The Sandy Lee Watkins Songwriters Festival returns to Henderson later this month after being forced to cancel last year due to the COVID pandemic. I know I'm not the only one excited about crossing the Twin Bridges to take in a few of the performances. I got my first taste back in 2019 and was immediately hooked. I can't wait to get back down there later this month.

This year's festival will be a four-night affair as it is every year, kicking off Wednesday, July 28th and wrapping up on Saturday, July 31st, and taking place simultaneously each night at three different venues in downtown Henderson; Rookies Sportsbar, Hometown Roots, and The Elks. A total of 32 songwriters will perform over the course of the festival, all of which will play multiple times throughout the event. Many of the writers are veterans of the festival including Don Sampson who wrote Brad Paisley's, "Waitin' on a Woman," Tony Arata, who we can thank for Garth Brooks' "The Dance," and Jim "Moose" Brown who won a Grammy for co-writing Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffet's "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere."

Of course, the question is, "when will they be playing?" Great question. Fortunately, I can answer it with the complete schedule listed below.

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Wednesday, July 28th

6:45 - 8:30 PM

  • Rookies Sportsbar - Tony Arata, Annie Mosher, Don Sampson, Mark S. Jones, Wynn Varble
  • Hometown Roots - Jordan Rainer, Randy Finchum, Bud Tower, Scott Lindsey
  • The Elks - Rusty Tabor, Gerald Smith, Joel Shewmake, Hunter Wolkonowski, Phil Coleman

Thursday, July 29th

6:45 - 8:30 PM

  • Rookies - Tony Arata, Phil Coleman, Leslie Satcher, Brett Boyett, Keith Vincent
  • Hometown Roots - Bud Tower, Mark S Jones, Josh Martin, Wynn Varble, Hunter Wolkonowski
  • The Elks - Galen Griffin, Dan Demay, Rusty Tabor, Timmy Dunn, Troy Johnson

9:00 - 10:45 PM

  • Rookies - Jordan Rainer, Chris Gelbuda, Joel Shewmake, Roxie Dean, Scott Lindsey

Friday, July 30th

6:45 - 8:30 PM

  • Rookies - Don Sampson, Roxie Dean, Gerald Smith, Moose Brown, Keith Vincent
  • Hometown Roots - Joel Shewmake, Rusty Tabor, Randy Finchum, Dan Demay
  • The Elks - Billy Crain, Leslie Satcher, Galen Griffin, Hunter Wolkonowski

9:00 - 10:45 PM

  • Rookies - Heidi Raye, Johnny Bulford, Chris Gelbuda, Jordan Rainer
  • Hometown Roots - Jamie Teachenor, Cheley Tackett, Buddy Owens, Phil Coleman
  • The Elks - Brett Boyett, Troy Johnson, Scott Lindsey, Jim McBride

Saturday, July 31st

6:45 - 8:30 PM

  • Rookies - Jordan Rainer, Hunter Wolkonowski, Billy Crain, Jamie Teachenor
  • Hometown Roots - Brett Boyett, Troy Johnson, Scott Lindsey, Timmy Dunn
  • The Elks - Buddy Owens, Gerald Smith, Randy Finchum, Galen Griffin

9:00 - 10:45 PM

  • Rookies - Don Sampson, Jim McBride, Mark S Jones, Joel Shewmake, Moose Brown
  • Hometown Roots - Heidi Raye, Johnny Bulford, Phil Coleman, Roxie Dean
  • The Elks - Leslie Satcher, Keith Vincent, Dan Demay, Bud Tower

The toughest part is going to be trying to decide which shows you want to see.

How to Get Tickets

Tickets for the event are on sale now however, there are a few changes this year. In the past, all-access passes were available that allowed you to bounce between the different venues to take in as many performances as you wanted each night. That will not be the case this year as only single-session tickets will be available for each show. Organizers strongly encourage you to get your tickets in advance as they cannot guarantee tickets will be available at the door. Click or tap the button below to get your tickets through the Songfest website.

In addition to the nightly performances, the Songfest will again offer a Songwriters Workshop to help local musicians hone their skills. Learn more on the Songfest website.

[Source: Sandy Lee Watkins Songfest]

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