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Ashe fiddlers convention fine-tunes the rules

By Jesse Campbell (

Article Published: Jul. 2 | Modified: Jul. 2
Ashe fiddlers convention fine-tunes the rules

With Ashe County’s Bluegrass and Old-Time Fiddlers Convention quickly approaching, the Ashe County Arts Council — the organizing body of the festival — has released additional details this week concerning rules and format.

After decades of service by the Jeffersons Rotary Club, the ACAC volunteered to produce the longtime High Country music tradition.

Like previous years, registration will be completed the day of the convention.

As noted in a previous interview, Jane Lonon, executive director of the ACAC, said organizers are completely unaware of the festival lineup until the day of registration.

“The musicians come in the gate like everyone else,” she said.

Pertaining to the band contest, an old-time band shall consist of no less than three basic stringed instruments, and one instrument shall be a bluegrass-style banjo.

The second instrument shall be either a mandolin or fiddle, according to an ACAC news release.
Contestants may compete with one band. If a band plays twice, the higher score will be used for the contest.

Individual contestants shall perform only once with their chosen instrument.

Contestants may also compete individually, and they will not be judged while performing with their band.
Only authentic folk songs will be judged in the folk song competition, according to the news release.
Bands will be allowed to perform up to two songs, including vocal entries, and all performances are limited to five minutes.

The dance competition will take place before the band competition on Saturday. This is an individual competition only, and steel tap-dancing will be permitted.

Judging will be based on timing, technique, ability to project to audience and level of participant’s enjoyment, according to the news release.

All contestants shall be charged for admission as any other attendee and can be fully reimbursed following the individual contestant’s performance. A single contestant can only receive one remitted admission paid; regardless of how many times the contestant performs on stage.
For more information, contact the Ashe County Arts Council at (336) 846-2787.

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