Sad news to report. Citing public health and safety, organizers of the annual fundraising event made the difficult decision to cancel this year's event and focus on 2021.

In a statement released to local media today (Friday, May 22nd, 2020), Susie Watkins, Songfest Co-Chair said, “We love the Songfest, but our first priority is the safety of the writers, audience, and crew. We will begin to plan the 2021 festival as soon as we are able and work to make it the best one yet!”

My wife and I attended the festival for the first time last year and absolutely loved it. It was so much fun listening to the different songwriters tell their stories and play their songs. From the moment we left on the final night, we had already made plans to return this year. Now we'll turn those plans toward attending next year.

Thanks to our work with the Songfest, I've had the opportunity to work closely with the organizers, so I know having to make this decision was disappointing no matter how necessary it was, and if there were a way they could have pulled it off while being able to keep every one safe, they would have.

The silver lining here is that this gives them plenty of time to make next year's event, scheduled for July 28th through 31st, 2021, the best ever. That will be a tough task considering how awesome it is already, but I have no doubt they'll pull it off, and I can't wait to be there to see it.

Read their complete statement on this year's cancellation below.

Sandy Lee Songfest Cancelled for 2020

Jessica P. Beaven, Media Co-Chair and Shelbi Carroll, Media Co-Chair

IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Friday, May 22, 2020 | HENDERSON, KY

Sandy Lee Songwriters Festival board and committee members are sad to announce the cancellation of the 2020 Sandy Lee Songfest set for July. We wish to respect the health and wishes of both songwriters and music enthusiasts as well as public health guidelines, and regrettably the only way to observe that is to make the decision that so many other community events have been forced to do: we hope by 2021 our participants will have greater confidence that they can gather together safely. Susie Watkins, Songfest Co-Chair said, “We love the Songfest, but our first priority is the safety of the writers, audience, and crew. We will begin to plan the 2021 festival as soon as we are able and work to make it the best one yet!”

The Sandy Lee Songfest is conducted "in the round," with songwriters and dozens of audience members in very close proximity. Audience members are normally seated nearly shoulder to shoulder, and the Songfest board noted that exceeds both Gov. Andy Beshear’s guidance to not exceed mass gatherings in excess of 50 people and to maintain social distancing of six feet.

We want to extend a sincere thank you to our annual sponsors and venues for your continued support of the festival. We are keeping all of you in our thoughts as we continue to fight our current pandemic. We look forward to our partnership in the future. Steve Hoskins, Sponsorship Chair said, “This pandemic has caused much stress on our entire country and one of the largest areas has been financial. Hopefully by next years' Songfest in 2021 our wonderful sponsors will be in a place to continue their support to our annual event.”

Please continue to watch our website at sandyleesongfest.com and social media pages for up-to-date information. Mark your calendars for our 2021 Sandy Lee Watkins Songwriters that will be held July 28th through July 31st 2021!

[Source: Sandy Lee Watkins Songfest Press Release]

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