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Hwy. 80 Songwriter’s Festival set for July 11

The date for the Seventh Annual Hwy. 80 Songwriter’s Festival has been set for Saturday, July 11, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Demopolis Civic Center. Admission is free.

This year’s line-up features nine performers broken into three sets with three songwriters each. This year, the performers are: Charlie Wilson, Brittany Avery, Paul Garner, Megan McMillan, Bobby Dunning, a trio titled RSvP, Taylor Craven, Taylor Hunnicut, and Dustin Pounders.

As with past festivals, many of the performers have ties to Demopolis. Wilson, Garner, McMillan, Craven, Dunning, and Hunnicut live or have lived in Demopolis. Wilson is a first time performer along with Avery, who was recommended by another songwriter. Avery is a native of Phenix City, AL.

Mike Grayson, an organizer of the event, said the festival is designed to showcase local talent and provide a night of entertainment for the Demopolis community.

“We try to get as many people from Demopolis or with Demopolis connections to play,” said Grayson.  “People think the only place in Alabama with music is in Muscle Shoals, and that’s not true. There’s a lot of local talent, and that’s why we have this festival.”

Unlike past festivals, this year’s event will have to follow CDC guidelines on social distancing. Grayson said face masks are encouraged, but not required, and they will be adhering to the governor’s policy of fifty percent capacity. The civic center will hold up 611 people, but the capacity policy will cut that to 300 max. However, if they have to, people will be allowed in the balcony, and they will open the doors for people outside. Hand sanitizer will be available at the door.

There will be a food vendor on site, but people are invited to bring coolers with snacks and drinks into the civic center.

Sponsors for this year’s event include Domino’s Pizza, Pepsi Bottling of Selma, City of Demopolis, Two Rivers Lumber, Robertson Bank, Collins Communications, Malone Texaco, Sumter Timber, and Fleming Photography.