The Bluebird Cafe, in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, hits the road February 2019 for a string of open mic nights in Memphis, Chattanooga, Knoxville and Johnson City during Tennessee Songwriters Week. The events emphasize a state statute honoring songwriters passed earlier this year, and give four winners the chance to perform their original material at the historic Bluebird Cafe.

The Bluebird Cafe’s long-time open mic night host, songwriter Barbara Cloyd will host each event and a panel of local judges will select the top songwriter from each event. Those four winners convene at The Bluebird Cafe on Sunday, March 31, 2019 during Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival to perform before an audience that includes music publishing professionals. Each winner also earns an additional prize pack, including passes to Tin Pan South. Events are scheduled as follows, with additional details forthcoming: 

  • Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 – Lafayette’s Music Room in Memphis
  • Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 – The Camp House in Chattanooga
  • Friday, Feb. 22, 2019 – WDVX in Knoxville
  • Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019 – The Down Home in Johnson City

“Music is a universal language and is celebrated, performed and heard every day of the week in Tennessee and around the world,” said Commissioner Kevin Triplett, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. “Fans have been impacted by music recorded in Tennessee, which starts with the crafting of the song itself. Songwriters are the lifeblood of music that created the Soundtrack of America.”

“To have the chance to expand our Open Mic throughout the state is so exciting and offers the chance to explore the wealth of songwriting talent that is inherent to Tennessee,” said Erika Wollam Nichols, general manager of The Bluebird Cafe.

The state statute passed earlier this year annually designates the last full week of February as “Tennessee Songwriters Week.” The week is designed to celebrate the foundation of the craft, recognize past and present songwriters and pave the way for future artists.  The week will be February 17-23 in 2019.

Local businesses are encouraged to participate in Tennessee Songwriters Week by programming special events such as open mic nights and songwriter showcases that celebrate songwriters and drive visitation. 

Sign-ups for songwriters participating in the Open Mic Nights will begin in January. For more information as it becomes available, visit

Tennessee’s deep musical roots and experiences are the cornerstone of Tennessee Tourism’s “The Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee” brand. The economic impact of tourism in Tennessee hit a record $20.7 billion, resulting in the collection of $1.8 billion in state and local taxes in 2017.

About the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development
Tennessee is the home of the blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll-delivering an unparalleled experience of beauty, history and family adventure, infused with music that creates a vacation that is “The Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.” Tennessee’s tourism industry generates $20.7 billion in economic impact, more than $1.8 billion in state and local tax revenue and more than 184,300 tourism-related jobs.

Explore more at and join other Tennessee travelers by following “tnvacation” on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube or “Tennessee” on Snapchat.


Press Contact:
Jill Kilgore