Southern Lights was born back in 2019 when Charlie Dykes, the host of Southern Lights: The Search for a Star, got together with a group of people with an idea that would quickly become an incredible opportunity for people all over South Alabama, South Georgia, and Northwest Florida. Some of those same people are involved today including Rebecca Prince, Lesley Hatfield, Miranda Hudson, Amy Dykes, Jamey Faircloth and Aaron Hamilton. The vision was to give people an opportunity to take their talents to a stage to help open doors where they could meet and work with other artist, expand their audience and fanbase, and to even give people an opportunity to perform who may have never really tried to put their talent out there for others to enjoy. The first year we saw performers who had not promoted themselves in the past, they began to setup facebook pages for their talent and really began to expand their horizons. Others were able to get into recording studios that had never done so while others made connections and collaborated with other talent in their genre to come up with some pretty cool projects. That first year was bigger than anyone could have ever imagined. The live event was a show that was incredible for a small stage in Holmes County Florida. The event packed out every night and for most of the performer, this stage was a game changer for them. Several said afterwards that they had never performed on a stage like that and the excitement was real. The second year we faced the challenge of how do we continue through the infamous Covid-19. Everyone still had the excitement and the desire to see the event continue however we had to come up with a way to continue with the event without having a live event. IT was a good year even though everyone was bound to their home due to social distance and recommended quarantine. We simply took the event to an all virtual event which definitely had it’s challenges. We had a significant number of contestants enter of which we hope to see them all enter again this year to be able to fully experience all Southern Lights has to offer.
This year we are bringing it all back. The live event, the contestant interviews, and the online auditions. The audition videos will be accepted through May 31st and those moving forward to the live event will be announced the first part of June. What’s amazing about this year, Chipola College will be hosting this event at the Center for the Arts building which is a state-of-the-art facility. The sound and lighting crews are professionals and will create a stage and a show which EVERYONE needs to be apart of. For those that have just performed in restaurants or small crowds, this stage will be set as if Adele, Adam Lavine, or Tim McGraw was going to show up. This is truly an opportunity of a lifetime. The exposure to multiple record labels, videography and photography professionals, as well as others that have walked down this road and had success, this is an opportunity to not only put yourself out there, but perform in an environment that is all about you taking things to the next level. Southern Lights Productions Inc is a non-profit organization with one goal and mission. We want to give people the opportunity to take their talents to the next level. For some it will be small steps and for others it will launch and inspire their entertainment career. We are focused on the more rural areas because this is “Our Town”, Our Community, and Our People that we see sitting around campfires with a guitar, see performing at local bars and restaurants, hear and see them at church and work and school and we see their talent and know they have what it takes but they just need an opportunity, and this is that opportunity. As always, it’s easy to enter and free to submit your video to be entered into this contest. The only entry fees we ask for are for the live event. We do have financial waivers available for those that financially cannot afford the entry free because we want this to be an opportunity, not something else to stand in their way. The only thing holding someone back from taking advantage of this, is themselves. We open the doors, set the stage, and get ready for some incredibly fun times. If there is one thing that I would like to stress, it would be to encourage that someone you know that has a family friendly talent but may need some encouragement. Your support and encouragement to someone who is looking to expand their horizons could make all the difference. Covid is on the way out, entertainment is on it’s way in, and over $10,000 in prizes is waiting for the winners of this year’s Southern Lights: The Search for a Star.