25 March 2021

Bluegrass springtime in the Black Forest: postponed again this year

The BIB editor writes:

Earlier this month the publicity office of the city of Bühl, near Baden-Baden on the edge of the Black Forest in south-west Germany, announced with regret that the 18th International Bühl Bluegrass Festival, postponed last year, will not be held this coming May. Under present Covid restrictions, events of any kind are prohibited and hotels, restaurants, shops, concert halls, theatres, cinemas, and even offices are closed, with no prospect of reopening to allow planning a festival this year.

The festival was started, and is fully funded, by the city of Bühl. It has become the main springtime bluegrass event of western Europe, thanks to the direction of our good friends Walter Fuchs (Germany's leading historian of country music and longtime presenter of country record radio shows) and his son Patrick, who gave essential help in running the festival for years and took over from Walter as director in 2015. In previous years the BIB has gladly announced it as 'two days and nights of fine bluegrass music in a first-class auditorium in a delightful town on the edge of the Black Forest in spring.' We're happy to learn that Walter and his lovely wife Marianne had their second Pfizer shots earlier this month.

Patrick (second from left) and Walter Fuchs (third from right) with 
Bühl city representatives at the release of the 2016 programme
Walter at the microphone, among his record collection

Walter retired from broadcasting on Schwarzwaldradio in June 2019, and in September 2020 Patrick took over the station's weekly country music radio show 'Country Club', heard all over Germany and worldwide via the internet, with bluegrass played regularly. His details (in German) are shown here.

© Richard Hawkins

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