Tin Pan South, the longest running songwriters’ festival, was created in 1993 by the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) as a fundraiser to support the mission of celebrating, educating, and advocating for the American songwriter. NSAI, a Not-For-Profit organization, has envisioned and assisted in legislative actions such as the development of the Songwriters Capital Gains Tax Equity Act (which makes songwriters eligible for the flat Capital Gains business tax rate) and the Copyright Revision Act of 1976 (which allows songwriters to recapture rights to their songs). In support of the organization, performers offer their talents and time while participating venues donate their space.
The festival’s name comes as inspiration from New York City’s Tin Pan Alley. Tin Pan Alley was an area of NYC that contained influential songwriters and publishers in the 19th and early 20th centuries – not dissimilar to Nashville’s own Music Row! With 2017 marking 25 years of Tin Pan South, the festival has a bit of its own history which includes performances from songwriting legends such as Art Garfunkel, Donna Summer, Lamont Dozier, Carole King, Jonathan Cain, Loretta Lynn and more. You never know who might show up!
Tin Pan South statistics:
2 shows each night at each venue
Approximately 100 shows and 400 songwriters
Tin Pan South is always scheduled for a Tuesday through Saturday near the last week of March with performer submissions opening the December prior. Festival shows are performed in the typical Nashville in-the-round style (these days it’s more in-the-line) which is an acoustic performance of 3-5 songwriters. While individuals may submit to play the festival, it is recommended that performers are submitted as part of a complete and confirmed round. Submission timeline:
Beginning of December: submission “application” opens
Beginning of January: submissions close
Beginning/Middle of February: round selections are finalized and notified either way
Rounds are booked on a “team captain” basis. This means a round is submitted by one individual that acts as the point person for the entire “team” (round).
The Selection Committee is comprised of music industry professionals that represent different aspects and genres of the community. Keeping in mind that the festival is a fundraiser, the Selection Committee chooses shows that are the most competitive and will draw the largest crowds. Unfortunately there are nearly twice as many rounds submitted as what we are able to book. If your round doesn’t make it, please try again next year!
Whether it’s as a performer or a festival attendee, we hope you will join us as we celebrate 25 years. To keep up-to-date on festival news check out our website www.tinpansouth.com or follow us online @TinPanSouth.
If you have questions about submitting, contact:
Booking and Production, Tin Pan South