Steel Bridge Songfest« Back to Events
Steel Bridge Songfest
Steel Bridge Songfest is the “Greatest Original Songwriters’ Festival in the Midwest.” Songwriters of national, regional, and local acclaim come together to write songs inspired by Sturgeon Bay’s Historic Steel Bridge. It consists of a four-day songwriting collaborative called the Construction Zone; their slogan is “Music so fresh it hasn’t been written yet!”
Founded in 2005 by musician Pat MacDonald (of Timbuk3 fame) and his sister, Steel Bridge Songfest began as part of a grass-roots campaign to restore the historic “Steel Bridge” – the original route of Highways 42 and 57 as they crossed Sturgeon Bay. 2019 marks a renewed direction for Steel Bridge Songfest. The non-profit they operate is becoming the Steel Bridge Creative Foundation, and previous events like the pub crawl and the outdoor festival are being suspended for this year while they renew their focus on the music. As they noted:
“While the pub crawl has been an annual shot in the arm for the bar scene, and the outdoor festivals provide some good clean fun for the community, our strongest supporters know that the heart and soul of ALL of our events has always been The Construction Zone where the songwriting and recording happens. This collaborative group process, based on games of spin-the-bottle, is unlike anything else happening anywhere. And we happen to be blessed with the perfect performance venue for bringing it all to light. We love working with Third Avenue Playhouse (TAP) and we’re excited to begin focusing exclusively on the writing, recording, and presentation of our newest “music so fresh, it hasn’t been written yet” at TAP.” — from their site.
Over 200 musicians perform at Steel Bridge Songfest each year. Live performances take place across several venues around Sturgeon Bay, showcasing all of the newly written music as well as past favorites. A list of performers can be found on the festival website.
These “Construction Zone” participants write songs inspired by the bridge (or whatever), and then the songs are recorded on-site at the Holiday Music Motel and released as compilation albums. You can listen to Steel Bridge Radio here or by clicking on the icon.
Steel Bridge Songfest runs from Thursday, June 13th through Sunday, June 16th in venues across Sturgeon Bay. Highways 42 and 57 bring you there. The city will be buzzing with creative artists working on making music throughout the town. While there, check out everything both Sturgeon Bay and the Door Peninsula has to offer, from the beautiful sights, museums like the Door County Maritime Museum, tour a shipbuilding yard, rent a boat, or explore Potawatomi State Park and other natural attractions in this uniquely beautiful area.
Steel Bridge Songfest Address:
Third Avenue Playhouse (TAP)
239 N. 3td Avenue
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
Here’s a taste of the festival from previous years: