Below are details of some of the events taking place this year in chronological order. Dates and bands have not been confirmed by all the festivals and anything we’ve listed here may change at short notice – so check the event websites for up to date information.
Driving directions to these events can be obtained through our festival map – individual links are provided alongside each listing below.
If you are running an event that should be listed here, please let us know about it.
London Old-time and Bluegrass Week
May 5th – 11th 2011
This is a week of bluegrass and old-time related activities throughout the capital, including gigs, workshops, dance displays, jams and more. This is not a centrally organised event, but rather an umbrella title for all bluegrass and old-time events happening in the greater London area between these dates. Bands performing include A Band Like Alice, The Coal Porters, The Jolenes and The Wagon Tales.
The Wharf Bluegrass Weekend
May 6th – 8th 2011
This event is held at the Stoke Prior Sports and Country Club near Bromsgrove. A weekend of picking, listening and drinking is on offer, with plans for an open mic and concerts. Workshops for singing, mandolin, banjo and guitar will also take place.
Orwell Bluegrass Festival
May 13th – 15th 2011
This Ipswich-based festival takes place at the Hallow Tree Camp Ground with showers, restaurants and other quality camping facilities.
There will be concerts on all three days, plus workshops and open mic opportunities. Amongst the many bands appearing are New Essex Bluegrass Band, Jaywalkers, Percy Copley and The Hillbilly Hiccups and ‘Andsome and Some.
Bath Bluegrass-Americana Festival
May 19th – 21st 2011
A celebration of bluegrass and related music held throughout the city of Bath and neighbouring villages. Bands booked to appear include Tennessee’s Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike, and local acts The Scoville Units and Thunderbridge Bluegrass Boys. Other activities including film showings, school workshops and dance performances will also take place during the weekend.
Coastline Bluegrass Event
June 3rd – 5th 2011
This year, Coastline moves to the new venue of Bryn Ffanigl Ganol Farm, near Llanddulas – which provides “an area of landscape beauty” just 5 minutes from the A55. Sweden’s G2 are headlining, with Scottish bands Longway and Home Made Jam also on the bill. There are workshops, an open mic and plentiful opportunities for sessions. The campsite offers all the facilities you’ll need including showers, catering and a bar.
Bluegrass by the Lake Picking Weekend
June 17th – 19th 2011
This picking weekend will take place at the Llangorse Lake Caravan Park near Llangorse, Breconshire.
The hosts, Black Mountain Bluegrass, have secured a private self-contained field which includes toilets, showers and electric hookups and is available for both tents and caravans. This is a small, friendly event where everyone is welcome to join in no matter your level of ability. With no concerts, just plenty of jams, this is great way to get involved for those just starting out.
Admission is free, though there is a small charge for camping. Pitches can be booked through the caravan park but please mention you’re booking for the bluegrass event or they’ll put you in the wrong field!
East Anglian Bluegrass Festival
June 24th – 26th 2011
This festival takes place in the village of Steeple Morden near Cambridge with camping in the grounds of the hall and catering available over the course of the weekend.
The main concert will feature Grass Roots supported by The Dude Coopers, The Old Grey Dogs and Dennis & Katherine Schut. The Friday night will include a youth concert, promoting young bluegrass musicians and bands. Workshops, jams and a Sunday gospel session are also on offer.
North Wales Bluegrass Festival
June 30th – July 3rd 2011
This festival is held within the town of Conwy on the north Wales coast. The campsite is on the town’s cricket ground and has toilets, catering and a bar. Some concerts and workshops take place on the campsite but most of the gigs are held at the town hall, about 10 minutes walk away.
This year’s line up includes G-Runs and Roses of the Czech Republic, plus British bands Chill Until Blue, The Down County Boys, The Morris Boys and Chris Moreton.
Yorkshire Dales Picking Weekend
July 15th – 17th 2011
This event, held at Dales Bank Farm near Silsden, has been running for a number of years. Aimed at pickers, this is a weekend of jamming and socialising. This year it will also feature a small concert of local bands on the Saturday night, including Limited Edition, Union Central, Bluegrass Buddies and Dalebilly.
Guildtown Bluegrass Festival
July 29th – August 1st 2011
The festival takes place in the small village of Guildtown near Perth, Scotland and is held in the village hall. Camping is available on the village green and campers can use the hall for washing, cooking and toilets and the local shop.
The line-up includes Wayne Taylor and Appaloosa from the USA, G-Runs and Roses from the Czech Republic, plus Scottish bands Longway, Goldrush, Dapper McDans, Home Made Jam and The Moonshiners.
Surrey Mini Bluegrass Festival
August 6th – 7th 2011
This is a low-key weekend held in Mickleham near Dorking. There is picking throughout the weekend with concerts on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. There is no camping on-site but there is plenty of accommodation in the local area.
Acts include The Thrifts, Pete Stanley, Chris Moreton, Wood Wire & Words, Howard Burton & Joe Tozer, Ghost Town Showdown, Buffalo and surprise guests.
Appleby Bluegrass Day
August 29th 2011
Held in the village of Appleby Magna, the day will include beginner/intermediate workshops in guitar, banjo, mandolin and fiddle, followed by a slow jam to allow everyone a chance to air their new found skills and an evening concert with some great British bluegrass bands. Anyone wishing to turn up just for picking sessions is also welcome.
Kentucky to Kent UK Bluegrass Day
August 29th 2011
This one day event takes place each year on the August Bank Holiday at St Julians Club, Sevenoaks, Kent. It involves workshops, a barn dance and a concert, with picking sessions throughout the day. Acts performing include Pete Stanley, The Rustic Ramblers and The Kent Carters.
Didmarton Bluegrass Festival
September 1st – 4th 2011
This festival is one of the more large-scale events on the bluegrass calendar and is held at Kemble Airfield, near Cirencester. Concerts are held on two stages and there is also plenty of picking with jams taking place in the field, in the bar or round the camp fire at night. The bar facilities are run by OGRI motorcycle club with real ale and cider a speciality. Several different catering outlets are on-site as well as a range of stalls.
US bluegrass will be represented by Chris Stuart and Backcountry and The Hot Seats, whilst British acts include The Coal Porters, The Carrivick Sisters, A Band Like Alice and a lot more to be confirmed. A special Thursday night concert (separately priced) will feature Matthew and The Atlas and The Scoville Units.
Appalachian and Bluegrass Music Festival
September 2nd – 4th 2011
One of the largest bluegrass festivals in Europe, this event is held at the Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh in Northern Ireland. It features acts from all across the globe plus the usual picking sessions and workshops. This year’s line-up includes Dailey and Vincent from the USA.
Gower Bluegrass Festival
September 9th – 11th 2011
This event is held at the Gower Heritage Centre, near Swansea and features concerts and workshops. Bands will include The Down County Boys, Whiskey River, The Knockdown Boys, Roots and Galoots and Half Cut Grass.
Cornwall Bluegrass Festival
September 16th – 18th 2011
This festival was first run in 2004 and is now one of the major dates on the British bluegrass calendar. The event takes place at Hendra Holiday Park near Newquay, and features concerts on Friday night and Saturday afternoon and evening. The concerts take place on two stages, with one in the main caberet hall and the other in a marquee outside.
Headlining acts this year include transatlantic bluegrass band (more) Growling Old Men and USA flatpicker Steve Kaufman.
Conwy Mountain Bluegrass Picking Weekend
September 16th – 18th 2011
This weekend will be held in the North Wales village of Tal-y-Bont, and will include a concert in the village hall, workshops and, of course, picking sessions. Acts on show include Jaywalkers and Cousin Pearl. Further information on 01492 541175 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moniaive Michealmas Bluegrass Festival
September 23rd – 25th 2011
This event first ran in 2009 and is held in the village of Moniaive, Dumfriesshire. It will offer a line-up of top US and European bands.