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Enrico Nichelatti

Amateur violinist

Fiddle Hell XII

Click here if you want to directly go to the audio recordings of FH UK XII Birmingham (password protected).

What is a Fiddle Hell?

Fiddle Hells are gatherings where violin players, jazz violinists, fiddlers and generally people interested in fiddle music can meet, exchange ideas, try instruments, perform, spend time and have fun together, attend workshops, drink good beer, etc. Fiddle Hells are currently endorsed by and organized within the Fiddle Forum online community.

Perhaps the best way to describe a Fiddle Hell is quoting its description from its official website, see below.

Since its creation, the fiddle has mesmerized audiences and brought smiles to many people's faces. Its unique tone has been used in nearly every country's popular, folk, classical, and sacred music.

Musicians have used it for centuries to entertain people the world over. Many cultures have developed their own distinct music style that today's fiddlers continue to build on. Today many fiddlers are still taught by their elders, learning songs that have been played for years by their mentors and bringing in new tunes from other fiddlers they meet. We, as fiddlers, do not own the music. It has been passed to us through our ancestors and is our heritage. It is our moral responsibility to continue to share this wealth of music with others.

At The International Fiddlers Convention, a country fiddler from Missouri, Dale Hopkins, had the idea of bringing these fiddler's together. With the help of the Missouri Country Music Hall of Fame, he held the first convention in Macks Creek, Missouri in September of 2003. This event brought together many fiddlers from all over the world and gave them a chance to meet other fiddlers and hear many different styles of fiddle music. As one attendee put it, "a good time was had by all". In short it was a huge success. Fiddlers, from first year beginners to jazz musicians with years of experience, were immersed in their instrument for 3 days. They all walked away from it a better player. The spirit of sharing was extraordinary as each fiddler present took the stage to let the others hear their style.

Is this what you wanted? Just Another Festival? So what's so unique about this event? First of all its not a festival, though a festival mood does reign throughout it. It's not a fiddle camp where you pay big money to be taught for a week. One of the best aspects of it is that all fiddlers can come for free and learn. Another aspect that sets it apart, is the fact that every fiddler gets an opportunity to play on stage. Throughout the event, a fiddler will be on center stage playing in his/her own style, as all the others watch and listen. Workshops from world traveled players in many styles are offered throughout the weekend so you can hone your playing skills or learn a bit about a different style. Of course, reputable fiddle makers will be on hand to display their artistry in instrument making and help fiddlers with set-up and repair. The highlight of this exciting event, is Saturday night, as every fiddler present plays a tune together. This 15 minute event was coined "Fiddle Hell" by Dale. Finally, on Sunday the fiddlers get a chance to get together in a relaxed setting and play any type of music together that they feel like. All in all, a great three days and a wonderful opportunity to grow as a musician and person and to rub elbows with folks like you.


Fiddle Hell meetings are organized and discussed in this section of Fiddle Forum.

Fiddle Hell UK XII Birmingham 2008

With great pleasure, I joined the 12th Fiddle Hell, FH UK XII, held in Birmingham (UK) in the weekend 18-20 January, 2008. I got in touch with many friends and great players, most of them for the first time. A big thank you to the organizer, Pete Hartley, and to Tom, great musician and owner of the venue, the Tower of Song pub.

The venue     Pete and the girls

Fiddlers     Graham

Some more photos I took at FH UK XII can be viewed at this link.

Audio recordings of FH UK XII Birmingham 2008

To avoid any copyright infringement I could be not aware of, the audio recordings I took at Fiddle Hell UK XII are stored in a password-protected area. Please contact me from here or in Fiddle Forum for more info.

2008 E. Nichelatti   |   Web design & administration: E. Nichelatti
Online since February 4th 2008   |   Latest update: September 26th 2009