PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)– The annual Panama City Songwriter’s festival is returning to the streets of Downtown Panama City. The event, which runs Nov. 5-6, features live music from local, regional and national singer/songwriters.

“This event has a different feel than most festivals as the venues are small and intimate,” said founder Will Thompson. “So people who listen get the opportunity to connect with the artist and not only hear them sing, but also hear their stories about the songwriting process.”

The venues include The Press, The Downtown Boxing Club, The Panama City Center for the Arts, Millie’s and Tom’s. There will also be a merchandise table at The Light Room on Harrison Avenue where people can buy products from their favorite music artists.

Thompson is a Panama City native and has been a musician for all his life. He started the event three years ago.

“I wanted to give more artists the opportunity to perform their songs live,” he said.

Thompson also said this year is special as many performers coming from out of state have not had as many opportunities to perform due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He expects artists to have more content as the pandemic has given many artists the downtime to get creative.

The event is free, but Thompson said they are also accepting donations for the Bay Youth Music Association which seeks to provide more children access to music education from an early age.