Wednesday, 26 May 2010

News from Norway

The EBMA congratulates its board member Dagfinn Pedersen (left) on his recent election to the Board of Trustees of the International Bluegrass Music Museum at Owensboro, KY. As EBMA national representative for Norway (as well as being the EBMA's coordinator of national reps), Dagfinn reports:

Congratulations to Earlybird Stringband, the #2 European Bluegrass Band 2010 at the wonderful EWOB festival this year, the first Norwegian band among the top three ever. This is one of the new and promising young bluegrass bands coming to the forefront of the bluegrass scene in Norway the last couple of years. There are still a few new bands emerging this year at the Risor festival, but not as many as the record high from last year with 10 new bands.

The festival scene is growing slowly, there are still very few bluegrass events other than the Risor festival, but bluegrass bands are frequently featured on country, rock, and pop festivals. One new and special event this year is a bluegrass weekend (9-11 July) at Bjornhollia, one of the mountain cabins in mid-Norway, almost 1000m above sea level. Two or three of our best bands will be there, but you need to walk 8 km on a mountain trail to get there; and with 90 beds available you should be prepared to carry your own tent into the area. Or use a mountain bike. Something special, yes; but a wonderful lifetime experience, I am sure. There is also a one-day local event in Selbu - nothing serious but lots of fun and bluegrassy music by local bands.

The Risor Bluegrass Festival starts Monday 12 July with a full workshop in all bluegrass instruments, plus harmony singing, songwriting, and clawhammer banjo. It ends on Thursday, just before the festival concerts start. As in previous years the #1 European Bluegrass Band of the year will be here, G-Runs ‘n Roses (CZ). And the #2 band, Earlybird Stringband (NO), plus the #1 Audience Popularity Award winners, Sunny Side (CZ). The line-up also includes a few other foreign bands; Acousticure (H), Hayseed Dixie (US), Blueland (SK), and our excellent workshop instructors in Barry & Holly Tashian’s band and Sue Thompson & the Brandejs Band, plus all the Norwegian bands. Over 30 bands total and 40 concerts over three wonderful festival days. And we give 50% on the festival passes to all EBMA members living outside Norway, a small help towards the higher travelling cost.