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Old 02-02-2021, 12:01 PM   #1
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Music Centric Camps

I started a thread a few weeks ago regarding a planned trip mid-July thru mid to late September visiting National and State Parks west of the Mississippi. (Provided traveling by then is safe) I was looking for parks and locations I would be remiss to not visit.
In this thread I am seeking recommendations for camps or destinations where pickers are the rule rather than the exception. I play classic 40s/50s country and honkey tonk but would be pleased to be part of any genre of home made music.
Our usual non-covid winters are spent at a South Florida camp and our summers at a Western New York Camp where pickers are numerous. When traveling I often end up at camps where pickers are scarce or non-existent.
Music Festivals I may encounter during this time while west that I could incorporate into our travels would be welcome.
I do not consider myself a Bluegrass musician but I like Bluegrass festivals due to an abundance of parking lot jams.
I realize this will target a smaller representative of FIBERGLASS RV participants but am hopeful a few will see this and chime in.
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Old 02-03-2021, 10:42 PM   #2
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Yellow Pine Music Festival

Look up the Yellow Pine Music Festival held the first full weekend in August each year. We have attended several years and look forward each year. YP is a small village in Idaho surrounded by some fantastic scenery. Just the scenery is worth making the trip. Everyone camps in the National Forest that surrounds the village - no charge. PortaPotties and potable water are provided - free. There are usually maybe five Casitas or so that camp together. Lots of jamming in the camping areas. You will enjoy it. It is family oriented.

Do a search for Yellow Pine Harmonica and Music Festival and you will find the details and lots of pictures.

Wife and I get our vaccinations tomorrow (Woo Hoo) and we plan on going again this year. If you plan on going and you would like to camp with our informal group, let me know and I'll tell you how to find us. That goes for anyone who would care to join us.

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Old 02-04-2021, 09:02 AM   #3
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There are several around Montana, but though it's been perfectly safe to travel for the last year, it hasn't been safe to gather in numbers. All the jams I know of were cancelled.

I've gotten out of playing so much over the last few years that it's starting to not make sense for me to show up anymore...but there are a few events around MT I go to in the summer, where people get together either on someone's private land or a public park, and play bluegrass/county/old time. The gatherings are usually 100 or more people, so there's all sorts of different jams, from giant 20 person monkey jams (our term for out of control, too many people, disorganized jams) to 10 people to just a couple.

They're mostly older folks, so they've been smart and didn't do any events last summer. No idea if they'll do them this summer but feel free to PM me once you're on the road and have an idea of when/if you'll be through MT. One of them is in late June, one mid-July, one in early August.

Any type of folk-style music that has well known songs or songs with limited complexity (easy to pick up on the fly) are welcome, though you can usually find smaller groups playing more complicated music, including country swing which tends to be really really chordy...
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Old 02-04-2021, 04:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ZachO View Post
There are several around Montana, but though it's been perfectly safe to travel for the last year, it hasn't been safe to gather in numbers. All the jams I know of were cancelled.
Any type of folk-style music that has well known songs or songs with limited complexity (easy to pick up on the fly) are welcome, though you can usually find smaller groups playing more complicated music, including country swing which tends to be really really chordy...
Two responses so far and as we plan our itinerary both will be considered.
Sounds like normal protocol for jams. The other rule I often encounter at Jams is no "House of The Rising Sun" and no "Wagon Wheel".
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Old 02-04-2021, 06:04 PM   #5
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There are actually no rules like that at these jams, but you might get dirty looks or groans, which are basically the same as rules...

No, in the end, "be nice" is the only rule. Everything else, etiquette-wise, becomes clear as people start drifting off to other jams every time you call a song...
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Old 02-04-2021, 08:22 PM   #6
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Wagon wheel is welcome.

I know of a few old timey/bluegrass jams in Western WA. They are pickerfests, which means a lot of jamming goes on and into the wee hours of the morning.

This is off the top of my head.

Winlock Pickerfest at Minoqua? Park (there will be signs) just north of Winlock, WA. The perfoming musicians are not all bluegrass, but many genres like Gypsy Jazz, jazz, Peruvian, etc. It is a small festival and camping is on site but no hookups. I usually camp in the baseball field for good solar. I'm thinking this is the first weekend in August but you can look it up.

Rainier Pickerfest, in Rainier, WA (not the mountain). It's a fund raiser for the Lions Club and is more bluegrassy than Winlock, but has the same vibe.
I think it is the third weekend in August and has on site camping--no hookups and almost 24 hour jams going. It's another small one. Performers are not paid as it is a fund raiser so no big name acts.

Toledo Bluegrass festival, in Toledo, WA. I haven't been to it as it isn't very dog friendly. It's bluegrass and I'm sure a lot of jamming goes on.

These three festivals are all near Interstate 5 and are south of Seattle. Camping at the Winlock festival is noisy. It is located next to the main north south railroad line and there is a noisy trestle next door.

A big one, that I've not been to because it is big, is the Darrington Bluegrass Festival. They get big time acts there. Darrington is in the North Cascades and is a beautiful spot. It's near North Cascades National Park, and a scenic drive, when it isn't raining. I'm thinking it is maybe in July?

Another July? I think? one is in Stevenson, WA and I think it may be a mix of music, with bluegrass being the chief genre. I haven't been to it but friends have. There is camping and hookups, if you get a reservation. You also may have to buy tickets ahead of time? Stevenson is in the Columbia Gorge.

There is a Sisters festival in July? Not sure of the date. It has been cancelled a couple of times because of smoke. I think it is a mix of music styles. It's in Sisters, OR which is a very touristy town in a beautiful area of Oregon. You must get tickets in advance and they sell out quickly. Not sure about jamming as folks are spread out all over the area camping.

That's all I can think of right now. You may research them for better info.
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Old 02-04-2021, 08:35 PM   #7
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http://www.columbiagorgebluegrass.net/

https://winlockpickersfest.com/

Rainier Bluegrass Pickin' Party

https://festivalnet.com/35854/Toledo...grass-Festival

My favorite is Winlock because I used to drive an hour one way to play with the WAMA group. They had a slow jam where beginners were welcome and I was a beginner. They're a fun group and we'd play for a couple hours and then have a glorious potluck. If you go to the website, you'll see they have some organized jams and they usually have some clinics also.
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Old 02-05-2021, 03:06 PM   #8
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I don't play, but I love to watch and listen. I'm going to check some of these out.
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Old 02-05-2021, 03:37 PM   #9
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Winlock looks very cool. I like that different genres are featured. While I do not dislike grass, old time, or Celtic, I much prefer other genres. Jazz and swing are fun for me with my favorite being classic 40s/50s country honkeytonk. I also like show tunes, soft rock, folk and classical.
Players with different interests would make for some fun jams.
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Old 02-05-2021, 06:13 PM   #10
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The Livingston Fiddlers Picnic gets a lot of country swing, and one of the guys in the first few photos is a good friend of mine who plays a lot of gypsy jazz.

Fiddlers Picnic

This event, out of all the ones around here, gets the hottest players. Usually big crowds, too. Like all the others, there's no stage (at least not last I went), no performance. Just people playing music.
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Old 02-05-2021, 06:41 PM   #11
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Hi bill. If ever in idaho, the weiser fiddle fest is real fine. Camp in a football field & people jamming all night. Another is kind of a secret but very fun with lots of americana type music. Hermit fest at Indian creek winery outside kuna. Also fun is the yellow pine harmonica fest.
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Old 02-05-2021, 10:29 PM   #12
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The Strawberry Music Festival, held each memorial day and labor day weekens in California, is a pickers fest after the main stage shuts down for the evening, people jam in camps all night long. Sadly, their original location, Camp Mather near Yosemite, shut them out after 30 years, so now the spring fest is held at the fairgrounds in Grass Valley, and the fall fest is held near Tuolumne City... I suspect the spring fest won't be happening this year due to Covid.

Musically, its everything from tradtiional bluegrass to alt.country to some roots rock. 'mostly acoustic' probably describes it best. the camp jams tend more towards bluegrass.

https://strawberrymusic.com
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Old 02-06-2021, 09:13 AM   #13
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Hi bill. If ever in idaho, the weiser fiddle fest is real fine. Camp in a football field & people jamming all night. Another is kind of a secret but very fun with lots of americana type music. Hermit fest at Indian creek winery outside kuna. Also fun is the yellow pine harmonica fest.
Weiser is legendary. You'll find everything from beginners to world-class players there, and I hear it's gigantic. I've never made it over.
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Old 02-06-2021, 01:28 PM   #14
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Walnut Valley Festival

Walnut Valley Festival
Winfield, KS
3rd weekend in September (but people start camping a few weeks before it opens)



A Bluegrass event, with most people who attend bringing their instruments and participating in the campsite picking. Annual attendance runs around 15,000.



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Old 02-10-2021, 11:19 AM   #15
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Have you checked out the Harry Smith festival near Greenfield MA? I think it happens in the summer and we are all hoping it will be in person soon. Old Tone in NY state is great, but will be online this year.
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Old 02-10-2021, 11:29 AM   #16
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Another vote for Weiser. Lots of variety in the evening jams scattered throughout the camping area. Although my favorite are kanikapila sessions at events in Hawai’i. But I’m not easily able to take our Bigfoot over the ocean just for those!
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Old 02-10-2021, 12:09 PM   #17
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There is a great Music Festival in Sisters, Oregon October 1st thru October 3rd. Check it out.
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Old 02-10-2021, 12:26 PM   #18
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Port Townsend, WA has great music

Port Townsend, WA has a few music events in normal years.

Check out centrum.org. They have a jazz festival and an event called Fiddle Tunes. There's camping on-site at Fort Worden State Park, or nearby at Fort Flagler State Park. Sequim Bay State Park is a little farther away.
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Old 02-10-2021, 03:13 PM   #19
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Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival

We are going to try to go to the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in Oak Hill, NY if we get a chance sometime.
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Old 02-17-2021, 11:37 AM   #20
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Bluegrass Music

If you will be in the Piney Woods of east Texas you may want to check out the bluegrass music festivals on the weekends of Memorial Day and Labor Day at Salmon Lake Park in Grapeland, Tx. This is an unique park with outdoor sound stage and LOTS of camping sites. Check out their website!
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