include the outdoor amphitheater, area restaurants, performance stages, and resorts spread throughout the area. Towns with venues in the area include Watersound, Seaside, Santa Rosa Beach, Alys Beach, Miramar Beach, WaterColor, and Grayton Beach.

If you need to plan accommodations for the weekend, look for a spot in Walton County to be close to the event and its performance venues. Any of the lodgings along or near 30A will provide you with a place to stay within driving distance of any of the performance venues. Choose a spot near Grand Boulevard if you plan on attending the headliner shows on the main stage.

The largest space at the Grand Boulevard outdoor amphitheater accommodates the planned crowds for the headliners. The other numerous venues offer more intimate listening spaces for music lovers to truly enjoy the performances.  

Each ticket gets you admission to the festival for the entire weekend. Think of it as getting multiple concert tickets at one time. Since the ticket allows admission to all venues, arrive early because the performance sites are on a first-come basis.

Venues for the 2023 Festival

The specific locations for performances at the 2023 30A Songwriter Festival include a range of large and small spaces throughout the 30A resort corridor. Grand Boulevard will host the main acts on the outdoor stage.

Other venues for 2023 include both indoor and outdoor performance locations. Some of these performance locations include Grayton Beer Taproom, Old Florida Fishhouse, The Hub 30A, Hibiscus Coffee and Guesthouse, Bud & Alley’s Restaurant, The Pavilion at Watersound Town Center, Rosemary Beach Town Hall, and North Beach Social.

an outside dining and lounge area full with people

Many venues will fill quickly, especially the smaller ones. Once the seating area reaches capacity, you cannot enter. Arrive early to get a seat, so you don’t miss your favorite performers.

Leave Your Credit Card at Home for Many Event Purchases  

Introduced in 2022, the wristband payment system returns for 2023. Instead of taking your wallet out for every food, drink, or merchandise payment, you will use the festival wristband.

This wristband serves two purposes. First, it shows that you paid general admission to the festival for admittance to any show all weekend long. Even if you purchased tickets online, you must visit the box office to exchange them for wristbands. The venues will not accept ticket receipts. Nor will they sell tickets at the door.

Second, it connects to your credit card to allow you to make purchases for food, drinks, and merchandise at the Grand Boulevard, The Pavilion at Watersound Town Center, and Rosemary Beach Town Hall. The process uses a pin number to protect your credit card information but allows you to have contactless transactions. Plus, the lines for those with wristbands are shorter and move faster due to the speed of making payments. You will still need cash or your credit card to pay for food and drinks at other festival venues.

Keep your wristband on all weekend long to take advantage of performance admission and easy transactions. Don’t remove your wristband because only intact bands allow you to get into the shows. If the band falls off or breaks, you cannot get a new one.

Tips to Make the Most of Your Trip to the 2023 30A Songwriter Festival

The best way to make the most of your festival weekend starts with planning. Download the festival app to your phone to see the finalized schedule and location of all performers. Then, choose your favorite events and plan your route between venues. Plus, check the app frequently throughout the weekend. Sometimes, the event will have last-minute additions to the lineup or surprise performances that only those with the app will know about.

Make sure to bring sunscreen with you. Though the event takes place in January over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, you can still get sunburned, especially if you visit multiple outdoor venues. Also, plan to pack a blanket or chair. If you plan to attend any of the concerts on the main stage at Grand Boulevard, bring a blanket or low-backed chair with you. This venue is the only one that will not provide chairs for those with general admission.

Finally, be polite when you attend the shows, especially at the smaller venues. Staff may ask you to step outside the performance area for excessive conversation or noise during the show. Waiting until after the show to talk will increase your enjoyment of the performance and that of those around you.

The 30A Songwriter Festival is one of the top events of the year in Northern Florida. Don’t miss this enormous celebration of music and the artists who make it. Attending will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.