Wednesday, 12 September 2007

15th New World Festival – Review

Over the Labour Day weekend I ventured down to the small, very friendly, town of Randolph, Vermont, to attend the 12 hour (Sunday, Noon to Midnight) traditional music extravaganza that is the New World Festival. This year was the Festival’s 15th year, and it shows, as it is a very well run event bringing in top talent from home and abroad. Please check their website by the link in this article. For 12 hours you can attend all gigs by flashing your $30 wristband at the door of any hosting venue. You can walk in or out at anytime during the show, though good manners means you wait for a break between tunes. One small church had sessions all day long, Scottish, Irish, Fiddle, Quebecois, British Isles, Appalachian, etc. A larger church had stage concerts, and across the street from that was an old, well kept, concert hall, for larger audiences. As well there were food vendors, cd sales, craft sales, and a huge dance tent complete with wooden dance floor, and beer/wine/food for sale. Personally, for me the main draw was to see Paddy Keenan play his Uillean pipes, as it had been over ten years since the last time. Most artists/groups got to play on at least two or three occasions during the 12 hours, usually at a different venue each time. So, instead of being torn by who to see or miss, you just pick your time. I saw two Paddy Keenan gigs in 12 hours, and the second gig included Peter Molloy, whose father is Matt Molloy of Chieftans fame. It was definitely a magical day. Other artists included: Sarah Blair, April Verch, The McDades, Norman Kennedy, Revillons, and Cantrip, and native son of Ottawa Nicholas Williams, only to name a few. For what it’s worth, I give this Festival 10/10, even if not including my favourite artist. Well worth the drive.