The Sandy Lee Watkins Songwriters’ Festival is four nights of intimate, acoustic performances by some of Nashville’s award winning singer/songwriters. While sitting in the round, attendees will have an up close and personal experience while hearing stories about how and why their favorite songs were written.
In 2010, former Henderson native and Nashville songwriter Kerry Kurt Phillips, along with local residents Mac Neel and Leanne Pritchett, brought songwriters to Henderson for a one night performance. Today, award winning songwriters and up and coming writers perform original songs over four nights and three downtown local venues for a total of 24 shows.
The event is named in honor of the late Henderson County Judge/Executive, Sandy Lee Watkins. Sandy was a dedicated community leader always looking to move the county—42420 as he lovingly referred to Henderson—and its citizens forward. Sandy enjoyed the first year of the songfest and looked forward to growing the event.
Henderson Songfest, Inc. is a tax exempt, non-profit charitable organization. In our seven years, corporate, individual and in-kind donations, as well as volunteers, have kept this a vibrant Henderson festival with over 2,500 people in attendance in 2015.
The 2016 Sandy Lee Watkins Songwriters Festival will benefit Gamma Tau Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha. The mission of ESA is “Good Friends Good Works and Good Times…We create activities and support causes that let us surround ourselves with welcoming, positive people who enjoy making a difference and having fun together.” The Henderson chapter will be helping 16 charities during the 2016-1017 year. In addition, The Friends of Audubon and Imagination Library will be receiving donations from the event.
We look forward to being able to bring the Sandy Lee Watkins Songwriters Festival to Henderson! The 2016 dates are July 27-30. Rookies Sports Bar and Restaurant, The Henderson Moose Lodge and Delker’s will each host two shows nightly.
We anticipate this becoming another great festival for Henderson much like the acclaimed WC Handy Blues & Barbecue Festival and the Bluegrass in the Park Folklife Festival. We are dedicated to keeping this an annual event and hope you will support this endeavor.