Rosemary Beach was alive with music and creative spirit this weekend as songwriters from around the country converged along Scenic Highway 30A for rare, one-of-a-kind performances, sharing their stories, passion and musical artistry.

Rosemary Beach featured three 30A Songwriters Festival venues—Rosemary Beach Town Hall, Summer Kitchen and Amavida. Each location provided a wonderfully intimate setting where artists felt comfortable and embraced our relaxed, coastal style as they performed for music-loving audiences.

At Rosemary Beach Town Hall, we kicked off Friday with acclaimed Nashville Singer/Songwriter Jeffrey Steele, who has co-written more than sixty hit songs for artists including Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, LeAnn Rimes, and Rascal Flatts, among many others. On Saturday, our very own Joe Leathers performed with friends, Kyle Jacobs, Ruston Kelly and Nicole Witt, to a full house. Performances continued through Sunday when we welcomed Bryan Kennedy, David Olney, Alan Rhody, Sugar Cane Jane, The Saint Johns, Jerry Douglas and Gretchen Peters, among others.

In a recent article in the Walton Sun, festival producer Russell Carter shared “one thing that differentiates the 30ASF from the many other music festivals across the country is that it is a unique musical experience in that everyone who is invited to play the festival is an original songwriter,” said Carter.

“That is the tie that binds all the musicians together in a bond of musical respect and admiration, and what is evident to everyone in the audience up and down 30A is a consistent authenticity to the music and performances,” he said. “This is not manufactured music, not singers covering songs others wrote, nothing is auto tuned, nothing is taped to backing tracks — these are soul bearing, heart wrenching, honest performances that will make you laugh, cry, and make you think about your life and others in ways you may not have imagined before.”

The 30A Songwriters Festival is held each year over Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend. To learn more about the 2015 30A Songwriters Festival, Jan. 16-18, visit www.30ASongwritersFestival.com.

Rosemary Beach Summer Kitchen - 30A Fest 2014

Kingston performs with surprise guest John Oates at Summer Kitchen Cafe

Rosemary Town Hall - 30A Fest 2014

Rosemary Beach glows during the 5th annual 30A Songwriters Festival.

Rosemary Town Hall - 30A Fest 2014

Rosemary Town Hall is at capacity with crowds lined up to enjoy intimate musical performances during the 5th annual 30A Songwriters Festival.

Rosemary Beach Amavida - 30A Fest 2014

Jennifer Lynn Simpson and Wesley Cook perform at Amavida Coffee during the 5th annual 30A Songwriters Festival.