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Dulcimer Festival Attendance

May 26, 2023

Good Morning, Y'all!
We're getting into the summer and you know what that means? In-person-festival-season is right around the corner and I'm getting excited about seeing so many of you again! Last year's festivals were down in attendance, but this year is already looking to have a huge return towards the pre-virus normal. Lots of smiling people, happily learning and playing mountain dulcimer.
I've spoken to a few of the festival organizers and registration for many events this year has already surpassed last year's (mediocre-to-modest) attendance. Some of the festivals are still months away and already have a lot more registrations than last year. One of my favorite festivals already has a record-breaking attendance - even if nobody else signs up. That sounds like some good jams!
How does this affect you? Firstly, you really ought to find a good festival - and go to it. Bring your dulcimer. Take classes. Learn something new. Have fun. Meet new people. Say "Hi" to your favorite dulcimer builder. Listen to the great artists perform. Make some new friends at the evening jams.
As for me, I will be attending three more festivals this year: Kentucky Music Week, ODPC Funfest, and the Black Mountain Music Fest. Kentucky, Michigan, and North Carolina. June, July, and October. Confused? Probably! You can click on the UPCOMING EVENTS link at for more information, dates, and links to those festivals (and other fun events happening right here at Folkcraft.)
I'll be taking the big Folkcraft trailer full of dulcimers, and dulcimer repair tools, to all three festivals. And I can perform most repair, setup, string change work on your dulcimers at these amazing events. But I can't stress enough how important it is to reserve time on my repair bench - in advance! I'll be turning away work at the KMW and BMMF festivals. Definitely call ahead (sooner, not later!) to reserve your repair bench time slot.
So your question of the week is: "What's the best part (for you) of going to a dulcimer festival?" Let me know, and we'll feature some of your replies in next week's newsletter.
Thanks for reading, Y'all - Have a great weekend!

Richard Ash, luthier-who's-getting-excited-about-going-to-KMW-next-month