Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention

After Clifftop, I was going to go home, but why not hit another festival? I headed over to the Old Fiddlers’ Convention in Galax, VA.  These two festivals were pretty different: Clifftop = woodsy camp with small stage in a field & mostly old-time.  Galax (click for lovely photos from VirginiaFolklife.org) = you drive up and see a huge field/parking lot of campers and tents surrounding a stage with stadium seating with a larger variety of music styles from bluegrass to swing.  Plenty of jamming, but like Clifftop, you miss out if you don’t walk around to listen as much as you play.  I met tons of dedicated folks that have been coming to Galax every year and many have already cleared their calendar for next year’s festival. Once again, I LOVE the fact that all ages are playing and competing in the contest and many of the younger players are unbelievably great!  I recorded some of the jams on my phone and have just started to sort through them all.  Since my recordings are a mess, here are some YouTubes to give you an idea (thanks to the folks who posted these on the YouTube site!):

Reuben’s Train jam with flatfoot:

This year they attempted to break the Guiness record for the largest mandolin ensemble:

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