LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Musicians, vocalists and fiddle-enthusiasts around Indiana will gather for this year’s Indiana Fiddlers’ Gathering music festival this weekend.
From June 24-26 at Tippecanoe Battlefield Park, music, food and more will be on display for all musicians to enjoy.
This year marks the group’s 50th anniversary. As such, the full three-day festival is back in swing when recent years’ events have be restricted due to COVID-19. Catered food, public bathrooms with showers, local artisans’ booths and more will be available to guests.
“It’s an open, very diverse sort of musical festival,” Nolan Warden, executive director for the IFG, said. “In addition to music and the three concerts we have this weekend, there are also a number of free concerts – like there’s a children’s Saturday morning – all of the workshops are free…We also have a lot of food vendors, artisans, craft vendors who come out as well.”
A full schedule of events for each day of the festival is available on IFG’s website, www.indianafiddlersgathering.org/ifg-2022. Scheduled performances by Juan Rivera, Kountry Kernals, Kathleen Keane and more will be featured.
Weekend passes for IFG’s festival are $50, while individual concert tickets are $25 each. However, there are plenty of free options for visitors to enjoy during their time at the festival.
“It’s not just about the performances,” Warden said. “It’s about jam sessions. Like people hanging out playing music together. There are some people who go to the festival and don’t even necessarily go into the performance area and see the concerts. They just go there to like, hang out with friends and play music together.”
Amenities at IFG’s festival will include catered food along with food trucks and an open-beer garden.
“That’s one of the main things also that people really like about it,” Warden said, “because there’s camping…there’s food there so people don’t have to go outside or bring everything in. This year we’re gonna have seven food vendors (in a) pop-up tent kind of thing and others that are more like food trucks-style.
“…The past couple of years we’ve had a regular festival, we had a beer garden with People’s Brewing Company…This year it’s gonna be open so that you’re not in this little penned in area for beer. (You can) take it around inside the concert area.”
While IFG is most known for its yearly music festival, the group offers music classes through The Arts Federation After School Arts Program. Here, instructions on the banjo, fiddle, guitar, and ukulele are given along with the instruments themselves to local youth during the fall and spring semesters.
With so many musicians playing different genres of music – including old time fiddle and banjo, Irish fiddle, bluegrass, ballads, folk and more – Warden is looking forward to the diverse group of musicians and music fans coming together to enjoy their common interest: music.
“To me that’s one of the really exciting things about this festival,” Warden said, “is that idea of an Indiana or midwestern fiddler – that idea changes over the years, like all fiddle music – and Indiana and immigrant music, in a sense. Whether it’s Scotts-Irish, or English, all of that music in Indiana came from somewhere else in Europe…And now there’s a different type of immigrant fiddle music, so to me, this is a great opportunity, as an ethnomusicologist, to bring together different types of music on one stage and to bring together different publics, different audiences.”
More information about IFG, its upcoming festival and youth programs can be found on its website, www.indianafiddlersgathering.org.
Margaret Christopherson is a reporter for the Journal & Courier. Email her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @MargaretJC2.
Indiana Fiddlers’ Gathering swings into town for 50th anniversary