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In 2019, Singer/Songwriter Patrick Davis received a call from a distraught fan who owned a resort in the Bahamas. The fan’s Firefly Sunset Resort had just been throttled by Hurricane Dorian’s 185-mph winds.
Davis, and six of his musician pals, hopped in a puddle jumper airplane and headed down to Hope Town, a community located on the 4-mile-long island of Elbow Cay. The site is home to the resort and a smattering of year-round residents. Upon his arrival, Davis initially thought this impromptu getaway would be a chance to catch up and have a few drinks with his ever-traveling musical brethren. Instead, the seeds of a musical idea were hatched.
“Many of the islanders had evacuated, and we ended up playing for an audience of about 40 construction workers and firefighters. That was all that was left on the island. We had such a good time taking a break from our schedules and jamming together, it turned into the beginning of something that continues today. I call it Songwriters in Paradise,” Davis said.
SIP is Born
When Davis returned to his home in Nashville, he quickly organized a Ryman Auditorium event that raised $1.5 million for Hope Town and the Bahamas. Davis and his crew would return to Hope Town annually for two more years.
After each visit, Davis’ troubadour friends realized that during their travel year, they barely saw each other except for an occasional wave on stage. The opportunity to relax, exchange stories on a beach, and play music over cocktails was something they didn’t want to let go of. Davis thought the concept of connecting his fellow performers and their fans in a beautiful setting was something he needed to explore.
During a chance encounter, Davis met the owner of The Bahia Hotel and Sur Beach House based in Cabo San Lucas. When Davis shared the details of his Hope Town experience, the owner suggested replicating the event at his hotel in Cabo. Songwriters in Paradise, or SIP, was born!
Something Magical, Something Intimate
To pursue his musical dreams, Davis moved from South Carolina to Nashville 22 years ago. Over two decades of singing and songwriting, he knew exactly the type of storytellers and personalities he believed would light up the Songwriters in Paradise stage. Like Nashville’s iconic Bluebird Café, Davis felt the cozier the setting, the better the bond for the performers and the audience.
“There is no greater feeling in the world than playing for a room that is completely captivated. Our SIP audience learns the inside stories of how some of the greatest songs ever recorded came to be. This magical feeling of connection resonates for the attendees and my fellow performers,” Davis said.
What’s unique about these four nights of concerts is that the artists mingle with the attendees during the day. “We meet people at the pool, at the bar, on the beach, and we sit in the crowd when we’re not performing. Our attendees feel like they are part of something unique, and friendships develop,” Davis shared.
Let’s Do It Again
After playing throughout the wine regions of California for a decade, Davis felt enough of a connection to add Napa and Healdsburg to his Songwriter in Paradise calendar. His loyal lineup of singer/songwriters didn’t hesitate to include these new events into their travel schedules. Artist David Ryan Harris, a long-time performer with John Mayer, Dave Matthews, and Santana, said it best regarding the gift that is SIP, “Anytime you have SIP, I’m in.”
“When this all first began, I never expected it to turn into something. I guess you could call SIP a happy accident,” Davis said. Along the way, SIP has devoted a portion of their profits to charities. Giving back has always been one of the cornerstones for this concert series which evolved from the ruins of a hurricane disaster.
This giving through music mantra is something Davis believes the SIP audience can feel. After nearly a week of performances, attendees learn the why behind the songs and experience a concert like no other. Davis shared a comment made by a recent Songwriters in Paradise attendee that he felt was the best compliment ever. The attendee said, “I didn’t know this kind of concert was even possible. The only sad part is I feel like a kid on the last day of summer vacation. I’m exhausted, but I can’t wait to do it again.” https://www.songwritersinparadise.com/
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