Construction Zone Songwriter Info and FAQ's

The Holiday Music Motel is a Proud Sponsor and Home for the Construction Zone Songwriters.

Construction Zone Songwriter FAQ's

BEFORE YOU SUBMIT (whether new or returning artist):

1) READ ALL FAQs!!! Please.  :) 

2) Participating in the songwriting Construction Zone is a full week commitment from Sunday June 9th through Saturday night June 15, 2019 (though we do invite you to stay until Monday so that you can enjoy Sunday in Door County together after a hard week's work)!  Leaving during the week is not permitted. You must be fully available the whole time.
It is important to know the people running the event as musicians first and festivals organizers second as this is an unpaid labor of love for them. Please visit the following websites prior to submitting to be included in the songwriting "Construction Zone":

#1 Q. Who do I contact about Construction Zone? 
Once you have read through all FAQs (yes, both new and returning artists must read) you will need to speak with pat mAcdonald. You can reach him through facebook: or email: (always a good idea to cc melaniejane at pat is typically swamped with emails so if he doesn't respond, please write again and cc mj. We want to make sure everyone receives a response and careful consideration!) Please remember that you must go through this process each time. Being accepted for one event does not guarantee participating in every other event. We need to be able to curate the group of writers each time so if you're interested in future events, please keep in touch with us!

#2 Q. Once you are confirmed by pAt to participate, contact...
melaniejane. She is the main Construction Zone contact and CZ Artist Liaison and is the person to contact for all Construction Zone logistics. Feel free to call or email her anytime with questions at Email and text is preferred. Early morning phone calls are not.  ;)

#3 Q. I've been confirmed to participate. What should I do RIGHT NOW?
PLEASE CHECK THE CONSTRUCTION ZONE PAGE TO VERIFY THAT YOUR INFO IS CORRECT! (If you have an approved photograph you'd like used for promotion, please send; otherwise, we reserve the right to choose one for you.) If there are any problems or corrections, please email and we'll get it updated. Also, please take a moment to get familiar with the other artists who will be joining you this year!

#4 Q. What information should I list on my website to help promote the event?
PLEASE ADD "Steel Bridge Songfest - Third Avenue Playhouse" with a link to to your Websites, Facebook, Myspace (ha hahahaha!), Reverbnation, etc...
It is up to all of the artists to help us promote the festival, please let your fans know where to find you!
ALSO, please:

      ****** Click "going" on the Steel Bridge Facebook event (PLEASE DO NOT CREATE YOUR OWN FB EVENT!)
      ****** "like" and share the official Facebook page here

#5 Q. When should I arrive in Sturgeon Bay?          
Please arrive to the motel NO LATER than 4pm Sunday June 9th, 2019.
If you need airport transport this must be worked out at least 2 weeks in advance.
We guarantee airport transportation from Green Bay and Appleton airports.
If arriving Chicago, Madison or Milwaukee please let us know right away! Chances are we can find another songwriter to grab you on their way up to the motel!
You MUST be here Sunday night (6/9/19) for the opening dinner!
The first spin the bottle beings immediately following and THEN LET THE SONGWRITING AND RECORDING BEGIN!  

#6 Q. If I am staying at the motel, can I arrive BEFORE Sunday, June 9th, 2019?
If you are coming from a long distance and it helps with your transportation needs, we welcome you to arrive early but WE MUST KNOW IN ADVANCE in order to secure accommodations for you and be ready to welcome you! The motel is a fully operational business and is frequently sold-out. Please let melaniejane know well in advance, if you need to arrive early.

***** As of right now, we are not able to accommodate any early arrivals at the motel and we do not have anyone set up to pick up from airports prior to June 9th BUT, we are more than happy to help you to connect with someone who can help, if we know in advance!

#7 Q. When should I depart Sturgeon Bay?
The festival technically ends after the shows on Saturday June 15th.
This year we invite you to stay on Sunday to rest up, sight-see, and join us for some activities we have planned for you!
If you need to leave on Sunday that's totally OK (though we do encourage you to stay until Monday and have some fun!).
If you need airport transportation on Sunday you must make arrangements with melaniejane in advance (which means before you arrive for the week, not Saturday night/Sunday morning at 4am if you catch my drift. ;) 
Check out for everyone staying over is Monday June 17th by 3pm. If you need to stay longer, please plan on securing own accommodations off site. We have work being done at the motel and we need all of the rooms vacated by Monday afternoon.

#8 Q. When is checkout and can I stay at the motel longer than Monday, June 17, 2019? (repeat of #7)
Check out is Monday, June 17th, by 3pm. We are not able to accommodate anyone at the motel after Sunday night. We are happy to help with finding alternate accommodations for anyone needing to stay longer but we must know this in advance. Please do not ask to stay longer at the motel. Again, we can help find alternate lodging for you but we must have everyone check out on Monday by 3pm.

#9 Q. Can I have my kids, friends, family, significant others, etc. come and hang out during the week at the motel or at The Tambourine Collaboratory?
The easiest answer is, respectfully, no. Please remember that while Steel Bridge is lots and lots of fun, it's also a place where people come to focus and do some serious work (and have fun doing it). Again, we have to keep a pretty strict policy of no non-Construction Zone songwriters allowed at the motel or Tambourine Collaboratory throughout the week. And while we love kids, kids are not allowed.  Please make arrangements for babysitting off-site and make sure to explain our policy to your friends and family in advance so we're not confronted with an awkward situation during the week. Please help to make our jobs easier by not pressing this issue. If you have anyone coming up on the weekend for the shows and need help finding accommodations for them we can certainly point you in the right direction but we are not able to be responsible for securing reservations for anyone not participating in the event.

#10 Q. Am I allowed to bring outside guests into the Holiday Music Motel or The Tambourine Collaboratory? (a reiteration of #9)
No. Only songwriters with “Construction Zone” laminates will be allowed in the Holiday Music Motel, The Tambourine Collaboratory and in the recording studios (any exceptions must be approved by mj in advance). 

#11 Q. Is Steel Bridge Songfest providing accommodations for all of the songwriters?
We try to keep everyone here at The Holiday but sometimes we simply run out of room. All out of towners take priority for beds/rooms here at The Holiday. Please keep clear communication with melaniejane to make sure we're all on the same page.

#12 Q. Can I have my own room?
Do not plan on it, do not ask. Everyone staying at The Holiday Music Motel should expect to share a room with one other writer. We will handle rooming assignments and will do our best to pair you up with someone compatible. Specific room requests are handled by melaniejane.

#13 Q. Where do I check in when I arrive in Sturgeon Bay?
Everyone in the Construction Zone--regardless of whether you are staying at The Holiday Music Motel or not--should come directly to the The Holiday Music Motel at 30 N 1st Ave (& Michigan Street), Sturgeon Bay, WI, 54235. Here, you will be given your hotel/room assignments (if we are providing accommodations for you), receive laminates and further instructions, etc. Please check in prior to 4pm. If you need to check in after 4pm, please make arrangements with melaniejane at or by phone at: (414) 254-2299. Local songwriters do not need to check in by 4pm, you can simply show up around dinnertime but you are MORE than welcome to come hang out earlier, if you like!  :)

#14 Q. Are meals provided during the week?
YES! Nightly dinners for the registered Construction Zone writers are REQUIRED Sunday through Thursday night. These dinners are not open to the public. Friday and Saturday we do provide dinners that artists can serve themselves at their own pace while they get ready for the shows. Some opt to eat out those nights which is totally fine, too, as long as you are aware of the time and not at all at risk of not being at the theater by call-time. 

Daily continental breakfast available and usually there is more than enough for everyone to find enough for lunch-time.

** We will provide a meat a vegan option each night. If you have any food allergies or concerns, please let melaniejane know in advance so we can make arrangements for you best we can. Alcoholic beverages will not be provided. 

#15 Q. Are pets allowed?
The short answer to this is NO… we must consider the overall comfort of all the participants and, in all honesty, this is not the best environment for your pet.  There will be no exceptions on this, please do not ask.

#16 Q. What is the closest airport?
The closest airport is Green Bay, WI- approximately a 45 minute drive from Sturgeon Bay, WI. Appleton is approx 1hr15min. If you are flying into Green Bay or Appleton, we will arrange to pick you up! Please send your flight info to melaniejane ASAP so we can schedule volunteers to meet you at the airport.

If flying in to MKE, Madison or Chicago, send us your flight info and we'll do our best to help you find a ride but please understand we cannot make special trips from Sturgeon Bay for those pickups. Worst case, there are buses that go to Green Bay and we can always get you from there. BUT, if we know far enough in advance we have ALWAYS been able to find people rides. Communication is key here... advance communication.  :)

#17 Q. Should I come with songs already written in whole or in part? 
NO! Writers are partnered through a randomized, bottle spin process and this is where the TRUE magic happens! The Construction Zone songwriting event provides a unique, truly COLLABORATIVE process that challenges and inspires songwriters to create in the moment. The goal is to start from scratch with the other members of your group and to build up from there! 

While you shouldn't be writing before arriving here, it sure doesn't hurt to learn a bit about the bridge and this area. Here's a few links to get you started:

Visit the following links to learn more about Sturgeon Bay's historic Michigan Street Bridge and scenic Door County
Michigan Street (Steel) Bridge on, Michigan Street Bridge on Wikipedia .... other sources:  Door County, WI - Wikipedia  Door County Genealogy and History...

#18 Q. How many recording studios will there be?
Generally there are three main studios. Due to the sheer number of songs written during the Construction Zone and the limited time we have to record, we encourage anyone who is so inclined to bring their protools rigs, garageband, etc. It’s a great way to document your work in progress, save a rough mix, maybe capture a gem… we want nothing to escape! All songs recorded here will be considered for the Steel Bridge Songs CD compilation. 

#19 Q. Do I retain my rights to the songs I write at Steel Bridge Songfest and Construction Zone?
YES! While The Holiday Music Motel owns the master recordings, you still retain full ownership of your contribution to songs written at the event. If your song is chosen to appear on a Steel Bridge Songs CD compilation, you contribute only your performance as an artist (we can’t pay session fees), but you retain full ownership of your share of the song. Contributing your mechanical royalties, if any are received, to the Steel Bridge Creative Foundation is appreciated, but entirely optional.

#20 Q. Can I use a recording done during Steel Bridge on my own CD?

Yes, you can; HOWEVER, you MUST properly credit Steel Bridge Songfest, The Holiday Music Motel, the engineer/s who recorded the song, the other co-writers, and all of the session players. Please let us know, if you need further clarification on this. Failure to properly share credit will most certainly guarantee you will not be invited to participate in future collaborative songwriting events.

#21 Q. Can I bring CD's and merch to sell at the Steel  Bridge Songfest?
In the past we've been able to sell individual artist CDs at the outdoor festival but due to the scaled back version this year we do not see this being possible. This year is a big fundraising year for the foundation and it is critical that we keep the focus on selling the Steel Bridge merch. HOWEVER, please do feel free to bring your merch to sell on your own. 

#22 Q. Can I book other gigs during the week of Steel Bridge Songfest?
NO, absolutely not. this would interfere and compete directly with the festival. In order for this to work, everyone needs to commit to being available for the entire week! Aside of disrupting the flow and chemistry of the week everyone is making the sacrifice of passing up paid gigs to be here, we simply cannot make exceptions here!

#23 Q. Can I book other gigs in and around Sturgeon Bay before and after the week of Steel Bridge Songfest?
Truthfully, if you must book routing gigs, we would prefer you booked gigs OUTSIDE of Door County around that time. If SBSF artists are performing in Door County before and after the fest it greatly lessens the interest of people coming TO Steel Bridge to see you perform. This fest is run on a lot of volunteer hours and very little financing. We need all the people we can to attend. If we can't fund it, we can't run it. Just something to consider.
IF YOU ARE GIGGING IN THE AREA BEFORE SBSF, please promote the hell out of Steel Bridge Songfest!!!!
IF YOU ARE GIGGING IN THE AREA IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING SBSF, please DO NOT promote those gigs until after the fest is over. Make sure the venue is also aware of this so they understand they cannot list it in the papers or on any other promotional avenues (websites, facebook, posters, etc.). We cannot have other things competing with the fest. 

#24 Q. Can my band join me on the weekend to perform?
This year we are not scheduling any outside bands during the festival.
That said, please do not book or encourage anyone else to book gigs at local venues during Steel Bridge week. We need to keep the focus on what we're doing. 

#25 Q. Who is running the festival?

Steel Bridge Songfest is an initiative of Citizens for Our Bridge (CFOB) (now known as the Steel Bridge Creative Foundation) a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, whose mission is dedicated to preserving and promoting this historic bridge and the city of Sturgeon Bay through community outreach and education by use of creative musical events and projects. We have a small core of volunteers who make this all possible! Please take the time to get to know those who are here to help out. Many of them have been dedicated since the inception of Steel Bridge Songfest 15 years ago and without them, the festival simply would not be possible!

#26 Will I get free tickets for my friends and family for the weekend performances?
The shows at Third Avenue Playhouse are ticketed assigned seating each night. We will not have comp tickets available. Please remember that this event is free for you to participate in and requires significant funding to make happen. The survival depends solely on raising enough funds to keep going. Please encourage friends and family to buy tickets for the shows before they sell out!  Click here to buy tickets!

#26 Q. Anything else I need to know?
While this is an extremely fun event to participate in, it is not "party time."  Songwriters are coming from far and wide to collaborate with you so it's important that you are able to be fully present. Personal dramas, altering substances have no place here. Alcohol is permitted; drunkenness is not. 

#27 Q. What amenities does the Holiday Music Motel have?
Please check the Holiday Music Motel website for more information. All rooms come equipped with refrigerators, cable TV (not that anyone will WANT to watch TV!), A/C, etc... There is a microwave in the common diner area with 24/7 use,etc....


Please don't hesitate to contact melaniejane at anytime, if you need further clarification or have other issues or concerns. She is here to help you make this a wonderfully memorable experience.

melaniejane (CZ Artist Liaison)
(414) 254-2299
(prior to the fest, do not call before 11am)

The Construction Zone is sponsored by:

Recorded by the generous donations of:
 © Citizens for Our Bridge, Inc./Steel Bridge Creative Foundation -  All Rights Reserved.