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Fiddle Hell Massachusetts

7 November 2019 - 10 November 2019
All day
Westford Regency

Fiddle Hell Massachusetts is an amazing gathering of fiddlers and other musicians to meet, learn, jam, and have fun.

Our Fifteenth Annual Fiddle Hell will be held on November 7-10, 2019. at the Westford Regency in Westford, Massachusetts. This will be the sixth year in this location for us, with lots of workshop and jam space, plenty of free parking, reasonably priced sleeping rooms, and good food onsite and nearby. We expect 400+ scheduled workshops and jams, plus an epic Saturday night concert and contra dance. Come for the whole 4 days, 3 days, 2 days, or just a day! There will also be at least 12 concerts just for attendees – three per day.

Workshop details and the list of instructors for 2019 are not yet available. However, you can see the workshops from 2018 (just concluded) at http://fiddlehell.org/schedule and the instructors at http://fiddlehell.org/staff. Fiddle Hell instructors, who are experienced and supportive teachers, include an incredible range of wonderful fiddlers, mandolin players, cellists, guitarists, banjo players, and more, covering Bluegrass, Cajun, Cape Breton, French Canadian, Gypsy, Irish, Jazz, Klezmer, New Acoustic, New England, Oldtime Southern, Scottish, Swedish, Swing, Western Swing, and a few other styles. We expect some leaders from 2018 to be back in 2019, and there will be new ones as well in 2019. Stay tuned…

Along with lots of fiddle workshops and many jams, there will be tracks for mandolin, cello, guitar, banjo, and singing.

Our website http://www.fiddlehell.org/ has more information, including logistics, our original list of 52 common tunes (2-CD set available now), a new list of 52 common tunes (2-CD set available now), and jamming guidelines.

The Fiddle Hell room block at the Westford Regency Inn will be available by mid-January. Last year, it sold out by March, so please plan ahead. There’s also a Marriot across the street and the Boxboro Regency. 15 minutes away.

Starting in January, you’ll be able to preregister and prepay for the Fiddle Hell Festival at http://fiddlehell.org/register . This saves you some money for the weekend, and enters you in a prize drawing, but is not required. It’s fine to show up at the event and register for the days you like (even a single day) – or just come to the Saturday night concert. There are discounts for kids, young adults, and seniors, and for non-musicians who attend with their kids or spouses.

The invention of the late, great fiddler Dale Hopkins, Fiddle Hell occurs periodically in fun locations worldwide. Prior Fiddle Hells have occurred in the US, the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany. Fiddle Hell Massachusetts is by far the largest.

In 2018, we had about 600 musicians, 60% fiddlers, at the fourteenth Massachusetts Fiddle Hell, including people from 22 states and 4 foreign countries! In 2019, this amazing gathering starts at 11AM on Thursday and goes until 6PM on Sunday.

Lots of different traditional styles are represented at Fiddle Hell, by fiddlers and other musicians with a variety of experience, which makes it all the more interesting.

Please understand that Fiddle Hell is not for novices who can’t play any tunes yet; it is intended for beginners, intermediates and advanced players. Look for details on levels on http://fiddlehell.org/plan/session-levels . In 2017, we began characterizing intermediate workshops as “low” or “high” intermediate to help you choose. Low intermediate tunes are somewhat simpler, with teaching at a slower pace, and more guidance in jams, compared to high intermediate.

We welcome fiddling kids as well as fiddling adults, and mandolins, violas, cellos, guitars, and banjos as well as fiddles. However, Fiddle Hell has limited space for other musicians; please contact Dave first to ask (via Facebook or through the Contact page at the new website).

We’ll have some very helpful workshops on Thursday afternoon and Friday if you’ve had little experience learning by ear or jamming.

You can order an instructional 2-CD set of the original 52 Fiddle Hell common tunes, played both up-to-tempo and slowly by the Reiner Family Band. This is just $15 postpaid (within the US) at http://fiddlehell.org/store . They’re great tunes, and will help in jamming. In 2016, we introduced a new set of 52 common tunes (suggested by you on FH surveys), some of which were featured in 2018 workshops, and which will expand your fiddling horizons. The Reiner Family Band recorded a 2-CD set of the “New 52” in 2017, and it’s also available at the online store.

Our Fiddle Hell Gathering is loosely sponsored online by the Fiddle and Alternative Strings Forum and the Fiddle Hangout. At these websites, you’ll find discussions, event listings, and other resources; you can join for free and read about past and future Fiddle Hell gatherings.

In addition to this Facebook event, it’s a good idea to join the Facebook group Fiddle Hell Massachusetts to stay informed of Fiddle Hell happenings even if you can’t attend in 2019 https://www.facebook.com/groups/fiddlehellmassachusetts/