In the fall of 2010 I had this idea that wouldn’t get out of my head. I should start my own event or festival. By that point I’d been a member of the Pardi-Gras Krewe for a few years and thought I knew a little about event planning and production. The key word there is thought.
Anyway I decided I need my own event. At that point I had fallen in love with the little town of Port Aransas TX, so I decided that was a great place to hold it.
The only problem is that I didn’t have any money. Not a penny. And festivals are expensive to put on. It took me a few weeks to figure out a way around that problem, but I eventually found it. I decided to host a songwriter event. Singer/songwriters are cheap compared to full bands.
The first event was held at the end of February 2011. John arthur Martinez, Jerry Diaz, and Dennis Davis performed. About 30 people bought tickets. I lost money, but deemed it a success since everyone had a good time. Planning for the next year started immediately.
I almost gave up after 2012. Attendance actually went down from 2011 which was pretty discouraging. But my friend Jerry Diaz talked me into continuing and I’m glad he did.
Attendance started growing each year, with complete sellouts happening in 2016 and 2017. Hurricane Harvey hit Port Aransas hard in August of 2017, and that slowed us down some for a few years but we had another sellout in 2020.
We figured out how to make 2021 work even though we were in the middle of a pandemic. And now we’re about to put tickets for the 12th Pirates & Poets Songwriter Invitational on sale. It sounds crazy to say it but I’m definitely expecting a sellout.
The current version of the event features 6 or 7 acts each year. The Friday and Saturday night shows are a true listening environment. Everyone is focused on the Songwriters and their songs. We do have a happy hour type show on Saturday afternoon, but that is secondary to the listening room shows.
I’m very proud of what we’ve built in Port Aransas. It’s small, but that’s exactly what it needs to be. It’s intimate and occasionally intense. It’s unique.
I hope you’ll join us in Port A on February 25 & 26, 2022. It’s a can’t miss event for any fan of original music.