SEARCHING FOR YOUR CREATIVE COMMUNITY?

If you are like many people, you are craving connection more than ever right now. After a two year pandemic, there is nothing I can imagine more healing than sharing music with friends around a campfire! If you were at our first retreat in Oct 2019, you know that the outpouring of love, appreciation and excitement that was generated from that event was almost overwhelming! I can barely find words to express HOW incredibly magical and transformative this weekend was for people!

Our March 2022 event has been cancelled due to COVID. However, we are ECSTATIC to announce that we are offering a SUMMER CAMP 2022 INSTEAD! WHEEEE!! We hope you join us for this incredible time ahead as we once again reconnect with each other through music, creativity, joy and fun – this time under the stars at an amazing creative arts farm in Oregon with all of your friends, old and new!

Our camp is being held at a gorgeous creative arts farm in near St. Helens, OR . See below for info on accommodations. All workshops and most events will be held outside or in an indoor/outdoor ventilated space on the stunning property This is a chance to still connect in a much safer and relaxed event. So we hope to see you there with is this Summer!

SUMMER DATES
June 30th – July 3rd, 2022

Registration Update: We have officially sold out of all normal tickets! We are selling just 5 more additional tickets which include everything (all workshops, food, etc) except a guaranteed performance slot at our open mic night (you will be added to waitlist if there is room). There will be other opportunities to perform your songs at our campfire! If you want all of the amazing joy of the event without that needed, then sign up now as these won’t last!

COVID REGISTRATION GUIDELINES
UPDATE: Due to a decline in covid numbers and an almost full retreat, we have decided to open the remaining registration to all participants, regardless of vaccine status. (80% or more of the event participants will be vaccinated). Everyone will require a negative PCR test within 48 hours of the retreat ( we will post resources for RAPID PCR testing leading up to the event). And possibly a take-home antigen test day of event. We will continue to update as things evolve.

Thanks, and see you ’round the campfire!

Warmly,
Robin Jackson, Retreat Director

SUMMER SONGWRITER SOIREE RETREAT

JUNE 30TH – JULY 3RD, 2022

ABOUT THE RETREAT

What began in 2009 as a monthly living room potluck, has turned into one of the largest communities of songwriters and lovers of music in the Pacific Northwest! This event is not a typical “songwriting retreat.” The Soiree is a place for ANYONE to enjoy the art and craft of songwriting, to learn music, and to enjoy community and connection! We hope you will become a member of our community and join our semi-annual retreat.

What makes the soiree so special is the music, yes…and even more, it’s the PEOPLE! Our mission is to support songwriters of all skill levels and genres, create an inspiring and supportive experience, and provide a safe space where individuals can express themselves through music and storytelling.

Whether you are a songwriter yet or not, this event is for you! Yes, it’s a songwriting retreat. And it’s also a creative arts and community retreat. The retreat provides an opportunity to learn the craft of songwriting, to develop and expand musical skills, and to commune and share with others, yourself, and nature, in an intimate and connected way. 

The focus of the retreat is on the SHARING aspect. In addition to the AMAZING songwriting and music workshops offered, the main event is an open mic session each night wherein participants share songs they have written, or are working on…followed by all night campfire jams!

Also note that sharing a song or writing a song isn’t required at all. How you participate is up to you! Just listen, bring your presence, give feedback, relax, learn and enjoy!

All of this magic is set in a location that provides an environment conducive to creativity, support and relaxation!


“You could not ask for a more receptive, listening and encouraging audience to play for! It was so inspiring to see some people who had never played or performed before, or played anything before, to allow themselves to get up and be vulnerable and show themselves….The whole experience was something special!” — Gabriella C.

“It was transformative…if you have the opportunity
to go, I really encourage you to do it. It’s a wonderful
gift to yourself and your own creative soul.”
— Elenor O.


What’s Included

This is the heart of the soiree. Each night we will gather together in an intentional and supportive space, to share original songs. Participants are encouraged to talk about the process!

Songwriting Workshops

We are over the moon excited to have some amazing regionally recognized and talented teachers, performers and mentors join us. We will be offering daily workshop choices in all aspects of songwriting including lyricism, arranging, storytelling, form, musicality and more! All levels.

Music, Performance, and Creativity Workshops

Whether you are a professional or don’t identify as a “musician,” We have lots of dynamic ways you can participate and learn! Want to learn how to play the ukulele or guitar or just sing in a group? This retreat is for ANYONE who wants to be creative or just enjoy the community vibes. We will be offering workshops on circle singing, vocal improv, drumming, beginning guitar, ukulele, music performance, confidence and more!

Yoga and Dance

Begin each day with an optional, inspiring led yoga class taught by one of our renowned teachers, and an ecstatic dance on Sunday!

Group Connection and Play

Part of what makes the soiree unique is the safe, supportive and connected space we create. We will be taking some time to get to know each other (just like Summer camp!) and offer some fun, connecting activities to make the weekend even more awesome. Optional, yet encouraged!

Reflection Time/Hiking/Fun

We came here to relax, right?! Take the time YOU need to unwind, be still and let inspiration find you. We will provide lots of free time and space for reflection, hiking and connection with other activities. The property offers hiking trails, big starry skies, a stream for light bathing, and a serene and meditative nature experience!

Food and Accommodation at a Creative Arts Farm in NW Oregon!

For our first ever outdoor Summer Camp, we are stoked to be at an amazing newly formed creative arts farm, located near St Helen’s Oregon! This private, peaceful and isolated farm boasts 20 acres of wild woods, open fields, and a luscious stream through the whole property! The farm offers a large, state of the art indoor/outdoor gathering space, open fields for camping, a few private bunkhouses, and a retreat house w a kitchen and space for sleeping for those who need indoor beds! There is lots of space for yoga, dance and performing!

Accommodations will be mostly camping in your own tents or RVs/trailers in our big camping field. We also have a very limited amount of private rooms and guest cabins available all which include bedding. These can be rented for an additional cost. First come first serve so sign up now if you want one. Please inquire for more info when you register.

All food is included! Enjoy three nutritious and healthy home cooked meals a day, as well as 24 hour snacks, coffee, tea and other refreshments always available in the main lodge. The kitchen staff is friendly to all dietary needs including vegan, GF, Kosher, etc. And has different sections of the kitchen devoted to each! How awesome is that!

For more photos on the facility please click here.


I had wondered, as a non-singer, non-songwriter, and non-musician, what I could possibly get from this weekend. And, I got a lot. Songwriting was just the vehicle for the retreat’s true purpose: this was a creativity retreat! That’s something worthwhile even for someone whose only instrument is the kazoo.”

— Avi Kindle

“I came to the retreat curious about how this might further inspire my fledgling songwriting. When I arrived, I felt excited but also nervous, what was I doing here?! I was warmly welcomed and immediately felt at ease. The entire weekend was full of authentic connection and beautiful expression. I left feeling more open, expansive, inspired and supported. I couldn’t have asked for a better audience to share with for the first time!”

— Maria Veltman


WHAT YOU’LL TAKE AWAY FROM THE WEEKEND

• Songwriting tools and tips
• Creative confidence
• New skills in music
• New friends and connections
• Magic
• Soothing time in nature
• A feeling of relaxation and peace
• A new song!


ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE INFO FOR SUMMER RETREAT

Check in is Thursday, June 30th between 4-7pm. Dinner is at 7pm followed by opening circle and orientation. We ask you be on site by 6:45pm at the latest. If you need to make arrangements for a late arrival please contact us.

Check out is Sunday, July 3rd at 3:30pm after closing circle (guests asked to be off land by 4:30pm).

You will immediately get more information on arrival/departure, schedule and accommodations after you register.


PRICING AND REGISTRATION INFO

We SO look forward to having you join us for this truly magical weekend! Your tuition includes all facilities, accommodations, workshops and food – Everything for just $550! And we are offering a discounted ticket price for people ready to sign up now!

Registration Update: We have officially sold out of all normal tickets! We are selling just 5 more additional tickets which include everything (all workshops, food, etc) except a guaranteed performance slot at our open mic night (you will be added to waitlist if there is room). There will be other opportunities to perform your songs at our campfire!. If you want all of the amazing joy of the event without that needed, then sign up now as these won’t last!


COVID REGISTRATION GUIDELINES

UPDATE: Due to a decline in covid numbers and an almost full retreat, we have decided to open the remaining registration to all participants, regardless of vaccine status. (80% or more of the event participants will be vaccinated). Everyone will require a negative PCR test within 48 hours of the retreat ( we will post resources for RAPID PCR testing leading up to the event). And possibly a take-home antigen test day of event. We will continue to update as things evolve.

Cancellation Policy: For new tickets purchased for the Summer Camp after Feb 9th, we offer a full refund up to May 10th, minus a $50 cancellation fee. No refunds given after May 10th. Exceptions may be made if someone on the waiting list or someone not already registered can take your spot. We also may offer credit. There will be a $25 admin fee applied for transfers. If the retreat is cancelled by The Soiree or the venue due to COVID safety concerns, we will offer 100% of your credit to any future event (does not expire).

We have a limited amount of work trade and scholarships available. If interested, please contact us


Make a difference in someone’s life and donate to the scholarship program!

Not everyone is able to afford the soul enriching creative experience that we offer. To that end, part of the mission of the NW Songwriter Soiree Retreat is to make the retreat as inclusive as possible, regardless of financial ability. We offer options for work trade and low income tickets funded by our scholarship program. The funds available in our scholarship program are determined by donations made from individual donors as well as funds offered by the retreat. The more donations we have, the more people we can offer scholarships to!

If you want to help someone attend please consider making a donation. Your funds will go directly towards paying for someone’s ticket!

Any amount helps at all! Even $10!

Your name will be included in the gift when they receive it, unless you wish to remain anonymous, in which case please indicate that in the note under the donation.

It takes a village, thank you for your generosity!


WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING


SAFER SPACE POLICY

The organizers of the NW Songwriter Soiree Retreat recognizes that oppression is real and that some of us (white people) reap unequal benefits from a legacy of privilege. 

We believe that anytime people gather and hold space, it is a powerful opportunity to acknowledge and shift the ways oppressive systems harm and disconnect us from ourselves, from each other, and from the earth. We see it as a necessity in order for growth and transformation to take place.

We recognize that there are people in bodies which are marginalized. We aspire to co-create a space that is as safe as possible for all people, with the understanding that a fully safe space is impossible in our world. People of all races, sizes, ages, cultural backgrounds, gender identities, sexual orientations, trauma backgrounds, and religions are welcome. Intentional words and actions that promote racism, misogyny, hatred, bigotry, supremacy, sizeism, transphobia, ageism, or divisiveness will not be tolerated and will constitute expulsion from the retreat. 

It’s impossible to walk away not feeling loved, supported, and inspired! I feel welcomed into a community that has lovely altered the course of my entire life!

— Erin Chmela