Insights | July 27, 2023

Songwriters’ Round: Could It Be In Tune With Your Next Event?

It’s the buzz of a room filled with anticipation, the sights and sounds of an audience connecting, and the feeling of exclusivity—that’s what live entertainment brings to your event. But choosing the right performer can be tricky.

We’ve all been there—your budget is finally approved. You search for talent options, focused on nailing down the perfect headliner to rock your guests. The talent? Within budget. Production? Way, way over.

Don’t fret, because a songwriters’ round could be just what you need. While well known to those with an ear to the Nashville music scene, most audiences aren’t yet familiar with them, which could present an opportunity for your team.

If you’re wondering, a songwriters’ round involves a group of songwriters on stage, taking turns, singing songs they have written either for themselves or for other artists. They do this for a number of rounds and often share the stories behind each song, providing your audience an intimate glimpse into their creative process. These curated celebrations of raw talent energize the room with their honesty and ability to bring people together. 

But are they the right fit for your event? Let’s highlight some pros and cons.

Why they strike a chord

Songwriter rounds provide an impactful performance without blowing the majority of your budget on production. Songwriters are lyrical storytellers who move an audience with just an instrument and their voice, so production costs are kept to a minimum. 

You can get more than a single headliner. Most rounds include three to five songwriters. These are artists who have been nominated for and won Grammys, and enjoyed success at the top of the charts with multiple #1 hits across genres. That’s a live experience your guests can brag about.

Each songwriter grouping is different—so even if your guests have experienced a songwriters’ round before, your event will still stand out. You’ll get to witness the stories behind the songs. Plus, artists sometimes play songs they’ve just written or haven’t yet released, providing your audience a sneak peak to possible future hits. So between the songwriters themselves and the experiences they’ll share between songs, your event is all but certain to deliver a show unlike any your attendees have seen.  

No matter your guests’ genre preferences, you can match the best artists for your audience with the help of the right talent booking agency. In the same vein, whatever ambiance you’re seeking to create, a songwriters’ round will have you covered—from engaging, high-energy sessions that will have your attendees on their feet, clapping and singing along, to chill, stripped-down easy listening that will complement dinner and cocktails.

Why they get out of tune

When you have several artists sharing the stage together, there’s always a chance they may not gel. Communication from the beginning is key between booking agents and artists’ representatives to avoid this scenario, and booking musicians that are based in the same music scene can also help minimize friction on stage.

Be aware that one of the pluses of a songwriters’ round can sometimes turn into a minus. It’s great that artists give backstories and insights into their songs, but having them talk more than a typical musical performance means they may discuss subject matter the client doesn’t like. Giving them creative freedom to tell stories is part of the allure, but it can also be unpredictable. Your booking agent can help avoid this situation by making the contract clause as detailed and specific as you would like. That will help provide guardrails and direction regarding what the artists can and can’t say. 

A good option for live entertainment

Music is powerful. It’s memorable and it moves us. And who better to inspire your audience than songwriters—the ones who create the songs that make us dance, smile, and sing along. With a songwriters’ round, your guests can experience music in a new way—one that’s entertaining and enlightening. Just make sure your booking agent does everything they can to avoid the possible pitfalls of this format. Next time you need to create an experience to remember using live entertainment, think outside the box with a songwriters’ round. Happy planning!