Fiddler's Conventions

For those who are unfamiliar with fiddlers’ conventions, these events take place all over the United States, and there’s a hotbed of them right here in this region of northwest North Carolina, southwest Virginia, and northeast Tennessee. Basically, a fiddlers’ convention is an event that is sponsored by a community or civic group as a fundraiser for their organization. Often a convention will occur the same weekend each year, so everyone will know when it is and save the date so they can attend year after year. Lots of musicians and music lovers follow the fiddlers’ convention circuit throughout the summer, going to one every few weekends.

The convention competitions are exciting to watch and also filled with amazing music. Each on-stage contest performance is assigned a score on a numerical scale by a group of judges, all experienced musicians. The judges’ scores are averaged by the convention organizers, and the performances are ranked according to their average score. At the end of the contests on Saturday night, everyone goes to the stage for the presentation of ribbons and prize money to the winning musicians and bands who have earned the highest scores. After the contests are over and the prizes are awarded, musicians go back to their camps to continue playing, dancing, and frolicking late into the night.

Camping is a big part of many fiddlers’ conventions, and the magic of sleeping under the stars amongst a group of like-minded people certainly promotes a greater sense of community among listeners and musicians. The campground is where musicians jam, learn new tunes, and practice to get ready for the upcoming contests, including individual instruments, old-time and bluegrass bands, and flatfoot dance categories. Where there is music at the campground, a good-sized audience of music lovers is sure to also gather to watch the contests, listen to the music, dance, and socialize together. Out in the field of campers is where some of the best music can be heard – an added bonus!

~ excerpt from "Fiddlers’ Conventions: Summer is the Time for Fiddlin’ Fun!" by Trish Kilby Fore


2022 Feb 4-5

Appalachian State Fiddlers Convention

Boone, NC

2022 Mar 26

Gordon County Fiddlers Convention

Calhoun, GA

2022 Apr 30

Upper East Tennessee Fiddlers Convention

Flag Pond, TN

2022 Jun 3-4

Mount Airy Fiddlers Convention

Mount Airy, NC

2022 Jun 9-11

Henry Reed Memorial Fiddlers Convention

Glen Lyn, VA

2022 Jun 16-19

West Virginia State Folk Festival

Glenville, WV

2022 Jun 17-18

Abingdon Fiddlers Convention

Abingdon, VA

2022 Jun 17-18

Maury River Fiddlers Convention

Buena Vista, VA

2022 Jun 24-25

Grayson CountyFiddlers Convention

Elk Creek, VA

2022 Jul 1-2

Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree

Smithville, TN

2022 Jul 8-9

Elliot County Fiddlers Convention

Sandy Hook, KY

2022 Jul 8-9

Tazewell County Fiddlers Convention

Tazewell, VA

2022 Jul 9

Hammons Family Fiddle and Banjo Contest

Marlinton, WV

2022 Jul 15-16

Alleghany County Fiddlers Convention

Sparta, NC

2022 July 22-24

Ashe County Fiddlers Convention

Jefferson, NC

2022 Aug 3-7

Appalachian String Band Music Festival

Clifftop, WV

2022 Aug 5-6

Fries Fiddlers Convention

Fries, VA

2022 Aug 8-13

Galax Fiddlers Convention

Galax, VA

2022 Sep 2-4

Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention

Lenoir, NC

2022 Sep 15-17

Hoppin John Fiddlers Convention

Pittsboro, NC

2022 Oct 6-8

Tennessee Valley Old-Time Fiddlers Convention

Athens, AL

2022 Oct 7-8

Uncle Dave Macon Days

Murfreesboro, TN

2022 Oct 8

Granite Quarry Fiddlers Convention

Salisbury, NC