Lyrics on the Lake Songwriters Festival is returning for a fifth year this summer. The annual event will kick off May 10 with an open mic competition at Mango’s Bar & Grill.
“This is not a karaoke contest,” said Brent Jones, who handles publicity for Lyrics on the Lake. “You need to have your own accompaniment. The winners of each week will come back on June 14 to compete against all the other weekly winners to win the grand prize.”
Jones is one of several volunteers who helped Lyrics on the Lake grow from a pool party five years ago to a festival that attracted more than 50 songwriters last year with 12 concerts at multiple venues. Those concerts attracted around 5,000 visitors and raised more than $50,000 for Children’s Miracle Network in 2016, Jones said.
The open mic competitions will be at Mango’s Bar & Grill each Wednesday starting May 10. Registration starts at 7:30 p.m. with competition beginning at 8 p.m. The finale will be June 14, which marks the start of this year’s Lyrics on the Lake.
Each competition consists of three rounds. The audience votes for the winners of the first two rounds, and the third-round winner will be determined by a guest judge. Since it is a fundraiser the audience will vote by making a donation (every $1 equals one vote). The guest judge has one save per night to use at his discretion.
The winner of the finale will win a free trip to Nashville, Tennessee that will include a songwriting session and performance, Jones said. This year, the winner of the open mic competition will perform at the Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival in September.
This year’s participating venues for Lyrics on the Lake, which runs from June 14-18, include Mango’s Bar & Grill, Moosie’s, Portside Grill and Bar, Ramulose Ridge Vineyards, JJ’s Meat Shak, Blind Bill’s Restaurant and Sunken City Brewing Company.
There is no cover charge to attend the performances or to enter the open mic competition. Donations will be accepted, which will benefit Children’s Miracle Network.
For the complete schedule, visit lyricsonthelake.com.