Brett Perkins
Photo by Neale Eckstein

Idyllwild has always been a community with art and music rustling through the tall pines and cedars. For such a small population, the talent we have is far from small and Brett Perkins wants that talent to grow while helping local nonprofits. 

A Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, Perkins has been making music for more than 40 years. He was also the mastermind behind the Copenhagen Songwriters Festival, which he founded in 2009 based in Copenhagen, Demark, where Perkins lives most of the year. 

A former C.E.O. of the National Academy of Songwriters, Perkins wanted to bring his talents and knowledge to Idyllwild as well as help others showcase their talents on the big stage. 

“I was brought to Idyllwild when I was eight years old by my grandmother,” said Perkins. “The experience stayed with me all these years and I knew I wanted to be a part of a community like this. I want to support it. I’m invested here and hope to buy a cabin here in the near future.”

Guitar picks, hats, t-shirts and other merchandise will be available at the Idyllwild Songwriters Festival Jan. 11 at Town Hall. Photo by Jenny Kirchner

This last June, Perkins put together the first four-day Idyllwild Songwriters Festival at Spirit Mountain Retreat. He decided he wanted to create a winter songwriters festival, which will be Jan. 11 at Town Hall. 

The proceeds from this all-day, family-friendly, funky, folky fundraiser will go to the Idyllwild HELP Center and Idyllwild Community Center. 

The festival will feature 20 songwriters from all over the country. Songs from the artists will debut during the Idyllwild Listening Room Songwriting Retreat from Jan. 5-11 that Perkins is teaching at Spirit Mountain Retreat. 

All musicians are playing the festival for free, volunteering their time for the cause. 

Tickets are available at the door for $10. The festival goes from noon-11 p.m. 

Children 12 and under are free with an accompanying adult. There will be an Idyllwild HELP Center pop-up boutique and an artist selling handmade southwest silver jewelry with semi-precious stones. 

The mission is to present diverse and inclusive singer-songwriters to the community, raise funds for local charities and bring awareness of Idyllwild as an arts community and destination location. 

“I’m creating a brand identity that promotes Idyllwild,” Perkins said. “I can envision a town-wide, multiple-day event where anyone who wants to put on a show under the umbrella of the festival as an affiliate, official or unofficial, can do it. Let’s get more people up here. Period. Let’s promote Idyllwild.”

The summer festival is already in the works and will be held June 5-7 at Spirit Mountain Retreat.