Festival Information

Where live music enjoyment introduces crowds to the faces, voices and stories behind the songs!

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 multiple downtown local venues for a total of 17 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 ten+ years, corporate, individual, and in-kind donations, as well as volunteers, have kept this a vibrant Henderson festival with attendees from all across the tri-state.

The 2021 Sandy Lee Watkins Songwriters Festival benefited Healing Reins, The Henderson Boys & Girls Club, the Imaginational Library, Cairo & Chandler Schools, and Christian Community Outreach.

We look forward to being able to bring the Sandy Lee Watkins Songwriters Festival to downtown Henderson!

We want to give our friends and two other awesome Henderson festivals a shoutout-  WC Handy Blues & Barbecue Festival and the Bluegrass in the Park Folklife Festival.  Be sure to check them out as well as the Sandy Lee Songfest- Storytellin’ in the 42420!