Cape May Singer Songwriter Weekend Conference

The 12th annual Singer Songwriter Weekend conference is a little over a week away. March 29th and 30th musicians from around the country will descend upon Cape May for a weekend of networking, learning and performing.

The participating venues in 2019 are: Aleathea’s Restaurant at The Inn of Cape May – the Boiler Room at Congress Hall – The Brown Room at Congress Hall – Grand Ballroom at Congress Hall – Cabanas Beach Bar – Carney’s On The Beach & Carney’s Other Room – Corinthian Yacht Club of Cape May – Delaney’s Irish Pub & Grill – Elaine’s Dinner Theater – Fins Bar & Grille – Iron Pier Craft House – The Mad Batter Restaurant and Bar & The Rusty Nail.

This year there will be as many as 150 venue performances. Attendees of the weekend come for workshops and to hear panelists. However they also look forward to their 45 minutes of performing at one of the venues listed above. A complete copy of the venues and scheduled performances is attached to this blog.

First Time Visitors

Only about 10% of the nearly 1500 submissions to the conference are accepted. Within that group are a lot of first time attendees. Bryan DeSilva who teaches voice and music at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee is attending Cape May Singer Songwriter for the first time. Bryan is a regular summer visitor who played open mic this past summer.

The Cape May Singer Songwriter weekend invites two headliners each year. This year Jesse Terry and Erin McKeown will provide music business keynotes and perform on Friday and Saturday night in the ball room of Congress Hall. Those are ticketed events.

Free Performances

This past weekend the marketing team worked hard to distribute venue lineups to establishments participating. What I love about this weekend/festival is that nearly every place in Cape May with a stage area will have free live music.

I tried explaining to a gentleman holding a flyer that all the music was free. “Free?” he asked. “All this is free?” That’s the amazing thing about Cape May Singer Songwriter, the attendees are here to learn, network and hear keynote speakers.

Locals, and visitors who have caught on know that the weekend is a bonus weekend of free, quality performances from the likes of people who may not visit Cape May again.




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  1. March 21, 2019 / 12:31 pm

    Great article. Good to see all the talent descend on Cape May. Other than the ball room, will there be any “listening only” venues? I was recently at Carneys to see the Beatles show with Terry O’Brien. The crowd was noisy….but I do realize it’s a bar scene after all!!…..and yet Terry’s Love Me Dudes were definitely heard above the crowd because of good amps, speakers, and great harmonies. I was just wondering. Some singers I’ve seen in the past have softer tones and stories to tell through their music.
    Keep up the good writing! ~Mike from Newfoundland Canada

    • March 21, 2019 / 12:39 pm

      It’s funny that you ask that Mike. I wrote about that in past years. Bars are tough audiences and the musicians get use to it. Sometimes one can take the crowd by the ears. and make it happen. Listening rooms are a challenge in Cape May but they do happen

  2. David Greene
    June 30, 2019 / 11:19 am

    Thank you for your excellent reporting, John. I would love to come to one of these, and probably many. I don’t come to Cape May often enough. I am grateful for extra reasons to visit, and for your descriptive and enticing depictions of what is going on.