06 July 2017

2nd Bluegrass Camp Ireland, 28-30 July 2017

Simon Humphries and T.J. Screene organised a highly successful first Bluegrass Camp Ireland in July 2016, so the BIB is delighted to have this message from them:

We're pleased to announce the second Bluegrass Camp Ireland at Headfort School near Kells on the 28th to 30th July 2017.

Headfort School is a gorgeous old Georgian pile set on a couple of hundred acres of parkland, about 3 km from Kells, Co. Meath, 70-odd km from Dublin. It has restored a few of its great rooms to their original splendour, with fabulous views over the rear sculpted gardens. This is a place of real beauty and majesty, especially with a pint of Guinness on a sunny evening on the rear steps. There are beds for everyone (it operates as a boarding school), mostly in dormitories, but there are also a few private rooms available.

It's a residential weekend for musicians who wish to refine their skills, be inspired, and learn from the best. We have eight professional musicians offering in-depth classes in guitar, 5-string banjo, mandolin, fiddle, double bass, and singing/ songwriting. They are from the US, UK, and the best available from Ireland.

  • Pat Flory (US) Guitar
  • Mike Kirwin (US) Guitar/ Double Bass/Voice
  • Jeff Burke (US) Mandolin
  • Bill Forster (UK) 5-string Banjo
  • Luke Coffey (Ire) 5-string Banjo
  • Paddy Kiernan (Ire) 5-string Banjo
  • Kieran Towers (UK) Fiddle
  • Hubert Murray (Ire) Songwriting/ Voice/

The three days will be structured around classes, seminars, and more informal picking sessions (jams), with evening stage shows, fabulous food, and a bar. The philosophy of the weekend is around playing ​with other musicians. We welcome beginners, intermediate, and red-hot 'pickers'. When there is nothing structured going on, there is always music happening, and we aim to make it as welcoming as possible for everyone to play, to jam, no matter their level. We try and create an informal and fun environment. Playing goes on till early morning - yes, get lots of sleep before you come down! We take under-18s if they're accompanied by an adult, but generally we cater for adults.

Ballymaloe-trained foodies Erin and Jo of 'The Edible Flower' dish up terrific breakfasts, lunches, and three-course dinners in the dining halls downstairs - decent wine is available.

In conclusion, it's a unique event in the Irish music scene. It's for musicians (or those wishing to become musicians) only. It's bluegrass music, but the skills honed in bluegrass are of course transferable. It's in a gorgeous place. You meet some great people. We have some of the best bluegrass musicians around - you'll get to play and hang out with them. There is a great friendly atmosphere. It's a ton of fun. You leave inspired to be a better player. Come on down to Bluegrass Camp Ireland 28-30 July at Headfort School. Check it out at www.bluegrass.ie and on Facebook.

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