The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel present exciting lineup for third annual Island Hopper Songwriter Fest

Five-time CMA awards nominee Maren Morris and Parmalee among more than 70 nationally-acclaimed songwriters performing in Southwest Florida venues Sept. 23-Oct. 2

LEE COUNTY, FL  – The third annual Island Hopper Songwriter Fest along The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel announces an exciting line-up of talent that includes Nashville songwriter and performer Maren Morris and Parmalee, country/rock group made famous by its No.1 smash, “Carolina.” 

The festival is free with the addition of six special performance ticketed events and kicks off on Captiva Island, Sept. 23-25 and wraps up Sept. 30-Oct. 2 on Fort Myers Beach. Historic downtown Fort Myers will once again feature midweek performances.

Festival-goers celebrate American roots music while getting a taste of the destination. Presented by BMI, the largest music rights organization in the U.S., along with partners iHeartMedia, and Cat Country 107.1, performances will take place at popular, and intimate island venues.


Maren Morris will perform Oct. 2, 5-7 p.m., with opening act Soul Circus at Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina poolside on Fort Myers Beach. The Nashville songwriter has soared to the top of the Billboard Country Albums chart with her debut album, HERO.  She was recently nominated for five CMA awards to be presented on Nov. 2. They include album, artist, female vocalist, single, and song of the year.  When she performs on Fort Myers Beach, fans will hear her smash hit “My Church.” Check it out

Parmalee is scheduled for Sept. 28, 8:30-9:30 p.m., with opening act Danny Myrick and Frank Myers at Florida Repertory Theatre in downtown Fort Myers.  Parmalee recently made history when its multi-week No. 1 smash “Carolina” became the longest climbing single by a duo or group in the 24-year history of the Billboard Country Airplay Chart.

And more…

Among the 70 performances: Chart-topping BMI songwriter Even Stevens, who wrote several No. 1's including Eddie Rabbitt’s “Suspicions” and “I Love a Rainy Night.”  New country

duo, Reverie Lane with Presley Tucker and Spencer Bartoletti.  Presley is the daughter of legendary country singer, Tanya Tucker.  Producer/songwriter Robert Keith Stegall, with over 70 million records sold and winner of CMA, ACM awards and a Grammy. 

“The intimate settings for each performance allow for interaction between the performer/songwriter and the audience, which is very unique because you can meet the artist and learn the backstory of their songs,” said Tamara Pigott, executive director of the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB). “This is a great opportunity to meet the songwriters, hear their stories and enjoy our slice of paradise.”

Calling all songwriters

On Sept. 29, a songwriter workshop will be held 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Barrel Room in downtown Fort Myers. Sponsored by BMI, this two-hour clinic is designed for the local songwriter who is looking for professional guidance and feedback from a group of Nashville songwriters who actually write music for a living.  Participants will learn what it takes to get songs recorded by artists, the role the publisher plays in the process, how to protect works by affiliating with a performing rights organization and the various ways a songwriter can generate income off of their original music.  This is a unique opportunity to learn from songwriters who have written some of the biggest country hits on radio. Check website to reserve a spot.

Check for more information, to book special performance tickets and view the list of artists, schedules and venues. Most shows are free of charge. Special Island Hopper lodging packages are also available.  Follow the festival hashtag #islandhopper on Twitter and other social media.

The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel in Southwest Florida includes: Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, Fort Myers Beach, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Estero, Cape Coral, Pine Island, Boca Grande & Outer Islands, North Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres. For media assistance on the destination, please visit Photos available on request.



Francesca Donlan