Construction Zone Songwriter Info and FAQ's

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

Visit the following links to learn more about Sturgeon Bay's historic Michigan Street Bridge and scenic Door County
Michigan Street Bridge
Somewhat outdated info but also good sources:

 Door County, WI - Wikipedia

Door County Genealogy and History

Construction Zone Songwriter FAQ's
View Steel Bridge Songfest Performer Info and FAQs HERE

BEFORE YOU SUBMIT (whether new or returning artist):

1) READ ALL FAQs!!! Please.  :)  As things have evolved over the years, we've had to adapt and change. It is important that we are all on the same page for this to work. 

2) Know that the 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 a day in Door County together after a hard week's work!  
3) *****IMPORTANT*****  Past participants are not automatically "in" for every event. As SBSF has grown we've had to face our size limitations so ALL artists MUST go through the same process of contacting pat and then following up with mj if pat has confirmed your participation. 

4) Please realize this is run by fellow musicians who are setting their own careers aside to host the event. That said, it is important to know the people running the event as musicians first and festivals organizers second. 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!)

#2 Q. Once you are confirmed 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  PERFORMERS PAGE  AND THE CONSTRUCTION ZONE PAGE TO VERIFY THAT YOUR NAME, CITY AND WEBLINK ARE 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" to your Websites, Facebook, Myspace (ha hahahaha!), Reverbnation, etc... with link to www.steelbridgesongfest.orgWe ask that artists NOT list specific venues but rather refer people to for the most accurate and up to date calendar of events. 
We do check... just so you know.  :)
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 "join" on the official Facebook event (PLEASE DO NOT CREATE YOUR OWN FB EVENT!)
and SHARE IT with your fans

      ****** "like" and share the official Facebook page here

#5 Q. When should I arrive in Sturgeon Bay?          
Please arrive NO LATER than 4pm Sunday June 9th, 2019.
You MUST be able to be here Sunday night (6/9/19) for the opening dinner! If there is some reason you can’t be here Sunday night, please let melaniejane know as soon as possible! The welcome reception is Sunday night at 5pm, with dinner PROMPTLY at 6pm. 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 wish 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 ends Sunday, June 162019 at 6pm but it's easiest, if you plan on staying until Monday, June 17, 2019. We need all songwriters to be available for the entire performance on Sunday. If for some reason you must leave earlier, please make arrangements with melaniejane on an individual basis IN ADVANCE and ASAP! It is VERY IMPORTANT we know this information for scheduling purposes!

#8 Q. When is checkout and can I stay at the motel longer than Monday, June 17, 2019?
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. We have already carefully considered all angles and this is our decision. Please respect it. If one person brings their kid/s, then the others who have respected our request are angry with us so... it creates more problems for us than you realize so, again, please just respect our request. Thank you.

#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). No one under the age of 21 is allowed in the motel or collaboratory after 10pm. For participants with children, again, please make arrangements for child care off-site. We have carefully considered all angles on this matter and have tried different things over the years and this is our final answer. Please do not press the issue. We need your cooperation. Those that don't cooperate add a lot of work and stress to an already extremely busy time. Please respect our decision and make our jobs easier.

#11 Q. Is Steel Bridge Songfest providing accommodations for all of the songwriters?
Unfortunately not. In a perfect world, we would provide rooms for everyone, but the reality is that there is limited space at the Holiday Music Motel and we are just unable to afford accommodations for musicians elsewhere. We are extremely grateful to those who were able to seek out their own accommodations! IF WE ARE PROVIDING ACCOMMODATIONS FOR YOU, you will have already had clear correspondence with melaniejane on this. She will provide you with your room assignment when you check in on (or before) Sunday, June 9, 2019. If you're not sure, please contact melaniejane to confirm.

#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.

***Special note for those with housing at The Holiday Music Motel and working at The Tambourine Collaboratory: Inviting outside guests to stay (or hang out) in your room is NOT permitted at any time during the week. With so many people and so much activity, anyone, and everyone, visiting or staying at The Holiday Music Motel must have prior approval. JUST DON'T DO IT!!!... one person leads to another... and another... and another.... you get the idea. With an event of this proportion, we need your cooperation to help keep things to a manageable size.

#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 Wednesday night. These dinners are not open to the public. Thursday through Sunday are far too chaotic to try to organize a dinner for everyone so please plan on making your own arrangements on these nights. Nonetheless, we will do our best to have food available for you and enough to snack on in the off hours. Light breakfast/brunch served daily. We will do our best to accommodate individual requests and tastes, if you have any food allergies or concerns, please let melaniejane know in advance so she can make arrangements for you where possible. 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. If you are flying in here, 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 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 to MKE or Chicago for 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! 

#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 Fund is appreciated, but 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?
Yes, yes, YES! PLEASE bring your merch with you and feel free to sell it whenever and wherever! Steel Bridge Songfest does NOT want a percentage of your sales. On Saturday and Sunday during the outdoor performances, we will also have a merch booth set up where Steel Bridge Songfest volunteers will sell your merch for you throughout the day and DO NOT take any commission! 

#22 Q. Can I book other gigs during the week of Steel Bridge Songfest?
NO, 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 you are performing AT Steel Bridge. Best idea is to promote those gigs from the stage at Steel Bridge. 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?
YES, of course! But we must know IMMEDIATELY so we can arrange for a performance time and venue. Please email

#25 Q. Who are the people running the festival?

Steel Bridge Songfest is an initiative of Citizens for Our Bridge (CFOB), 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 14 years ago and without them, the festival simply would not be possible!

The core is actually quite small (pat mAcdonald, melaniejane, and Nicole Henquinet) for whom this is a labor of love. Without our volunteers, none of this would be possible!!! BIGGEST OF THANKS to all of the performers, the ESSENTIAL core of volunteers, for donating your time and talents to the cause of stimulating and inspiring our community through these creative efforts. You have helped to save a bridge and now are helping to enrich and inspire a community. The effects of your contribution are long-lasting and deeply felt. Without YOU, none of this would be possible!!!

#26 Q. Anything else I need to know?

DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE!!Although the Sturgeon Bay Police Department is extremely supportive of our efforts, their presence is increased drastically during the festival and THERE IS A ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY FOR DRINKING AND DRIVING, AS WELL AS ANY KIND OF OTHER RECREATIONAL SUBSTANCES (marijuana is not legal in Wisconsin, FYI)!  So just don't do it! Walk, carpool with a designated driver, taxi, etc. Also, please make sure your license plates are current, headlights working, etc. Do FULL AND COMPLETE STOPS! NO JOKE! Do NOT give the police a reason to pull you over! And PLEASE help us to maintain our stellar reputation! Remember, you are a guest as well as an ambassador to Steel Bridge Songfest. We want to maintain a positive image in the community!

#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.