We’re at the beach this weekend for the 6th annual 30A Songwriter’s festival.
The 3-day festival takes place in a bunch of venues up and down scenic Highway 30-A, a 28.5 mile stretch that hugs the Gulf of Mexico coastline in Northwest Florida’s Walton County.
Tickets for this year’s festival are still available via Freshtix.
As a first-timer at this event, I thought I’d give you a quick overview of what I learned on my first day.
- Get your wristband first! – upon arrival head to The Water Color Inn (which serves as the festival’s headquarters) and exchange your ticket for a festival wristband. You’ll need the fabric wristband to get in to every venue. You’ll wear the wristband for the entire length of the festival. Don’t take it off or lose it! The address of The Water Color Inn is: 34 Golden Rod Circle, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 (map)
- Make Friends – right away, you’ll find that friendships are founded at a festival like this. On the shuttle buses (more on these later) people are sharing their recommendations, exchanging stories of who they saw, their favorite venues and the odd wait time if there is one.
- Shuttle Bus – not only are there shuttle buses going up and down 30A taking you to all the venues, on the festival website you’ll find a really cool app that shows you in real-time where the buses are and which direction they are headed!
- Take Some Time To Plan – there are so many performers that spending some time online listening to the different artists will help you make your schedule.
- Food – some of the venues have food (or there is food nearby) but make sure to jump off the shuttle and stop at Seaside where you’ll find Barefoot BBQ’s food truck. Great brisket and bloody mary’s.
- Get There Early – if there’s someone you really want to see, chances are so does everyone else. Make sure you get to those events early as sometimes there can be a wait. Some venues operate a one in, one out policy when full.
- Be Respectful – the beauty of this festival is getting to hear some amazing artists in intimate venues. Many of the venues are small and you want to be able to hear a pin drop. So remember these are listening rooms. Take the talking outside.