Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Recommendations: Best European festivals?

  1. #1
    Registered User BadExampleMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2018

    Default Recommendations: Best European festivals?

    I want to attend a couple of bluegrass festivals this season in Europe or the British isles. For those in Europe (or elsewhere!) who are familiar with the European bluegrass scenes, which ones would you recommend? I'm not necessarily interested in which are the largest or get the biggest-name marquee performers. My value of "best" includes things like friendly people, good jams, accessible without a car if possible i.e. w/in walking distance of train or bus stop.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Registered User FPhil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015

    Default Re: Recommendations: Best European festivals?

    These come to mind instantly, must be more, also in UK and Ireland, but don't know about them.

  3. The following members say thank you to FPhil for this post:

  4. #3
    Registered User grassrootphilosopher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: Recommendations: Best European festivals?

    This is a list that I partly compiled in 2009 or so. I think that some festivals may not exist any more. You have to google them. Covid has upset the applecart somewhat. I have made notes in brackets behind the ones that I would strongly recomend:
    Didmarton Bluegrass Festival United Kingdom (top notch and a must go, Sept)
    European World of Bluegrass Lichtenvoorde Netherlands (top notch, must see, in May/June)
    Bluegrass Beeg Netherlands
    Lonesome Pine Indoor Country Festival Sunne Värmland Sweden Usually held in January.
    Bluegrass Outlaw Party Club Heidegger, grote Kerkplein 70, Rotterdam Netherlands Usually held in February.
    Gainsborough Old Time Festival Gainsborough United Kingdom Usually held in February.
    International Workshop of Acoustic Music Virton Belgium Usually held in April. (I only heard good stuff about Virton)
    Sore Fingers Week Kingham United Kingdom (Workshop, pricey but a must go; usually quickly sold out)
    Stage Bluegrass en Gascogne 32330 Gondrin France Usually held in April.
    Kilkenny Rhythm 'n' Roots Festival Kilkenny Ireland Roots music with an Irish and oldtime flavour
    Bordergrass Hopelands in Weobley Herefordshire United Kingdom
    Alie Rohling Festival "Pickers against Cancer"[zaal de Loo - Looweg 38 Coevorden Netherlands Beneficial concert, all funds raised go to the Dutch Cancer Foundation.
    Venner Folk Frühling Venne Germany accent on folk
    Orwell Bluegrass Festival Orwell Crossing United Kingdom
    Banjoree European 5-String Banjo Meeting Germany Gathering of banjopickers, also with guitar and mandolin workshops. (highly popular)
    International Bühl Bluegrass Festival Bühl Germany[established 2002, city sponsorship (absolute must go)
    Bath Americana Festival Bath United Kingdom
    Red Wine Bluegrass Party Genova Italy two nights show featuring Red Wine with guest artists from the US (Red Wine is a must see European band, great people)
    Boe't n Deure Odoorn Netherlands Bluegrass concerts held in a small cafe
    Jamboree Strakonice Czech Republic
    Sacrewell Spring Camp (Friends of American Oldtime Music and Dance) Gainsborough United Kingdom
    Coastline Bluegrass Music Event Bryn Ffanigl Ganol Farm, Dolwen, Llanddulas, Wales United Kingdom -
    Karl May Festival Radebeul Radebeul Germany celebrating bluegrass while celebrating Germany´s wild west author
    Hamawé Roots Festival Ethe/Virton Belgium on the Farm Roiseux
    GrevenGrass Bluegrassfestival Greven Germany (I cofounded that one; its for free and a must go, not only because of my connection)
    FBMA Spring Bluegrass Weekend (Pentecôte) près de Rennes, à la Maison Familiale Rurale Horticole "Les Rabinardières" France
    Ruotsinpyhtää Bluegrass Rendezvous Helsinki Finland Finland´s oldest bluegrass festival, first held in 1988
    Annual La Grange Rouge Bluegrass and French Folk TRAD EN FETE La Grange Rouge France Usually held in June
    Big Bear Festival De Kimme, Zuidlaren Netherlands bluegrass & acoustic country music - European & US bands (was allways super nice and a must go, last info from 2017 on facebook)
    Banjo Jamboree Caslav Czech Republic (oldest European bluegrass festival and a definite must go in June)
    Festival sur la Route de Tullins Isere France
    Birkenried Bluegrass (must go)
    Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival Westport, Co. Mayo Ireland Established in 2007; international lineup
    Choteborský džem Letna 255, 583 01 Chotebor +420776311290 Czech Republic
    East Anglian Bluegrass Festival Steeple Morden United Kingdom Youth performances
    Haapavesi Folk Festival Haapavesi Finland
    TFF Rudolstadt (roots folk world music) Rudolstadt Germany City organized (internationally aclaimed with some bluegrass at times)
    Lida Country Festival Lida Sweden
    Åmåls Blues Fest Åmål Sweden Usually held in July.
    Torsåker Bluegrass Festival Torsaker Sweden
    North Wales Bluegrass Festival Conwy, Wales United Kingdom established 1989
    Bluegrass Festival Gunderinseli Thun Switzerland
    Athy Bluegrass Festival Athy Ireland Ireland's oldest annual Bluegrass event, established 1991
    Americana Festival Newark United Kingdom
    UTV Country Fest Aura Complex Letterkenny, Donegal Ireland
    Nääsville Bluegrass Festival Frölunda Sweden
    Risor Bluegrass Festival Risor Norway music on stage and workshops - with workshops the week preceding the festival
    Cerexhe Festival Cerexhe Belgium Country, Established 1985
    Totaalfestival Bladel Netherlands
    Cambridge Folk Festival Cambridge United Kingdom
    Country Rendez-Vous Craponne sur Arzon France
    Guildtown Bluegrass Festival Guildtown United Kingdom
    Lonesome Pine Festival Canis-Lysvik Sweden -
    La Roche International Bluegrass Festival La Roche-sur-Foron France (100 % must go; for free in the French alps in August)
    International Bluegrass and Acoustic Music Festival Abaliget Hungary Three days of bluegrass and acoustic music on a lakeside in the Hungarian countryside.
    Surrey Mini Bluegrass Festival Mickleham Village Hall United Kingdom
    Sacrewell Summer Camp (Friends Of American Oldtime Music And Dance) Gainsborough United Kingdom
    Gränna Bluegrass Festival Gränna Sweden 30th anniversary in 2007
    Floralia Country Festival Oosterhout Netherlands
    Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival Dunmore East Ireland established 1995
    Tønder Folk Festival Tønder Denmark international folk and bluegrass acts
    Appalachian and Bluegrass Music Festival Omagh, Northern Ireland United Kingdom held in a historic folk park established 1992 international lineup
    Bluegrass Marathon Borovany u Tachova Czech Republic established 1979
    Picnic Festival Namur BelgiumBluegrass & Celtic Festival
    Int. Bluegrass Meeting Kulturgewächshaus Birkenried Gundelfingen Germany Music in the Greenhouse
    Sunny Mountain Bluegrass Festival Stettfurt Switzerland
    The Open House Festival Bangor, Northern Ireland United Kingdom Six days of roots music in the centre of Belfast
    Gower Bluegrass Festival Parkmill, Gower, Wales United Kingdom
    Sweet Sunny South Festival Hastings United Kingdom
    Cornish Bluegrass Festival Newquay United Kingdom since 2004
    Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival Longford Ireland Irish Traditional, American Bluegrass, and Folk Music
    Moniaive Michaelmas Bluegrass Festival Moniaive, Dumfries, Scotland United Kingdom
    Bruff Bluegrass Festival Main St, Bruff, Co. Limerick Ireland This event takes place in three venues over three evenings with late night mike sessions. Banjo and guitar workshops and picking gatherings in afternoon on Sunday.
    Pick Your Passion Camp Munich Aschau/Chiemgau, n/Munich Germany (great workshop thingy just down the road from ...)
    Sore Fingers Weekend Kingham United Kingdom learning music and jamming
    Bluegrass Beeg Grevenbicht Sittard-Geleen Netherlands Bluegrass music festival. Autism friendly .
    Old Time Country Festival Breitisaal 8185 Winkel Switzerland organized by American folk club Rocking Chair

  5. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to grassrootphilosopher For This Useful Post:

  6. #4
    Registered User grassrootphilosopher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: Recommendations: Best European festivals?

    It would help if you had a timeframe for when you will visit Europe.

    To check the Brits go to which will give you an overview about the british bluegrass situation.

    The Irish habe the bluegrass Ireland blog (Richard Hawkins´ labor of love; great guy):

    The French have their thing of course:

    As Europeans we have this:

    Germany flies under the radar, though there is a scene and there are the Munich Bluegrass Friends (google their site) with a monthly jam session

    I forgot about Al Ras (festival) in Spain and I guess they started one in Portugal also.

    Enjoy digging.

  7. The following members say thank you to grassrootphilosopher for this post:

  8. #5
    Registered User BadExampleMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2018

    Default Re: Recommendations: Best European festivals?

    I've seen this list before - it might have even been from you in some other thread or other venue entirely. I took the time previously to spelunk the web and pare it down to those events that I could verify are still going on, or could verify have been permanently cancelled. I'm maintaining it as a spreadsheet so I can't attach it, and it's too long to post as text. But it's available to anyone who's interested. I should probably post it somewhere.

  9. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2021

    Default Re: Recommendations: Best European festivals?


    While my participation in the festival scene is rather limited, I strongly recommend the French festival in La Roche: (
    The European World Of Bluegrass (EWOB), in the Netherlands, is also quite popular:
    Finally, as Olaf mentioned, there is indeed a festival in Portugal, Trafaria Bluegrass: (
    • There are no official dates for this year's edition yet, but I heard through the grapevine that you can expect it to be around the same time as the 2022 edition.

    There are plenty of others to choose from, but I haven't been to any other so I am not in a position to comment.


  10. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Bernardo Fazenda For This Useful Post:

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts