FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – Wednesday night kicked off the 9th annual Lyrics on the Lake songwriters festival. The five-day lineup brings musical talent from across the country to Smith Mountain Lake, and they’re hoping to bounce back following cancelation due to COVID-19 last year.
The notes rolled across the water and the speakers were cranked loud as more than a dozen professional songwriters, like Sarah Beth Terry, gathered at Smith Mountain Lake.
“Because I love it, I’m the Queen Bee here. It’s Lyrics on the Lake. We come for the kids. We come to have fun. We come to make money for them. So yeah, let’s do it, why not?” Terry said.
Wednesday’s kick-off welcomed the event back to the area and wrapped the event’s open-mic competition. The writers have worked for some of country music’s biggest names, and now they’re here playing dockside stages.
Brent Jones is a co-organizer of the festival. It spans the week with multiple locations across the lake. Most events are free, but some are ticketed and event organizers are always accepting donations. This year money raised goes toward the Children’s Miracle Network local operations.
“The thing about our songwriters festival that makes the biggest impression on our community is they get the opportunity to hear the stories behind the songs that these people write,” Jones said. “So our money that we collect from our community and donate to them goes to the hospitals that serve our community.”
Many of the writers are staying local and enjoy every bit of the vibe while they can get it.
“We’re all so busy touring the rest of the year this is like our vacation too and we also get to a good thing for the people. So, why not? If you can have fun and do something for kids, sign us up,” Terry said.