Behind every song, there lies a story. And for every song, there is a songwriter who channeled their experiences onto paper.
When those songs are picked up and performed by hit artists, it’s not often music lovers get to hear from the songwriters themselves, but attendees at this weekend’s Roscolusa Songwriters Festival will get to do just that.
The popular music festival returns to Nocatee Town Center this Saturday April 23 from 5 to 10 p.m. Now in its fifth year, the festival is finally becoming a recognizable name in annual music festivals, according to festival founder and Ponte Vedra native Kim Paige.
“We’ve had just a lot of really good promotion this year, with people helping share and just really getting our name out,” Paige said. “It really feels this year like people are starting to know what Roscolusa is.”
Seven performers will be at Roscolusa this year, including Paige, Cassio Monroe, Bruce Wallace, Jesse Rice, Kay Gianna, Phil Barton and Rick Ferrell. Event headliners Cassio Monroe are a duo currently touring with YouTube sensation Grant Landis.
“They’re an up-and-coming band,” Paige said. “They played our first year when we were just a backyard concert; they’ve grown so much and they are going to be our headlining band this year.”
Songwriter Ferrell will perform some of the hit songs he wrote for some of the biggest names in country music, including “Something Like That” (the barbecue stain on my white t-shirt song) and “Where Would You Be” by Martina McBride. He also has written songs for the Swon Brothers, who are currently on tour with Carrie Underwood. Ferrell had a big hit in Canada last year and was nominated for the Canadian Music Award.
Paige is excited to share her music with attendees as well, noting that she’s been on a long journey to find her sound and finally feels like she’s captured it. She recorded an album that hasn’t been released yet and will be passing out free CDs to fans.
“I want to share (my music) with my home town and the Roscolusians – people who have supported live music in Ponte Vedra for years,” said Paige, who now calls Nashville home.
In 2012, Paige had the idea for her and her fellow musicians to perform in her hometown as part of a songwriters’ retreat. The first festival had only 150 people in attendance and took place in a private lot located off Roscoe Boulevard, hence the name Roscolusa.
The concert event grew exponentially over the years and had to be moved to a larger venue at Nocatee Town Center Field. Concert attendance is now in the thousands.
Proceeds from Roscolusa benefit the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund, a nonprofit organization that assists families with children battling cancer. Paige said that she has always been a huge supporter of the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund, even writing a song for the foundation called “Life is Beautiful” which she performs at some of the organization’s events.
In lieu of food trucks, this year the festival has partnered with Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q, who are also supporters of the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund. The event will also feature craft vendors selling everything from hand-crafted leather bags to honey, soaps and jams.
In previous years, general admission was free for Nocatee residents only, but this year, general admission will be free for all concert-goers. Benefactor tickets with special perks are also available. Benefactor tickets are $100 and include two free drink tickets, complimentary food, a private stage viewing area, access to air conditioned facilities and more.
Gates open at 5 p.m.; music begins at 5:45 p.m. and goes until 10 p.m. Concert-goers are encouraged to to bring chairs or blankets.
Nocatee Town Center Field is located at 100 Marketside Ave. in Ponte Vedra. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.roscolusa.com.