Monday, 2 February 2015

6th Alie Rohling Festival "Pickers Against Cancer" (Netherlands)

After five successful years, the Alie Rohling Festival in Coevorden, Netherlands returns  on March 21, 2015. It will be a virtual 'community' of bluegrass and country music fans and artists. All will be coming together to remember Ms. Rohling, and with hopes of raising money for the national cancer organization in The Netherlands.
Alie Rohling

An avid bluegrass and country music fan, Alie Rohling was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2009. At that time she decided to begin hosting house concerts at her home. Bass player and Rohling Festival co-producer Bert Hilberts organized the first Sunday afternoon house concert. The response from musicians wishing to perform was so great that the house concert idea would soon lead to a need for a larger venue.

Hilberts adds,
  “I made the decision to take it to the next level. We had three bands volunteering to perform a benefit concert. It took us [Bert and colleagues Douwe Mik and Monique Rohling] one afternoon to get it all done. The first ‘Alie Rohling Festival’ took place in 2010.”

Ms. Rohling sadly passed away in September 2012. In 2013, the event was then renamed in honor of its namesake: ‘Alie Rohling Festival’. The entire event is a benefit production to raise funds for the KWF Kankerbestrijding (Dutch Cancer Society).

“Alie was very pleased when she heard that we had plans to turn it into a benefit to raise money for the ‘KWF’. When we told her the festival would carry her name, she replied ‘I am pleased to know that even when I'm gone my name will always be connected with the battle against cancer’“,  explained Bert.

In its first five years the festival has raised €7000 for the ever present fight against cancer -- a very respectable cash donation for something starting out simply as an afternoon of music to entertain a friend in need. The organizers of the festival call the performers on Alie Rohling’s stage, "Pickers Against Cancer".

2015 Alie Rohling Festival
Pickers Against Cancer

Whiskey Rose
Leiden, NL - original songs; country/bluegrass/Americana

Groningen, NL - bluegrass
Change Of Key
Gouda, NL - original and covers, country

 Bert offers his personal perspective of this event,

 “It was Alie's wish that the festival would continue after she had passed away. The knowledge that her name would always be connected with the battle against cancer strengthened her in her final period. We will organize the Alie Rohling Festival until we can say, ‘we don't need to do this anymore, but we will continue because it's fun to do." 


Alie Rohling Festival
“Pickers Against Cancer”
Saturday, March 21, 2015

A benefit for the KWF Kankerbestrijding
(Dutch Cancer Society)
~ All Performers Donate Their Time and Talents ~

 Zaal de Loo
 Looweg 38
 Coevorden, Netherlands

Show time:  20:00

Tickets: €12.50  at the door /  €10.00  advance (via website)

For information: e-mail Bert:

Festival website:

Ms. Rohling’s friends and music fans wishing to help, but are not able to attend the festival, donations may be sent directly to the fund using this IBAN number:

IBAN:  NL07RABO0335032400
in the name of  M. Rohling

NOTE: A complete article on the festival will appear in the next issue of the
European Bluegrass Music Association's “Bluegrass Europe” magazine.