23rd April

Here’s an very interesting resource for fiddlers – Prince Edward Island fiddling from Ken Perlman’s collecting:



And on the subject of Ken Perlman and his PEI studies, his new book “Couldn’t Have a Wedding Without the Fiddler: The Story of Traditional Fiddling on Prince Edward Island” is now available from the University of Tennessee Press or Ken himself. 462 pages, includes about 40 photographs and numerous musical examples. $39.95 plus shipping – or try Amazon (I did).



Updated information about Anna Roberts-Gevalt & Elizabeth LaPrelle UK tour
May 2015
7 Guildford, Music Institute Folk Club, www.themusicinstitute.org.uk
8 London, Musical Traditions Club, www.mustradclub.co.uk/ SOLD OUT
9 Orwell Bluegrass Festival, www.orwellbluegrass.co.uk/
10 Dorset, Square & Compass Pub, www.squareandcompasspub.co.uk/
11 Todmorden, private event
12 Liverpool, The Caledonia, www.thecaledonialiverpool.com/ tbc
13 Sheffield, Upstairs at The Shakespeare, www.shakespeares-sheffield.co.uk/
14 Newcastle, Upstairs at The Bridge Hotel
15-16 Fife, Scotland, Fife Traditional Singing Weekend, www.springthyme.co.uk/fifesing/
17 Stockton on Tees, The Waiting Room, the-waiting-room.co.uk/
18 Edinburgh w/Foghorn Stringband, The Traverse, www.traverse.co.uk
19 London, The Green Note www.greennote.co.uk/
20 Kent, The Bowerhouse www.thebowerhouse.info


scrolling picture shows:

website www.annaandelizabeth.com


I am informed that the Thomas House session in Dublin is now all year round, not seasonal. All are welcome to come and play or listen.


Sweety Sunny South poster 2015


WOTMAD Poster 2015

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April 16th

There’s a newly listed session in Berkshire – every 2nd Sunday 2-5pm
Pickin’ Lunchtime @ The Global Cafe, 35-39 London Street, Reading RG1 4PS
Contact Colm Daly 07776373906 or newtchaser@gmail.com


Further to the earlier mention of Rayna Gellert giving workshops and a concert at the Hyde Tavern, Winchester on May 25th, I am informed that the concert part is a ‘donations in the hat (or whatever will pass for the hat)’ event. Workshop details and pricing – see blog for April 2nd.


Sunday 26th April March in “The Barn” at The Three Horseshoes, Towersey, Oxfordshire, OX9 3QY, 01844 212322

The Allen Family Band – a bluegrass and old time music playing family. The latest of a line of Allen Family bands which started in North Carolina in the late 1800’s, moving to Missouri in the 1930’s, New Mexico in the 1940’s, California in the 1960’s and then England.

Tickets £10 : Doors open 7:30pm : Music 8:00pm : Finish 10:15

Reserve tickets by emailing Mark Wallace at musicallymonstrous@talktalk.net


Here’s a request that some of you may be able to help with ( I have already provided some details of the Gainsborough workshops and festival attendances):


My name is Lew Stern. “Brooklynbanjoboy” on BHO. I’d like to ask for your assistance on a project of mine. I am writing a biography of Dwight Hamilton Diller, who as you certainly know is a 68 year-old musician from West Virginia devoted to local traditions of fiddle and banjo music.

After 9 months of work on this, I’m confronted with the reality that Dwight has kept no real systematic records of his teaching work, concerts that he’s played, workshops that he has run.

I’m looking for information on several kinds of activities:

First, Contests: Dwight participated in several of these especially in the 1970s. If you saw him compete I’d like to learn the venue, the dates, what tunes he played, and whether he placed in the contest. Any tape recordings would be very useful, too.

Second, Concerts: Either house concerts or concerts in public venues. Location, dates, who he might have shared the stage with.

Third, Workshops: Banjo (or fiddle) instruction Dwight organized, for from one to four days — the “customary” length of workshops. Who attended, or hosted, where and when?

Fourth, Retreats: Banjo (or fiddle) instruction Dwight organized, for from four to seven or so days. I’d be interested in information from people who attended, or hosted, and can recall where and when.

If you’d be so kind to reply with your name and email, as a second step I’d be interested in reaching out to see whether you’d be prepared to fill out a “questionnaire” exploring things in greater detail.

My email is: brooklynbanjoboy@yahoo.com

I’d be grateful for your assistance. I’d value your contribution.

Lew Stern
120-A Overlook Road
Staunton, VA 24401


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April 9th

Many thanks to those of you who responded to last week’s dulcimer ‘survey’. If you missed it, it’s still there (see below).


Stompin’ Dave Allen – upcoming dates

Fri 17th Apr, The Portico Gallery, West Norwood,
Fri 24th Apr, The Old Ale House, Truro, Cornwall
Tue 28th Apr, The Wrotham Arms Blues and Roots Club, Broadstairs, Kent
Wed 29th Apr, Blues with Bottle Club, The Anchor, London Rd. Sevenoaks, Kent


Old Time Music Day at the Manor House Barn, Warminghurst Park Lane, Ashington, West Sussex RH20 3AW

~ Workshop Schedule ~
12:30 pm – Fiddle #1: Bowing and Double Stops (beg.) / Banjo #1: Old Time Banjo Basics (beg.)
2:00 pm – Guitar: Zen of the “Boom-Chuck”
3:00 pm – Fiddle #2 / Banjo #2 – Tunes, and more Tunes (int.-adv.)
4:30 pm – “Attaining The Groove” (Bringing it all together)

Evening concert with Dana and Susan Robinson, the Muddy Lane String Band and guests


For info, Contact Chris Aggs at chris.aggs@virgin.net


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April 2nd

Rayna Gellert and Jeff Keith will be giving workshops and a concert at the Hyde Tavern in Winchester SO23 7DY on Monday 25th May (bank holiday).

12:00 -1:30 – oldtime fiddle
2:30 – 4:00 – mixed instrumental
5:00 sessions
7:00 – concert

Workshops £25 each or £40 for both (I assume/hope that includes the concert)

Contact Kate Theodore – ktheo1@hotmail.com for further details


Other dates for Rayna (there are likely to be more):

Fri May 29 – The Square & Compass, Worth Matravers BH19 3LF
Sat May 30 – Workshops – Lau-Land, Bristol
Sun May 31 – Lau-Land, Colston Hall, Bristol,
Wed Jun 3 – The Cross Keys, Selattyn SY10 7DH
Wed Jun 10 – House Concert, Edinburgh
Fri Jun 12 – Westport Folk & Bluegrass Festival, Westport, Ireland


The Moniaive Michaelmas Bluegrass Festivel is following the recent trend at bluegrass festivals of having a dedicated Old Time venue.

It takes place from 25th to 27th September and the old time music will be centred around the George Hotel. This has been the scene of many wild old time sessions in the past few years. This year, the main old time act will be the Corn Potato String Band from the USA, featuring Aaron Jonah Lewis, Lindsay McCaw and Ben Belcher. Legs Levens and the Limestone Cowboys from Cumbria will also be performing there.

Check out www.moniaivebluegrass.co.uk for full details of the festival. It’s a great little village in the beautiful Dumfriesshire countryside.


Southern Belle with Vic Wilcox, Sue Mo, Eve Morris & Chris Taylor will be performing at the CICCIC Taunton, April 4th at 7.30pm. Tickets from £7. Book online for cheaper tickets!



Down Trodden String Band news

Tue 24 Mar – Sheffield-Edale Folk Train
Thu 16 Apr – Crookes Folk Club, Sheffield
Sat 25 Apr – Pennine Way Anniversary, Rambler Inn, Edale, S33 7ZA
Fri 12 – Sun 14 Jun – Tamworth Bluegrass Festival
Fri 4 – Sun 6 Sep – Sweet Sunny South, Hastings, TN35 5DR
Mon 14 Dec – Mansfield Folk Club

More details at www.downtrodden.org.uk


The next old time session at the Huntsman Inn in Ide near Exeter – Sunday (Easter), 5th April.


There’s an interesting article published in last week’s The Independent, an arts-focused newspaper in North Carolina. It discusses the work of Bill Ferris, a folklorist at UNC…. “For six decades, folklorist Bill Ferris has broken some of the country’s biggest racial barriers. Now, he’s sharing the South’s story with the world.” Read it at:


The article refers to an online course, “The American South: Its Stories, Music, and Art”
It’s available at: https://www.coursera.org/learn/the-south although I’m not sure if that is something that would be of interest of accessible.


Not oldtime but I guess it could be if you take it there yourself – traditional music sessions running each week in July and August in Achiltibuie, Ullapool in the Scottish Highlands.

Mainly on a Tuesday (one on a Wednesday) with a dance one week so go to www.coigach.com and check out all the events. There is no charge at the door although there is a donation box for those that want to give something.


Having spent the weekend at the Palestine Dulcimer and Old Time festival in Texas surrounded by hundreds of dulcimer players, I am curious to know how popular the mountain/Appalachian/lap dulcimer is in the UK. It cerainly features prominently in our logo.

So here’s a bit of research. It’s for my personal interest although the results summary will be passed on to the FOAOTMAD committee in case they are able to use it to justify a bit of promotion.

I’m specifically after UK & Ireland based responses but elsewhere is fine too. Non-FOAOTMAD members are also welcome to respond.

So, remembering that I’m only interested in mountain/Appalachian/lap dulcimer players here, what I need to know – emailed to info@foaotmad.org.uk – is:

Name (optional – I’ll already have an email from the response)

Home area – in a general form e.g. south west England, County Cork, that sort of thing. I don’t want actual addresses.

1 – I play (a) often (b) sometimes (C) it looks good on the wall

2 – I use (a) tab/numbered frets (b) music notation (c) play by ear (d) a mix

3 – I play mainly (a) oldtime (b) bluegrass (c) folk (d) a mix

4 – I am a member of a dulcimer organisation – yes/no

5 – if yes, what is the organisation name

6 – I am a FOAOTMAD member – yes/no

Thanks, Nick

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March 12th

The Devil Makes Three tour UK & Europe dates


TDM3’s sound is garage-y ragtime, punkified blues, old n’ new timey without settling upon a particular era, inspired as much by mountain music as by Preservation Hall jazz. Or so they say.

Mar 18 Whelan’s, Dublin
Mar 19 Ballyholme Yacht Club, Bangor (County Down)
Mar 20 King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow
Mar 21 The Ruby Lounge, Manchester
Mar 23 The Wardrobe, Leeds
Mar 24 The Rainbow, Birmingham
Mar 25 Bierkeller, Bristol
Mar 26 Scala, London
Mar 28 AB Club, Brussels
Mar 30 Paradiso, Amsterdam
Mar 31 Luxor, Cologne
Apr 02 Knust, Hamburg
Apr 03 Postbahnhof, Berlin
Apr 04 Conne Island, Leipzig
Apr 05 Strom, Munich
Apr 07 Albani Club, Winterthur
Apr 08 Social Club, Paris


Friday 27th March
Rachel Eddy – in “The Barn” at The Three Horseshoes, Towersey, Oxfordshire, OX9 3QY, 01844 212322

Tickets £10
Doors open 7:30pm : Music 8:00pm : Finish 10:15

Reserve tickets by emailing Mark Wallace at

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March 5th

Wednesday 11th March
Woody Pines – In “The Barn” at The Three Horseshoes, Towersey, Oxfordshire, OX9 3QY, 01844 212322

Tickets £10 : Doors open 7:30pm : On Stage 8:00pm : Finish by 10:15
Reserve tickets by emailing Mark Wallace at musicallymonstrous@talktalk.net


Wednesday 1st April
The Helen Highwater Stringband

Shad Cobb – fiddle & vocals; Mike Compton – mandolin & vocals; David Grier – guitar & vocals; Missy Raines – bass & vocals. Forging their own path in Bluegrass, Stringband, Blues, And Acoustic Music. Prior to a weeks teaching bluegrass at “Sorefingers” the band will be playing a small number of concerts including this one for Musically Monstrous Promotions.

The Bullingdon Arms, 162 Cowley Rd, Oxford OX4 1UE
Tickets £13 in advance or £15 on the door
Doors open 7:00pm : Music 8:00pm : Finish 10:30
Reserve tickets by emailing Mark Wallace at musicallymonstrous@talktalk.net


Dates for Spring and Summer Camps at Sacrewell:

Spring – Friday 22nd May – Monday 25th May
Summer – Friday 7th August – Sunday 16th August


Sore Fingers Week is now close to capacity with just a few tent spaces left. As these classes were only added lately bookings are still invited for:

Rachel Eddy – Old Time Fiddle
Bill Whelan – Old Time Banjo

If you’ve been sitting on that booking, then stand up and send it without delay. The final deadline is March 12th, 2015.

No need to call or email, send in the completed booking form ( http://sorefingers.co.uk/booking.php ), preferably as an email attachment, to moira@sorefingers.co.uk and she’ll let you know if they can accommodate you on your choice of course and accommodation (Either Tent or Off Site with meal preferences.)

Please note, they will not deduct any booking fees until we have confirmed your place.

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February 12 th

From Kate Lissauer:

If you’ve always wanted to have an affordable holiday in Spain, AND you’ve always wanted to learn or improve on a musical instrument, learn to dance, or sing with friends, this is the perfect opportunity. La Fuente learning holidays are fun, relaxing, friendly weeks in a pristine and beautiful environment, shared with great teachers and a small group of like-minded people.

The next holiday in May 23-30, 2015, and offers classes in American traditional fiddle, banjo, guitar, beginners’ instrumental, percussive step-dance, Warnick Method jamming, and group singing! The teachers will be Dave Bing, Ben Townsend, Kate Lissauer, Rose Ardron, Johnny Whelan, and Sibs Riesen. We have several places remaining on this course.

The next course after that will be September 26-October 3, 2015, featuring Beverly Smith and John Grimm, among others! You can enrol on either course at any time.

We have a new website, so please pay a visit. www.lafuenteholidays.com You’ll find more information there, including enrolment. You can also contact Kate Lissauer at any time via kate@katelissauer.com with any questions.


The session at The Castle, 15 Grosvenor Rise East, Walthamstow, London E17 9LB is changing day (or rather evening as it starts at 8pm). It will now be on the 3rd Monday of the month. More details from Paul Warner pr.warner27@gmail.com or 07990737539

Flyer here: The Castle session

The Sweet Sunny South festival details are available. 4th to 6th September in Hastings. Featuring Debby McClatchy, Kitchen Pickers and Alice Wylde.

Download the poster here: SWEET SUNNY SOUTH POSTER 2015

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February 5th


Electronic tickets via Paypal or (immediate) Bank Transfer – Wednesday 11th, evening

By post (assuming you use first class post) – Tuesday 10th

(Gainborough programme details are given further down)


Foghorn Stringband – Ireland & UK tour

8 – 10 May Fiddle Fair, Baltimore, Co. Cork
13 May Linenhall, Castlebar Co. Mayo
15 May Glens Centre, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim
16 May – Sold Out – The Red Room, Cookstown, N.I.
17 May The CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow
18 May Traverse Theatre Bar, 10 Cambridge Street, Edinburgh EH1 2ED
20 May Cluny2 Theatre – Jumpin Hot Club, 36 Lime Street, Newcastle, NE1 2PQ
21 May The Caledonia, 22 Caledonia St, Liverpool L7 7DX
22 May Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG
23 May Cajun Barn – King Charles Church Hall, 3 Warwick Park, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 5TA
24 May The Three Horseshoes, Chinnor Road Towersey OX9 3QY



American singer, banjo and fiddle player Jeff Davis will join England’s Brian Peters for a UK tour in May, featuring performances of ‘Sharp’s Appalachian Harvest’, a hit at Gainsborough in 2013. The show tells the story of English songhunter Cecil Sharp’s search for old songs and tunes in the Southern Appalachians almost 100 years ago, in music, narrative and image, with banjo, fiddle, guitar and mandolin. Brian and Jeff will also be performing conventional concerts at several other venues.

May Dates (SAH denotes Sharp’s Harvest):
15th: The Milkmaid, Bury St. Edmunds (SAH)
17th: Walthamstow Folk Club
18th: Harrison Bar, London (tbc)
19th: Dartford Folk Club
20th: Llantrisant Folk Club
22nd: Silver Street Sessions, Wiveliscombe (SAH)
23rd: Chippenham Folk Festival (SAH and concerts)
25th: Chester Festival (SAH and concert)
27th: The Sage, Gateshead (SAH)
28th: Black Swan Folk Club, York (SAH)
31st: Square Chapel Arts Centre, Halifax (SAH)

Full details at www.brian-peters.co.uk.


Taunton’s Southern Belle appear at the Creative Innovation Centre on Saturday April 4th



Gainsborough programme – subject to change
Further details when you get there – so don’t ask!

Friday concert (from 7:30)
Little Hoedown
A & E String Band
Legs Levens
Erynn Marshall & Carl Jones
Howard Rains & Tricia Spencer
followed by a contra/square dance

Saturday concert from 7:30
Roger Jackson with Old Time Harmonies Workshop
Acorn Shakers
Jason & Pharis Romero
Howard Rains & Tricia Spencer
Erynn Marshall & Carl Jones

Saturday 9.30 – 11.00
Legs Levens – Appalachian step clogging
Emily Poole & Andrew Henley – Intermediate Banjo: tunes and tunings
Su Mo – Beginners banjo
Erynn Marshall -Southern old time fiddling
Carl Jones – Mandomazing
11.30 – 1.00
Issy Emeney – Freestyle Flatfooting
Emily Poole & Andrew Henley – Beginners fiddle
Roger Jackson – Singing – old time harmonies
Howard Rains & Tricia Spencer – Weird tunes of old texas
Andy Quelch – banjo
Steve Wise – ukulele
Little Hoedown – group playing

Film – “Sprout Wings and Fly”
2.00 – 3.30
Acorn Shakers – tunes in the key of D
Erynn Marshall & Carl Jones – the life and music of Melvin Wine
Su Mo – healthy ways to improve your stringed instrument technique
3.30 – 4.30
Roger Jackson – Singing – old time harmonies
Howard Rains & Tricia Spencer – Texas tune jam
4.00 – 5.30 (approx)
Open Mic
4.30 – 5.30
Little Hoedown – slow jam

Sunday 10.00 – 11.00
Legs Levens – Appalachian step clogging
11.00 – 12.30
Issy Emeney – Freestyle flatfooting
Cath & Phil Tyler – Sacred Harp singing
Erynn Marshall & Carl Jones – rhythm & repertoire
Howard Rains & Tricia Spencer – fiddle chording
Eric Charpentier – making and setting up fiddles
Acorn Shakers – slow jam
Emily Smith & Andy Quelch – fiddle tunes accompanied by guitar


Stompin’ Dave upcoming performances in various combinations (including Bluegrass and Rock n Roll)
For more info please visit www.stompinstore.com

Fri. 6th Feb. The Talking Heads, Southampton, Hampshire
Sat. 7th Feb. London Remix Festival
Fri. 27th Feb. The Dolphin Hotel, St. Deny’s, Hampshire
Sun. 1st Mar. Durnovaria, Dorchester, Dorset
11th-13th Mar. in Cheltenham and surrounding area
Thu. 26th Mar. Sunray Folk Club, Broadmayne, Dorset
Sat. 4th Apr. Green Note, London
Fri. 24th Apr. The Old Ale House, Truro, Cornwall
Tue. 28th Apr. The Wrotham Arms Blues and Roots Club, Broadstairs, Kent
Wed. 29th Apr. Blues with Bottle Club, The Anchor, Sevenoaks, Kent
Thu. 30th Apr. The Lighthouse, Walmer, Deal, Kent
23rd-24th May, River Cottage May Fair, Dorset (mornings)
Sun. 24th May, Ashburton Blues Festival, Devon
Fri. 29th May, Fire In The Mountain Festival, WALES



Elizabeth Laprelle and Anna Roberts-Gevalt are coming over to the UK in May. Tour details are currently rather basic but it’s a start:

7 Guildford
8 London
9 Orwell Festival
10 Dorset
11 Todmorden
12 Liverpool
13 Sheffield
14 Newcastle
15 Fife, Scotland
16 Fife, Scotland
17 Stockton on Tees
18 Traverse Theatre Bar, 10 Cambridge Street, Edinburgh EH1 2ED with Foghorn Stringband
19 London
20 Kent
22 Baltimore, Ireland
23-26 Ireland, tba


South West Lakes Trust presents the 1st South West American Old-Time Music Gathering. 10th to 12th July 2015, Burrator Reservoir on Dartmoor Devon PL20 6PE

Camping in tents on site. Main Parking area and RV’s and Camper van site only 3 min walk from the main site. Sorry no hookups available

Please note that the site will ONLY be available from mid-afternoon on the Friday

Toilets and drinking water available on site. Plenty of sheltered cover including two marquees.
Workshops, Dance displays, Bush craft demonstrations. Saturday evening concert. Central Campfire.

On site Bar from Friday evening to Sunday lunchtime serving the best local beers and ciders. On site catering, breakfasts and more. Special hog roast for the Saturday evening.

Advance booking is essential as there will be a limited number of tickets.

Weekend ticket includes camping £20, Family ticket (2 adults & 2 children) £50, Day ticket only for Saturday £8

Queries: oldtime.gathering@appaloosasmusic.com

Booking/Tickets 01566 771930 or www.swlakestrust.org.uk/book

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January 29th

Gainsborough ticketing should now be back in action. Thank you for your patience.

In response to several enquiries, there is no reservation option for camper vans. There’s a reasonable amount of space (the school field) available as long as the weather doesn’t play havoc with it.

And yes I do know the poster from the last entry has the wrong year on it!


The Littlest Birds are a nationally touring cello and banjo duo from the Eastern Sierra of California featuring David Huebner on cello and Sharon Martinson on clawhammer banjo. Together since 2010 they’ve taken their unique Americana sound across 34 U.S. States, and Canada and now they are coming to Europe.

Wed 29th Apr Stag and Hounds, 74 Old Market Street, Bristol BS2 0EJ
Fri 1st May Spilsby Theatre, Lincolnshire
Sun 3rd May (afternoon) Union Chapel, Islington, London

Any sensibly located suggestions for Saturday 2nd May gratefully received (not sure if Thursday 20th is also open). Contact them on info@littlestbirds.net



There’s a new old time session on the FOAOTMAD website for Buckinghamshire. Its at The Swan, Great Kimble,HP17 9TR. Its the first Monday evening of the month, contact 01844 238203.


The Big Appalachian – invitation to an Appalachian music and dance weekend in Durham, UK Saturday 27th Sunday 28th June 2015.


Step This Way Appalachian dancers and the Bones Creek Band would like to invite Appalachian dance teams and musicians to take part in a weekend of music and dance in Durham in June 2015. We would like to showcase old time American music and dance and would like your team to join us! Durham’s historic city centre market place attracts large numbers of shoppers and tourists all the year round and is an ideal venue for outdoor performing (see the photo below of Step This Way and the Bones Creek Band performing in Durham market place in 2012).

If your team would like to be part of this event we would like to know whether you would like to perform on one day or both. There is no cost to you apart from your own travel and accommodation.

The performances will be out of doors unless the weather is wet in which case we will have a number of pubs lined up for indoor dancing. We will have a venue for musicians to meet up and play together and will organise a venue on the Saturday night for all teams to meet up and dance/play music.

Details of parking in the city and accommodation will be posted to teams in advance of the weekend. Dance boards can be shared amongst teams if required.

We very much hope you and your dancers/musicians will come along for this exciting weekend and look forward to hearing from you.


So Last Century Stringband gigs:

2 Feb Brighton Acoustic Club The Lord Nelson, 36 Trafalgar St, BN1 4ED Get there early for a comfy sofa!
6 Feb Seaford Folk Club Legion House, Claremont Road, Seaford BN25 2BJ



Saturday 7th February
TAPPALACHIAN are performing in the interval slot at Haddenham Ceilidh. Come and enjoy a lively evening of dance, music and song. Doors open 7.15pm. Further information on www.haddenhamceilidhs.co.uk


Saturday 21st February
UK AUTOHARPS are running an Autoharp Day at Pattishall Primary School, Northants NN12 8NE from 10am to 6pm. We offer a full day of workshop tuition for complete beginners to advanced players. Loaner harps will be available. For programme information and booking details visit ukautoharps.org.uk


Tuesday 10th Feb – Pharis & Jason Romero
Down-home sounds from the backwoods of British Columbia – In “The Barn” at The Three Horseshoes
Towersey, Oxfordshire, OX9 3QY, 01844 212322

Tickets £10 : Doors open 7:30pm : On Stage 8:00pm : Finish by 10:15
Reserve tickets by emailing Mark Wallace at musicallymonstrous@talktalk.net

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Gainsborough Festival

Well, time to focus your minds on the forthcoming festival which takes place from 13th to 15th February at Queen Elizabeth’s High School, Morton Terrace, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, DN21 2ST

For FOAOTMAD members only – the Annual General Meeting of the Society will take place on the Sunday morning. As usual we hope that as many members as possible will attend. Committee positions for Chairman, Treasurer,Publicity Officer and Dance Representative will be open for election (the current encumbents will not be standing for re-election) so get thinking about your committments or lean heavily on someone you know who might be interested in taking on one of those roles. Nominations will be accepted up to midday on the Saturday or a nomination form can be downloaded here:Committee Nomination form 2015 Any matters for discussion to be raised with the Secretary – address details are on the nomination form or by email to secretary@foaotmad.org.uk to be received by Wednesday Feb 11th.

As mentioned in last week’s blog – for technical reasons it will not be possible to process further advance tickets until Tuesday 27th, That shouldn’t stop you applying but you won’t get the normal turnaround. And please, if you are applying by post, don’t forget the all important stamped addressed envelope that we ask for on the booking forms. Tickets will also be available on the day although pre-booking helps with planning. There is no facility to pay by card – cash or cheques only please!

Here is the poster and it is followed by all sorts of useful information for attendees:

Gainsborough 2015

And now for the more mundane stuff:

As usual we point out that there is supposedly no admission to the school site until 5:30 (it’s a school request!). It is amazing how many people are unable to tell the time… Even the organizers will only be there a few minutes before you! Please time your journey there to suit or explore the revitalised centre of Gainsborough for a while. Or there’s always Tesco’s cafe!!

Dogs are not allowed – again it’s a ‘school thing’.

For those of you who haven’t been before, there are evening concerts on the Friday and Saturday, a wide range of workshops on Saturday and Sunday morning and opportunities to perform in an Open Mic situation. There are also seemingly never-ending sessions around the school although around 1am you will be moved out of the main school area to allow the security systems to be activated. At that point those late night musicians will end up in the changing rooms.

There is food available through most of the weekend and also a bar but you are welcome to bring your own. Showers – admittedly basic – are available in the school sports changing areas.

There will be FOAOTMAD T-shirts ( a limited stock) and logo-embroidered baseball caps for sale. Also copies of banjo & fiddle tutors by Mary Gordon and Hilary Dirlam. Space permitting there will be copies of Clare Milliner & Walt Koken’s mighty tome ‘American Fiddle Tunes’. Many of the guest artists will be selling cds and there are likely to be sales of musical instruments (mainly banjos?). Bring your wallet – although there is no cash machine facility on site and you’ll have to nip down into town for the bank!

Gainsborough is NOT well supplied for accommodation. Many people take advantage of the FREE camping – outside in tents for the hardy or inside on the communal gymnasium floor. Note that tents and shelters are not allowed inside, just bedding and camp beds. February can be cold so be prepared and also consider bringing earplugs to counteract the snorers if that sort of thing affects you.

There is space for caravans and motorhomes but no hook-ups. Again this is free. Parking for cars and large vehicles is at a premium so please take note of any instructions you may be given about where to leave your car or van. Generally, large vans go on the school field to the far left of the entrance and smaller vans may be directed to use an area beyond the sixth form carpark which is at the southern end of the site, nearest the town.

For those wishing to get B & B, the Tourist Information Centre can be contacted at 01427 676666 or try www.visitlincolnshire.com or use your favourite search engine on the internet.

Gainsborough has two train stations, the Central Station, logically near the centre, and Lea Road which is just over a mile further south. The school is a little under 1 mile north of the centre on the Scunthorpe road.

Buying tickets may be done by through our website www.foaotmad.org.uk using Paypal or electronic banking using the details available there or by downloading a form and sending a cheque. E-tickets or a receipt will be supplied as soon as possible (see above). Current FOAOTMAD members (and current members of the BBMA) are entitled to a discount – bring your membership cards to show when you arrive! You can always join on arrival to take advantage of the reduction (but join first). Pre-booked receipts will be exchanged for a wristband on arrival.

Booking in advance is not essential but it certainly helps the organisers and caterers in their planning.

Finally, please be aware that the Festival is run by volunteers and some of us spend large amounts of time throughout the year to give you what we hope is a great weekend. The organisers only get the benefit of seeing the festival run well and people enjoying themselves. It can seem to be a thankless task at times. Also we are on a limited budget which we prefer to spend mainly on the artists, so we don’t necessarily have all the little luxuries you might think you deserve. Please don’t be offended if we say ‘sorry, it’s just not possible’.

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