Smithfield Music’s Aiken & Friends Fest

Smithfield, VA * September 29-30, 2017

Smithfield Music’s Aiken & Friends Fest 2017-10-03T02:19:39+00:00

Presented by Smithfield Music

2017 celebrates 12 wonderful years that this small-town rural festival has been hosting Virginia’s premier genuine original music festival. Set in Smithfield along the Pagan River, the charm and beauty of one of coastal Virginia’s best kept secrets is waiting to welcome you.

This two-day fest kicks off Friday night at 7PM with Songwriters-in-the-Round, featuring Mike Aiken, Linda McRae and Ken Tizzard performing their original works and talking about their writing and what inspires them.

Saturday begins with three concurrent, 60-minute workshops in guitar, songwriting and indie music promotion. Weekend pass holders can enroll in the class of their choice. Visit WORKSHOPS for more information.

Saturday afternoon’s events are outdoors and open to the public. They include a music stage with 45-60 minutes sets by three artists and a pickers’ tent where locals can come together and play.

Fest closes with another ticketed event, Tall Tales & Troubadours, a multi-media, energetic concert by Mike Aiken. A singer/songwriter known for his signature blend of Americana, country and roots music, Mike Aiken is a teller of tales whose music makes you feel like you instantly know him. With five top 30 singles over the past four years in the U.S. and Europe, the songs he writes and the experiences he shares are rich with the stories of life, love and wanderlust.

Fest Mission

Keeping Music in the Schools!
Smithfield Music accomplishes this by bringing top tier singer-songwriters to intimate venues for the love of great music and to raise money to supplement music education budgets in Isle of Wight County Schools.

Educational Workshops – Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Fest is all about music education and we dedicate a portion of the festival to offering workshops given by music professionals. Workshops are open to all ages. Saturday begins with three 60-minute workshops in guitar, songwriting and indie music promotion. Open to those with an Afternoon ticket or Weekend Pass.

SONGWRITING with Mike Aiken

Mike loves songwriting but he also likes to share his hard earned knowledge about the craft in an encouraging, inspiring manner. He has enjoyed a wide range of success as a professional songwriter and is happy to share insights. Bring your questions about songwriting and/or the business behind it.

GUITAR  with Andrew Piland

Andrew’s road to success has been steep and quick. With a degree in classical guitar and a bend toward compositional technique, Andrew has been asked to co-compose for university theater productions and score films. He has worked with Mike Aiken as part of the band and film crew since 2011. Learn some of his methods for focused and efficient practice to build your guitar chops fast. Then he will cover building interesting chords and how to use them. All skill levels welcome. Guitars recommended but not mandatory.

INDIE MUSIC PROMOTION with Amy Aiken, Northwind Records

In 13 year lifespan of her Indie label, Amy has seen and weathered industry changes. But for the Indie artist there are tools that every artist should have in place to build a successful career in the music industry. From album production to websites to tour management to pitfalls in the business, Amy has something to share. Bring your questions!

Win A Chance To Perform

CRIMSON FOX – Micah Foxx and Matt Crim

Catch them on stage Saturday, September 30 at 7:30 pm at the Smithfield Little Theater.


If you are a burgeoning singer/songwriter and want a chance to perform on stage at the festival, keep reading…

We have happily partnered with a few of the finest establishments that have active open mic nights to host songwriting contests. Each will be judged by a panel of esteemed area industry professionals who will be looking for YOUR original acoustic songs. One winner will be chosen from each venue to perform a 15 minute set of their original music to open the show on Saturday night of the Fest. This contest is a songwriting event, solos and duos only, no bands please.

If this sounds like you please check back for the venues and when and how they are running their respective contests.

Open Mic Contest Rules and Guidelines

  1. Open to any singer/songwriter.
  2. Entrants must perform their orignal music.
  3. Entrants must be willing and able to perform up to 15 minutes of original music on stage Saturday night of the Fest between 7:30 – 8 pm.
  4. One winner will be chosen from each venue – we need the winner’s name, email and phone number before September 15, 2017 to schedule them. Please submit by email or phone Amy at 757-635-0240.
  5. Winner receives a slot to perform at the festival and 2 Weekend Passes to all the festival events concerts Friday and Saturday nights.
  6. No bands – solos and duos only.
  7. Winners will be selected by the venues who will consider creativity, songwriting ability, crowd response and performance quality.
  8. Questions?? Please reach out to:
    (757) 635-0240

Thank you. Good luck! We look forward to your participation.