He’ll likely play all those songs and more when he headlines this month’s annual Island Hopper Songwriter Fest. He’ll be joined onstage by Kristian Bush of Sugarland for the Oct. 1 poolside concert on Fort Myers Beach.
Janson is one of dozens of singer-songwriters ― mostly country-music artists ― scheduled to perform Sept. 22-Oct. 1 at various Lee County venues. The 10-day fest opens Friday through Sunday, Sept. 22-24, with various concerts scheduled on Captiva Island.
New this year: No tolls for the Sanibel Island bridge for two days of the fest, courtesy of the nonprofit Collaboratory and the Lee County Tourist Development Council. They’re paying for the tolls to be waived Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 23-24, according to a Collaboratory news release. Tolls still apply for Island Fest shows Friday, Sept. 22.
“Thousands of residents and visitors have enjoyed the Island Hopper Fest each year and it continues to grow and lift up our community,” said Tourist Development Council chairman Brian Hamman in the news release. “Now in its 9th year, the songwriter fest just keeps getting better and we encourage everyone to take advantage of the ‘no tolls’ access and join your friends and family for great entertainment with Captiva as a beautiful backdrop.”
After the Captiva concerts, Island Fest continues Sept. 25-26 in Cape Coral, Sept. 27-28 in Fort Myers and Sept. 29-Oct. 1 on Fort Myers Beach.
Most shows are free, although there are several ticketed events this year. Tickets for the Janson and Bush pool party are $45. They’ll play at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1 at Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina on Fort Myers Beach.
Other highlights this year include:
- Grammy-winning songwriter Tim James, who co-wrote Toby Keith’s “My List” and The Lost Trailers’ “Holler Back” (Various Captiva Island venues, Sept. 22-24. Free.)
- Ben Burgess, who co-wrote The Jonas Brothers’ “Chillin in the Summertime” and Morgan Wallen’s “Whiskey Glasses” (Various Captiva Island venues, Sept. 22-24. Free.)
- Emily Shackelton, co-writer of Carly Pearce’s No. 1 single “Every Little Thing” (Various Captiva Island venues, Sept. 22-24. Free.)
- Chris Bepko, grand prize winner of Davis Art Center’s annual singer-songwriter competition in Fort Myers (three shows scheduled for Sept. 26-29 in Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach. Free.)
- Kristian Bush, the Sugarland singer-songwriter is an Island Hopper regular. He’ll play the headlining show with Chris Janson, but he also performs two free Fort Myers Beach shows (9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29 at Bayside Park, 8:15 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30 at Cabanas Beach Bar & Grille)
- And local singer-songwriters Sheena Brook and Brian Sutherland, playing the outdoor concert Music on the Mound (2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30 at The Mound House on Fort Myers Beach. $45 includes beer, wine, soft drinks, water, appetizers and museum admission. Brook and Sutherland also play several free shows separately at other venues during the festival).