Location: 26811 South Tamiami Trail | Bonita Springs, FL 34134
One of Southwest Florida’s hidden gems is the Island Hopper Songwriter Festival.
The 10-day event honors songwriters and crooners with impressive talent and features low-key music with a country vibe. The Island Hopper Songwriter Fest is spread out over three different locations and it’s not like other music festivals that last longer than a few days. It’s comfortable, affordable and rejuvenating. Explore this beautiful slice of paradise while discovering tons of new music. A vacation doesn’t get much better than this.
The annual Island Hopper Songwriter Fest is also the biggest festival in Southwest Florida that’s dedicated to all things songwriters. The best part? The event is mostly free, save for a few performances that require tickets.
Island Hopper began in 2014 and it continues to grow each year. With venues in downtown Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach and Captiva Island, the sixth annual Island Hopper Festival gives everyone a chance to catch a variety of musical acts.
The festival, held from Sept. 20 to Sept. 29, also helps boost the local economy. Each year local shops and restaurants see an uptick in business during the event, and it gives Southwest Florida visitors a chance to see what this part of the Sunshine State is all about.
The festival is produced by the Lee County Tourist Development Council, iHeartMedia, BMI and Cat Country 107.1. It’s meant to bring people together through music while shining a spotlight on area bars and restaurants. Attendees will be able to enjoy 80-plus artists and 100-plus shows, most of which are free and in small, intimate venues across Captiva Island, Fort Myers Beach and in downtown Fort Myers.
Featured 2019 artists include Gone West, Jerrod Niemann, Kristian Bush, Rodney Atkins and Ryan Hurd.
Kristian Bush will play with the Gulf Coast Symphony on Sept. 22. The Grammy-winning vocalist and songwriter will perform at 7 p.m. at the Florida Repertory Theatre. The event requires a ticket and VIP tickets with a meet and greet option are available. Bush is half of the popular country duo, Sugarland, and he’s been a part of the music business for more than two decades.
Rodney Atkins will close out the festival on Sept. 29. The country singer-songwriter’s fifth studio album, “Caught Up in the Country,” follows eight top-five singles, more than 13 million units sold and six No. 1 singles.
Sam Williams, also known as Hank Williams’ grandson, will perform along with season 8 winner of The Voice, Sawyer Fredericks.
An article last year from a local newspaper says 2017’s Island Hopper Songwriter Fest resulted in higher attendance figures and an increase in business on Captiva Island. Compared to 14,732 people in 2017, 18,105 people attended in 2018, a 23% increase year-over-year.
As far as Captiva Island goes, 6,130 people attended in 2018 compared to 4,993 in 2017.
Last year, LOCASH headlined the downtown Fort Myers concert and Midland closed out the festival on Fort Myers Beach.
Royal Shell has a variety of rental homes available on Captiva Island, Fort Myers Beach and in Fort Myers. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Whether you’re coming with a lot of friends and family or you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a low-key retreat with close friends and family, Royal Shell can accommodate any type of vacation. Our Vacation Planning Advisors offer optimal customer service, can help you plan your vacation and can answer any questions you have about Island Hopper Songwriter Fest 2019.
For more information, you can also download the official Island Hopper mobile app for iOS and Android devices. You can use it to purchase tickets for select performances, look up artist information, updates and alerts, and performance times and venues.