The Festival of Virginia Fiddling is a free annual event showcasing the multicultural variety of fiddling. Visitors can attend several midday workshops hosted by fiddlers from various traditions and enjoy an evening of performances by the same musicians. The festival culminates in a public square dance with live music and a caller.
Performing at the Festival of Virginia Fiddling 2023 are fiddlers from the jazz Romani diaspora, the Scottish American tradition, Old-Time string band music, and multi-style influences. Fiddlers are encouraged to perform in their various contexts with accompanists and traditional dancers. A lifetime achievement plaque will be conferred on an elder in one of Virginia’s fiddling traditions.
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Morning: Informal jamming
WORKSHOPS IN THE TENT
- 12–12:45PM: Gypsy jazz & more
- 12:45–1:30PM: Scottish
- 1:30–2:15PM: Multi-style
- 2:15–3PM: Old-time
3–4:45PM: Sound checks & jamming
CONCERTS ON THE DOGWOOD DELL STAGE
- 5–5:45PM: Dennis Elliott (multi-style)
- 6–6:45PM: New Plank Road String Band (old-time)
- 7–7:45 PM: Rambling Roots with Larry Lyles (Gypsy jazz)
- 8–8:45 PM: John Turner (Scottish)
- 9–10PM: Public square dance with house band and caller
About the Festival
The Festival of Virginia Fiddling, founded in 2020, is an event staffed by volunteers dedicated to uplifting and promoting the myriad and diverse folk fiddling traditions alive in the Commonwealth. The emphasis is on highlighting small but vital pockets of music traditions that would otherwise go unnoticed by the general public.
Staged at Dogwood Dell, an historic outdoor amphitheater, the Festival is backed by the Richmond City Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities, private donations, and in-kind support. In its first two years the Festival has featured the musical traditions of Nordic, Salvadoran Chanchona, Irish, Jewish diaspora, Appalachian Mountain, Black Old-Time, Asian South Indian, and Irish fiddlers. Parks and Recreation estimated over 300 people attended throughout the day in 2021; in 2022, the estimate was over 1000.
Members of the organizing committee of the Festival of Virginia Fiddling are Mike Ford, Mark Campbell, Dan Margolies with Anne Holton serving as honorary chairperson.