Monday, 8 October 2012

"Castle Picking Party 2" Another Success

Excellent news arrives from the 2nd Annual Castle Picking Party held at 'Het Kasteel' in Groningen, Netherlands on September 23, 2012. Hans Kelderhuis and Ben Wiltjer, with assistance from master photographer Henk Eggens and a worthy volunteer staff, provide this fantastic venue for jamming, visiting, eating and drinking. Old friends and new friends from several countries gathered that afternoon as the crowd grew to well over 120 players and listeners in the old castle -- and enough food at the buffet (donated by the attendees) to keep everyone healthy and happy for the day and evening.

All-day jamming was non-stop on all 3 floors from 13:00 to 20:30 in the many available rooms and various spaces. One could participate in small, intimate sessions or join some of the larger groups. Several styles of acoustic music could be heard, with the emphasis on Blue Grass music. One hall is designated as a performance stage area which hosted eight (8) bands.

One of many Castle Picking jam rooms.

The Dutch band "Close To Home" in the performance hall.

After the all-day jamming, the party moved down to the castle's cellar. It was an intimate finish to the festivities with a concert in the "Melkweg 1" hosted by Henk Eggens. Three (3) bands performed in the cozy café late into the evening. Constructed by Eggens, it is reminiscent of the old 'speakeasy' cafés. Speakeasys were small hard to find venues that existed in major cities during the alcohol prohibition era of 1920s - '30s America. The sound system of musician Jan Pals was a perfect touch. Melkweg 1 is the type of performance space artists cherish, and audience members truly enjoy.

In the castle cellar café, 'Melkweg 1'
Whiskey Rose

A First-Class production from the 3rd level all the way down to the cellar. The 3rd Annual Castle Picking Party takes place on September 22, 2013. All acoustic instruments are welcomed. The public is invited -- all you have to do is register in advance. More photos and a registration page ("Aanmelden") is available on their web site: